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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

  • Harriett Bradford
    signed 2017-12-22 10:12:20 -0500
    Once contaminants are in the water s of these Great lakes, they will be there FOREVER. Ths pipeline needs to be shut down now.
  • Nancy Bedell
    signed 2017-12-22 10:12:07 -0500
    Enbridge’s 40-year-old Line 5 under the Straits of Mackinac between Lake Huron and Lake Michigan should be decommissioned, because the Michigan Pipeline Safety Advisory Board calls for the shutdown.


    Governor Snyder preempted the report of the Advisory Board and let the pipeline continue functioning without consulting the board.
    The pipeline should be shutdown until full inspection and repair is made of all the bare steel and coating breaches. Enbridge has identified 40 gaps in the line.



    An oil spill at the Straits would cause pollution of two of the Great Lakes and cause irreparable damage to Michigan’s water supplies, tourism and natural features with oil contaminating beaches, estuaries and rivers.


    Shutdown Enbridge’s Line 5 now until repairs have been completed! r
  • Stuart Black
    signed 2017-12-22 10:11:19 -0500
  • Don Van Duren
    signed 2017-12-22 10:10:44 -0500
    This is too too big a risk to trust this company and it’s lackies, with their proven history of failure pollution, neglect, deception. Stop this madness now and prevent the inevitable disaster ahead. Dilution it NOT a cure for pollution.
  • Mindy Miner
    signed 2017-12-22 10:10:37 -0500
    Let’s have a new starting point. Let’s imagine that Line 5 isn’t an option and we would never consider putting a pipeline under our Great Lakes. Other good options are available. We just need the will to pursue them. Let’s start now!
  • Frank Sapio
    signed 2017-12-22 10:08:57 -0500
    Decommissioning Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac is the only sure alternative that will prevent an oil spill with catastrophic consequences for the Great Lakes and the State of Michigan. History is very clear here and very relevant, why would the people of Michigan tolerate such a huge risk?
  • Bill Storrer
    signed 2017-12-22 10:07:39 -0500
    Since Line 5 serves Canada, not Michigan, shut it down.
  • Mike Larson
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-12-22 10:06:49 -0500
    JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5.
  • Linda Shirkey
    signed 2017-12-22 10:06:37 -0500
    This process has been incomplete and biased. We need a full analysis of ALL alternatives including shutting down the line under the Straits. The risk of a major catastrophe is too great and the reward of keeping the line under the Straits is too small.
  • Bethany Margaret Sheffer
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-12-22 10:05:30 -0500
    JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5.
  • Bethany Sheffer
    signed 2017-12-22 10:05:07 -0500
    Haven’t we seen enough of this scenario play out to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that spills ARE GOING TO HAPPEN? Leadership: I’m sick of your bullshit and so are countless others. Get your heads out of your asses and start DOING SOMETHING to protect our invaluable natural resources instead of lining your pockets. If this is supposed to be such a great nation, why are the people and the natural environment continually getting screwed? For once, DO THE RIGHT THING!
  • Mark Rogers
    signed 2017-12-22 10:04:53 -0500
    Immediately shutting down line 5 is not a realistic option, so what is the organization’s next plan?
  • Linda Sophiasworth
    signed 2017-12-22 10:04:50 -0500
    Please consider the economic future of real Michigan citizens
  • Paul Vial
    signed 2017-12-22 10:04:47 -0500
  • Sharon Andre
    signed 2017-12-22 10:04:37 -0500
    we are stewards of the land which we must maintain and improve for our children. stop raping our planet Sharon J Andre
  • Joseph Gauthier
    signed 2017-12-22 10:01:47 -0500
  • Jim Morrison
    signed 2017-12-22 10:01:11 -0500
    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.
  • Diane Kaser
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-12-22 09:59:12 -0500
    JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5.
  • Diane Kaser
    signed 2017-12-22 09:59:01 -0500
    This must be shut down now!!!
  • Michael Kennedy
    signed 2017-12-22 09:57:48 -0500
    The Great Lakes are a national treasure and no amount of easy oil is worth the risk of a spill or a leak. We already have seen what greed costs in other natural environments.
  • James Bush
    signed 2017-12-22 09:56:47 -0500
  • Gary Michael Faley
    signed 2017-12-22 09:55:37 -0500
  • Patrick and Dana Kraft
    signed 2017-12-22 09:55:37 -0500
    PLEASE PROTECT OUR FRESH WATER! SHUT IT DOWN!
  • Diane Johnson
    signed 2017-12-22 09:54:33 -0500
  • Maryann Borden
    signed 2017-12-22 09:54:09 -0500
    We shouldn’t have to point out the enormity of the disaster that will take place when the pipeline fails. It speaks to the criminality of allowing it to continue! Unfortunately we are the only stewards of the environment. We need to hear from the fish, birds, deer, etc as to the effects an oil spill will have on their survival!
  • Ann Hollingshead-Hunter
    signed 2017-12-22 09:53:55 -0500
    Line 5 needs to be shut down and brought up to standards, replacing aged parts! Prevention is the best policy! There is NO excuse for taking a risk of contaminating the waters of the Great Lakes, the largest fresh waters in the world! There’s no alternative for fresh water! I grew up in Michigan and continue to be a property owner there. I am angry that business and their profits are being allowed by government to overshadow the protection of the environment and residence surrounding the lakes! Bias studies that have connections to the profiting corporations, lose credibility with their slanted findings! It’s time to do what is morally right!
  • John Lorand
    signed 2017-12-22 09:52:24 -0500
    Enbridge has a poor safety record. A spill at the Straits of Mackinac will devastate Lakes Huron and Michigan for decades. The risk is not worth it. Please do the right thing.

    Thank you.
  • Jane Grooa
    signed 2017-12-22 09:50:55 -0500
    Please protect our few remaining natural places…the risk of a spill with line 5 is very high
  • Luis Contreras
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-12-22 09:50:25 -0500
    JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5.
  • Cindy Garwood
    signed 2017-12-22 09:49:46 -0500

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