Take Action

Add your name to these public comments to be submitted to MDEQ on August 28, by signing the petition to the right.

After violating its easement agreement with the state for at least the second time, Enbridge Energy Partners wants a new permit from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to install Line 5 pipeline anchors in the Straits of Mackinac.

Join us in asking the MDEQ as part of its permit conditions to do a comprehensive review of Enbridge's pipelines and investigate all violations of the easement agreement by Enbridge.

To the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality:

We, the undersigned residents of Michigan, are writing in reference to the request by Enbridge Energy Partners for a permit to install anchors on Line 5 pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac under joint application 2HB-VGKO-35JE with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (“MDEQ”) and United States Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”).

We urgently request that as part of this permit application process the MDEQ undertake a formal comprehensive review of impacts and alternatives associated with Enbridge’s entire Line 5 pipeline in the Straits and waters and bottomlands of the Great Lakes. This is the second time in two years that Enbridge has violated the 1953 Easement provision requiring a 75-foot maximum unsupported span. Contrary to Enbridge’s assertions, these additional anchors are not mere “preventative maintenance.” Rather, these stabilizing anchors along the bottomlands of the Great Lakes are part of Enbridge’s overall expansion plan that has enabled this private corporation to expand crude oil transport by 80 percent and increase pressure by 10 percent along the entire 645 miles of Line 5. Accordingly, the MDEQ and the Corps must review potential impacts and alternatives as is required under state (Great Lakes Submerged Lands Act (“GLSLA”), Michigan Environmental Protection Act (“MEPA”), public trust law) and federal (Clean Water Act, Rivers and Harbors Act, National Environmental Protection Act (“NEPA”)) laws.

In addition, because Enbridge is currently in violation of at least 4 known anchor supports, we request the State of Michigan to conduct a formal comprehensive assessment of all violations by Enbridge of its 1953 easement agreement with the state allowing this Canadian transport company to operate risky, dangerous oil pipelines in the turbulent Straits of Mackinac.

In November 2014, Enbridge claimed in a letter to the State of Michigan that it was in compliance with the easement agreement’s requirement that no section of the Straits pipelines greater than 75 feet were unsupported by anchors. In its request to install additional anchors under the proposed permit, Enbridge has admitted this is untrue and that it is in violation of its easement agreement with the state.

Moreover, since April 2016 the MDEQ has been made aware of at least seven additional violations of the easement agreement by Enbridge, including:

  • Concealing information about cracks, dents, and rust with continued, sweeping assertions and misrepresentations that the Straits pipelines are in “excellent condition, almost as new as when they were built and installed” and have “no observed corrosion.” Of the nine rust spots on the eastern Straits pipeline, corrosion has eaten away 26 percent of the pipeline’s wall thickness in a 7-inch-long area, according to newly released company data.
  • Failing to meet the pipeline wall thickness requirement due to manufacturing defects. Newly released Enbridge data reveals that manufacturing defects in the 1950s resulted in pipeline wall thickness of less than half an inch in perhaps hundreds of sections and up to 41% less thick than mandated on the west Straits pipeline. Enbridge continues to boast about its “nearly one-inch-thick walls of Line 5’s steel pipe traveling under the Straits.”
  • Failing to meet the “reasonably prudent person” provision by claiming that its steel pipelines lying underwater just west of the Mackinac Bridge since 1953 can last forever and do not require a plan for eventual decommissioning. The 63-year-old pipelines were built to last 50 years.
  • Failing to demonstrate adequate liability insurance, maintain required coating and wood-slat covering to prevent rust and abrasion, adequately support the pipeline resulting in stressed and deformed segments, and adhere to federal emergency spill response and state environmental protection laws, including Act 10 of P.A. 1953, the GLSLA, the MEPA, and public trust law.

Enbridge’s Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac carries up to 23 million gallons of oil a day, posing an unacceptable risk to the Great Lakes, our northern Michigan tourist economy, and a safe drinking water source for 30 million people. The State of Michigan has a duty under public trust law, the Great Lakes Submerged Lands Act and the Michigan Environmental Protection Act to ensure the protection of the Great Lakes, including, in this case, compliance by Enbridge with all conditions of its easement agreement for operating Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac.

We believe it is a critically important that the MDEQ and other state agencies, as a condition of this requested permit, require Enbridge to cooperate in a thorough investigation by the State of Michigan into the condition of Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac and the status of Enbridge’s compliance with the 1953 easement agreement.

We also request that the MDEQ undertake a formal public hearing on Enbridge’s permit request as provided in Section 32514 of the GLSLA and R 322.1017 (Rule 17), along with proper notice and additional time for public comment.

Help Reach the Next Goal: 4,000 signatures

Will you sign?

Showing 2917 reactions

  • Mary Vietzke
    signed via 2016-08-26 20:28:49 -0400
  • James LaForest
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-08-26 20:27:28 -0400
    I just signed the NEW petition to help protect the Great Lakes from a devastating oil spill. Will you join me?
  • James LaForest
    signed via 2016-08-26 20:27:00 -0400
    As a native of Northern Lower Michigan (Cheboygan County) I have a deeply personal attachment to the Straits of Mackinac. The potential of a rupture of the oil line under the Straits would not just be an environmental disaster for the region, it would destroy the traditional cultures of the area: the Native American communities who have lived there for centuries; the French-Canadian culture that has been part of the Straits region since the 1600s; the summer resort communities which have been in place since the 19th century and the many towns which have grown there since Michigan became a state. The historical sites on the Straits are yet another element of the regional culture that would face untold harm due to the negligence that defines Enbridge. All we need to do is look at the harm done to traditional communities in Louisiana after the BP disaster or along the Alaska coast. Shut it down and remove the risk.
  • David Goolsby
    signed via 2016-08-26 20:24:59 -0400
  • Jill Stiegler
    signed via 2016-08-26 20:23:32 -0400
  • Mary Hall
    signed via 2016-08-26 20:05:47 -0400
  • Jacquelyn Kendall
    signed via 2016-08-26 20:04:43 -0400
  • Karen Nielsen
    signed via 2016-08-26 20:03:53 -0400
    Karen Nielsen
  • Calvin Kroon
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-08-26 20:01:39 -0400
    I just signed the NEW petition to help protect the Great Lakes from a devastating oil spill. Will you join me?
  • Calvin Kroon
    signed via 2016-08-26 20:01:26 -0400
  • Jason LeBlanc
    signed via 2016-08-26 19:58:40 -0400
  • Jeri Jacobs
    signed via 2016-08-26 19:58:24 -0400
  • Phil Bellfy
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-08-26 19:54:15 -0400
    I just signed the NEW petition to help protect the Great Lakes from a devastating oil spill. Will you join me?
  • Phil Bellfy
    signed 2016-08-26 19:54:00 -0400
    Due to the flagrant violations of Enbridge’s easement, the State should shut down Line 5 immediately.

    No second chances for flagrant law-breakers!
  • Jeremy Manning
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-08-26 19:47:52 -0400
    I just signed the NEW petition to help protect the Great Lakes from a devastating oil spill. Will you join me?
  • Jeremy Manning
    signed via 2016-08-26 19:46:56 -0400
  • Jennifer Trombley
    signed via 2016-08-26 19:45:55 -0400
  • Suzanne Atwood
    signed via 2016-08-26 19:38:34 -0400
  • Patricia Hirst
    signed via 2016-08-26 19:38:02 -0400
  • Jim Littlefield
    signed 2016-08-26 19:36:06 -0400
    Pipelines in the Lakes are an accident waiting to happen. They can destroy an entire eco-system that can never be replaced.
  • Gloria Defilippi
    signed via 2016-08-26 19:33:55 -0400
    Get the pipelines out of the lakes— Enbridge has made tons of money off of us— let them find an alternative route. The pipeline is at the end of it’s lifespan. If it ruptures do you really think they can clean it up? The damage will be catastrophic and last a lifetime.
  • Margaret Hanley
    signed via 2016-08-26 19:30:29 -0400
  • Jeanne Schaller
    signed 2016-08-26 19:21:10 -0400
    It is not about only about saving waterfront property. It is about saving the largest fresh water watershed in the world from the Great Lakes Basin to the Gaspe (Bay of St Lawrence).
  • Belinda Rachman
    signed via 2016-08-26 19:16:22 -0400
  • Susan Gothman
    signed 2016-08-26 19:06:40 -0400
  • Donna Hepfinger
    signed via 2016-08-26 19:03:08 -0400
  • Kirk and Judy McBride
    signed via 2016-08-26 18:57:17 -0400
    There are no safe acceptable options other than to shut down line #5.
  • Suzanne Beauregard
    signed via 2016-08-26 18:56:37 -0400
    I think it is important to keep the process moving forward on a fast pace. Those existing pipelines are extremely aged and could rupture causing pollution in the largest fresh drinking water resource we have. This would be worse than the water issue in Flint, MI. We need to be proactive, not reactive.
  • Mary M Hall
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-08-26 18:28:18 -0400
    I just signed the NEW petition to help protect the Great Lakes from a devastating oil spill. Will you join me?
  • Ken Gothman
    signed via 2016-08-26 18:25:09 -0400
    Ken Gothman

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