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Add your name to these public comments to be submitted to Michigan state agencies by signing this petition.

PLEASE NOTE! The State of Michigan has closed the comment period. You may still sign the petition here, but the State of Michigan will not recieve your comment.

OWDMTake Action Now

Last June, the preliminary Line 5 Alternatives Study was released, and more than 23,000 people submitted their comment calling for the shutdown of Line 5 as the only alternative that will truly protect the Great Lakes from an oil spill. The revised and final Alternatives Study has just been released, which has triggered a second comment period that is now open.

Prevent a Catastrophic Great Lakes Oil Spill

The deadline for public comments is December 22, 2017, so please sign on and submit your comment today via this online form. Let's prevent a devastating oil spill in the Straits of Mackinac.

To the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Michigan Agency for Energy, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Governor, Michigan Attorney General, and Michigan Pipeline Safety Advisory Board:

I am writing to submit my official comment in response to the State of Michigan’s Line 5 final alternatives analysis dated October 26 and released on November 20. I am deeply disappointed in this final analysis. A draft alternatives report released in June was riddled with errors and omissions, and the final report contains most of the same failures.

This report fails to meet its overall purpose of “providing the State of Michigan and other interested parties with an independent, comprehensive analysis of alternatives to the existing Straits Pipelines, and the extent to which each alternative promotes the public health, safety, and welfare and protects the public trust resources of the Great Lakes.”

It lacks credibility because its author is Dynamic Risk, a firm with ties to Enbridge, the Canadian energy transport company that owns Line 5. Even worse, it absurdly underestimates the impact of a spill and ignores a viable alternative to Line 5 – use of existing infrastructure. An independent expert review in December 2015 documented the practicality of this alternative.

Decommissioning Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac is the only alternative that will prevent an oil spill with catastrophic consequences for the Great Lakes and the State of Michigan. Moreover, this final alternative report affirms that decommissioning is a feasible option with zero risks to the Great Lakes and minimal economic impacts to Michigan customers (e.g., two cents more at the gas pump and roughly 10 to 25 cents more for propane in the Upper Peninsula). 
It is time for the state to reject the flawed study, exercise its affirmative legal duty as public trustee of the Great Lakes and bottomlands, and shut down Line 5. The state should use that authority to revoke the 1953 easement agreement that Enbridge has consistently violated.

The risk of a spill is too great to allow Line 5 to continue to operate in the Great Lakes. Our state government should not put the Great Lakes, our economy, health, drinking water, fisheries, and way of life at risk from a catastrophic oil spill any longer. In fact, on November 16, the Coast Guard Coast commandant testified again to Congress that his agency is not prepared to clean up a large-scale pipeline oil spill in the Great Lakes.

I urge you to act as public trustees of our waters and bottomlands, enforce the easement in light of Enbridge’s ongoing violations, and begin the process of decommissioning Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac to protect the Great Lakes from a catastrophic oil spill. The State of Michigan has a legal duty to take this enforcement action. Enbridge’s ongoing violations cannot be remedied. It is time for the state to act decisively and with urgency.

Specifically, the report on alternatives to Line 5 in the Mackinac Straits:

  1. Fails to follow the recommendations and standards outlined in the Michigan Petroleum Pipeline Task Force Report, which resulted from a process created by the governor and co-chaired by the attorney general, and therefore cannot be used by the State of Michigan “in making decisions about the future of the Straits Pipelines.”
  2. Neglects to provide the state with an independent, fair analysis of the alternatives to Line 5 as required by the Task Force Report. This final report remains biased toward allowing Line 5 to continue to operate and/or allowing Enbridge to build new oil infrastructure in the Straits of Mackinac and further expand its operations. That bias grows out of past, and potentially future, business relationships between Enbridge and the report’s authors.
  3. Fails to analyze existing pipeline infrastructure as an alternative to Line 5 in the Straits, which the state required Dynamic Risk to analyze, and leaving it out conflicts with Task Force recommendation 3 (b). It is unacceptable that the contractor eliminated this alternative without any analysis. The 1953 easement granted with strict conditions by the state to Enbridge does not guarantee transport of 540,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil and natural gas liquids. In fact, the 1953 MPSC Order states 300,000 bpd, which means Enbridge is currently operating Line 5 at 80 percent over design capacity. 
  4. Fails to analyze new evidence disclosed by Enbridge affecting the pipeline’s integrity, including external corrosion, 48 bare metal spots caused by the installation of screw anchors, compromised cathodic protection, and historic excessive pipeline spans greater than the 75-feet limit (including a 286-foot span that was unsupported for years), as required by the legal operating agreement with the State of Michigan. Dynamic Risk’s rationale, in part, is that "it would be inappropriate to speculate on any of the above aspects of the coating condition."
  5. Fails to consider tribal sovereign treaty rights and feedback on the basis that Dynamic Risk was not a party to tribal and state consultations, which is an unacceptable dismissal of input by a key stakeholder. 
  6. Grossly underestimates the total economic spill costs at between $147 million and $310 million, when Enbridge’s cleanup costs of its 2010 Line 6B pipeline oil spill along a 40-mile stretch of the Kalamazoo River cost more than $1.2 billion.
  7. Overestimates an impact to propane supply, greatly exceeding what independent experts have determined would be necessary to provide the Upper Peninsula’s Rapid River facility with an alternative supply. The flawed report finds that up to 35 railcars per week or 15 truckloads per day would be necessary, while another study found it would take only one railcar or 3 - 4 truckloads per day to replace the Line 5 propane supply to the U.P.
  8. Continues to show an unfair bias towards building a tunneled pipeline in the Mackinac Straits. The report estimates a much lower cost for a tunnel than other estimates for this type of infrastructure; it fails to consider the risk of a spill to the Great Lakes, rivers and streams from other portions of the 64-year-old pipeline if the Straits portion were rebuilt. Dynamic Risk prefers new pipelines, which was evident when the firm aggressively promoted building a tunnel in its proposal to do this report, and its analysis is deeply flawed.


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Showing 3502 reactions

  • David Perk
    signed 2017-12-22 11:59:05 -0500
    The fresh Waters of our Great Lakes are a precious resource for future generations facing an unstable climate, they must be protected! The Straight is no place for a pipeline!
  • Susan Wood
    signed via 2017-12-22 11:55:13 -0500
  • Kyle Sullivan
    signed 2017-12-22 11:55:01 -0500
    Please do the right thing and remove Line 5. The Great Lakes are our heritage. Protect them.
  • Tom Baker
    signed 2017-12-22 11:53:42 -0500
    Dynamic Risk almost certainly has a huge conflict of interest in this case. Its findings should be disregarded. Line 5 needs to be shut now, or you will have your own Deepwater Horizon disaster on your hands!!
  • Jeff Kane
    signed via 2017-12-22 11:53:12 -0500
  • Linda Prostko
    signed 2017-12-22 11:44:17 -0500
  • Anthony Driza
    signed 2017-12-22 11:43:39 -0500
    We are blessed to have one of the best kept secrets in the world in our own backyard – the Straits of Mackinac. The area is beautiful beyond belief, and is one that should and must be protected at all costs. We are also cursed in that we have Enbridge, a company that has shown total disregard for the damage they have already caused with past spills and that has taken the position that a spill in the Straits is basically impossible. Reasonable people know better, and this line should be shut down once and for all. We cannot take such a reckless approach as that proposed by Enbridge – once the disaster happens, it will be too late. The economy of the area as well as the environment would suffer irreparable damage should this line be left intact. It’s not a question of ‘if’ it will fail, but ‘when’ it will fail.

    Thank you for your consideration!
  • Sharron Probyn
    signed 2017-12-22 11:42:28 -0500
    The Straits of Mackinac! A pipeline now 64 years old! How stupid to have allowed it to be placed in the first place. The largest source of fresh water in the WORLD! How idiotic can anyone get? This pipeline needs to be decommissioned NOW and FOREVER! We have all seen the damage that a break in a dirty oil pipeline can do on land and in rivers. Just think of the catastrophic damage it could do to the Great Lakes! Not only to our drinking water supply but to tourism and fishing and a hundred other reasons! The Straits of Mackinac spill would be catastrophic to ALL of the lakes because it goes into all of them from there. It could endanger not only Michigan but Wisconsin, Canada and its tributaries. Decommission that pipeline FOREVER and do it NOW. Thank you.
  • Ken Ford
    signed 2017-12-22 11:40:28 -0500
  • Christina Kolberg
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-12-22 11:38:14 -0500
    PLEASE, JOIN ME: Tell the State of Michigan to protect the Great Lakes & SHUT DOWN LINE 5. Last day to comment!
  • Linda Wynbeek
    signed 2017-12-22 11:35:28 -0500
    We simply must act in the best interest our incredibly beautiful yet so vulnerable fresh water Great Lakes!

    SHUT DOWN LINE 5 !!!
  • Lynn Hailey
    signed 2017-12-22 11:35:25 -0500
    Shocked that Dynamic Risk, the company that produced the study has worked with Enbridge in the past, worked with them during the investigation, and will work with them after this.

    Shocked that the study dismissed the obvious alternative viable option of sending oil through other existing pipelines instead of through the Great Lakes.

    Shocked that the report failed to follow the recommendations and standards outlined in the Michigan Petroleum Pipeline Task Force Report.

    Over 23,000 of us submitted our comment calling for the shutdown of Line 5 in August. Now, they released the final Line 5 Alternatives Study, and it is no better than the preliminary, draft version. We are once again shocked that the final study does not take into account recent news of 48 bare metal spots caused by the installation of screw anchors, and of the resulting compromised cathodic protection of this pipeline.
  • Bruce Woodburn
    signed 2017-12-22 11:35:22 -0500
    My wife and I moved from Illinois along the banks of the muddy Mississippi to the upper peninsula of Michigan to live on the pristine clear water of Lake Michigan. We do not want to see the lakes become contaminated with oil that could spill from a break in Line 5. Close that pipeline now, and utilize other lines to pump oil to its destinations.

    Thank you,

    Bruce Woodburn
  • Jacqueline Olivia Moleski
    signed via 2017-12-22 11:32:47 -0500
  • Kristin Wildensee
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-12-22 11:32:43 -0500
    JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5.
  • Kristin Wildensee
    @KristinWildens1 tweeted link to this page. 2017-12-22 11:32:41 -0500
    JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5. http://www.oilandwaterdontmix.org/submit_your_line_5_comment?recruiter_id=56087
  • Kristin Wildensee
    signed 2017-12-22 11:31:47 -0500
  • Stephen Parks
    signed 2017-12-22 11:31:29 -0500
    The Great Lakes are an invaluable asset to the state of Michigan and need to be protected. There is no sense in taking any risk that could resulted in them getting polluted.
  • Geraldine Page
    signed via 2017-12-22 11:28:30 -0500
    Also, remind Congress to act on CHIP so the residents of Flint can at least get the water replaced in their houses and possibly a filtration system.
  • Sandie Conrad
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-12-22 11:27:43 -0500
    Can't eat money & can't drink oil. End Line 5 safely and irrevocably! NOW. JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5.
  • Robert Melendy
    signed via 2017-12-22 11:27:34 -0500
    Robert Melendy
  • Peter Koda
    signed 2017-12-22 11:25:57 -0500
    We need to protect our Great Great Lakes Now
  • Jim Maturen
    signed 2017-12-22 11:25:52 -0500
    Over these past few years has lied and cheated on the safety of Line 5. There has been enough politics played to last a lifetime. Enbridge has a horrible record of oil spills. The risk to the Great Lakes from this aging pipeline is too great. Decommission it and shit it down.
  • Diane Rehak
    signed 2017-12-22 11:25:03 -0500
    Please care more for the water flowing around and over this pipeline than the oil running through it. We can find alternatives to the fuel but not to the water. Think about this in a sane and caring way not just in terms of $$$$$$$$$$$$. Thank you
  • Sandra C.
    signed 2017-12-22 11:24:46 -0500
    You won’t be able to eat money, and none of us can drink oil, or it’s polluted remains. Line 5 is an absolute hazard to the Mackinac Straits, and the people of Michigan DEMAND that it is closed down, drained and removed without consequences that are irreparable to this beautiful gift for Michigan. Be good to ganders!
  • Simon Ren
    signed 2017-12-22 11:24:20 -0500
    From my experience as a professional engineer, there are two types of infrastructure: Those that have failed and those that will fail. It is only a matter of when and how severe the consequences.
  • Carol Carter
    signed 2017-12-22 11:21:48 -0500
    There’s no way that an oil pipeline, crossing the largest concentration of fresh water in the world, is a good idea. It needs to be stopped now, and when scientists and environmental engineers have a good plan, review it with the people and move on that. This is far too important to be left to chance, or the honor system of the company profiting from it!!
  • Jason Rios
    signed 2017-12-22 11:21:35 -0500
  • Jean Silbar
    signed via 2017-12-22 11:20:39 -0500
    Oil and water do not mix. Shut down Line 5.
  • Robert Stegmier
    signed 2017-12-22 11:17:41 -0500

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