Oil & Water Don’t Mix leads citizens at Pipeline Safety Advisory Meeting in Petoskey highlighting new reports on dangers of Line 5.
PETOSKEY – Oil & Water Don’t Mix joined hundreds of Michigan families and business owners today at the Pipeline Safety Advisory Board meeting in Petoskey to call for Gov. Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette to shut down the dangerous Line 5 pipeline. Recently uncovered Enbridge documents reveal the 64-year-old pipeline was missing structural supports for years, greatly increasing the risk of a catastrophic oil spill.
“The danger posed by Line 5 is growing by the day, especially in light of alarming new reports that Enbridge failed to maintain the pipeline for years. It’s time for Attorney General Schuette and Gov. Snyder to fulfill their duty to prevent an oil spill in the heart of the Great Lakes,” said Kate Madigan, Michigan Environmental Council Energy & Climate Specialist. “Attorney General Schuette publically stated nearly two years ago that Line 5’s days were numbered – and now it’s time for him to take meaningful action and shut down the pipeline, the only way to truly prevent an oil spill.”
More than 40 Michigan residents gave formal comments to the board Monday with their concerns about Enbridge’s violations of its operating agreement with the state and the growing threat of a Great Lakes oil spill.
“Repeated violations and neglect by Enbridge almost certainly damaged the pipeline, greatly increasing the risk of a disaster in the Great Lakes,” said Sean McBrearty, Clean Water Action campaign organizer. “It’s up to Attorney General Schuette and Gov. Snyder to put Michigan first and shut down the pipeline.”
Because of swift Straits currents, the State of Michigan requires that every 75 feet of pipeline have an anchor support. However, recent reports revealed Enbridge Energy failed to maintain these supports, leaving spans of up to 286 feet of pipeline unsecured. According to a University of Michigan study, a Line 5 rupture in the Straits could impact 700 miles of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron coastlines.
“As a result of inaction by our attorney general and governor, Michigan families and businesses continue to bear all of the risk posed by this pipeline while Enbridge keeps raking in massive profits,” said Mariah Urueta, Food & Water Watch Michigan organizer. “Every day that passes without action from the attorney general and governor is one day closer to a disaster.”
“Repeated violations and neglect by Enbridge almost certainly damaged the pipeline, greatly increasing the risk of a disaster in the Great Lakes” - Sean McBrearty, Clean Water Action campaign organizer.
Enbridge has claimed the pipeline can operate indefinitely. However, its own inspection records show the pipeline has leaked 29 times in recent years along their full route. Earlier this week, 10 citizens’ organizations with the Oil & Water Don’t Mix campaign delivered a letter calling on Gov. Snyder and AG Schuette to reject Enbridge’s false assurances and protect the Great Lakes from the dangerous Line 5 Pipeline.
“Attorney General Schuette and Governor Snyder need to put the health and safety of Michigan families and the Great Lakes first, not give a free pass to Enbridge to bolster its massive profits,” said Greg Reisig, Co-chair of the Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council. “Schuette has said oil pipelines do not belong in our Great Lakes – and he’s right. He has the power to shut down Line 5, and he should do so immediately.”
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