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.

3,653 SIGNATURES
Goal: 4,000 signatures

Will you sign?


Showing 3529 reactions

  • John Dillworth
    signed via 2016-08-28 17:21:16 -0400
  • Lisette de Lange
    signed 2016-08-28 17:19:49 -0400
  • Emma Nyquist
    signed via 2016-08-28 17:19:44 -0400
  • Catherine Pleak
    signed via 2016-08-28 17:18:12 -0400
  • Kathleen Roberts
    signed via 2016-08-28 17:12:04 -0400
  • Kristin Ellingsen
    signed via 2016-08-28 17:06:33 -0400
  • Alejandro Absentia
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-08-28 17:06:27 -0400
    I just signed the NEW petition to help protect the Great Lakes from a devastating oil spill. Will you join me?
  • Jeffrey Martin
    signed 2016-08-28 17:06:09 -0400
  • Michelangelo Ivone
    signed via 2016-08-28 17:05:26 -0400
  • Shirley Hurlin
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-08-28 16:59:32 -0400
    I just signed the NEW petition to help protect the Great Lakes from a devastating oil spill. Will you join me?
  • Shirley Hurlin
    signed via 2016-08-28 16:59:12 -0400
  • Chandra Bowman
    signed 2016-08-28 16:59:08 -0400
    There are renewable alternatives to oil. There is no alternative to water. Shut Line 5 down and leave the oil in the ground.
  • Susan  E. Dion
    signed via 2016-08-28 16:58:53 -0400
  • Teresa Burch
    signed via 2016-08-28 16:57:36 -0400
    Teresa Ellen Burch Get rid of the pipeline under the Straits! Don’t ruin our Great Lakes!
  • Marsha Walton
    signed 2016-08-28 16:50:24 -0400
  • Theresa Kelly
    signed via 2016-08-28 16:47:51 -0400
  • Lynne Zalenski
    signed via 2016-08-28 16:47:34 -0400
    One crack or spill will KILL our Great Lakes…. NO to Enbridge!!!! 😡😡
  • Leesha Fagan
    signed 2016-08-28 16:47:06 -0400
    Already in violation of safety requirements and wanting to add 10% greater pressure on this pipeline that is past its expiration date??? NO!!! This poses and clear and present danger to the greatest body of fresh water in the world, the Great Lakes Basin. NO pipelines in or near the Great Lakes!!! The DEQ MUST protect our waters!!!
  • Sarah Harrington
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-08-28 16:44:57 -0400
    I just signed the NEW petition to help protect the Great Lakes from a devastating oil spill. Will you join me?
  • Sarah Harrington
    signed via 2016-08-28 16:44:27 -0400
  • Barbara Miller
    signed 2016-08-28 16:36:22 -0400
  • Margaret McGuinness
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-08-28 16:34:21 -0400
    I just signed the NEW petition to help protect the Great Lakes from a devastating oil spill. Will you join me?
  • Margaret McGuinness
    signed via 2016-08-28 16:34:03 -0400
  • James Sherman
    signed 2016-08-28 16:16:18 -0400
    JAMES SHERMAN
  • Troy Congdon
    signed via 2016-08-28 15:48:40 -0400
  • Lauren Lunder
    signed via 2016-08-28 15:47:58 -0400
  • Kassy Heard
    signed via 2016-08-28 15:44:06 -0400
  • Alexander Michell
    signed via 2016-08-28 15:44:03 -0400
  • Nancy Dargan
    signed via 2016-08-28 15:40:08 -0400
  • Leslie Suitor
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-08-28 15:37:45 -0400
    I just signed the NEW petition to help protect the Great Lakes from a devastating oil spill. Will you join me?

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