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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.

 

6,265 COMMENTS
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Showing 3880 reactions

  • Erin Lareau
    signed 2017-12-27 14:17:56 -0500
    please look out fo the public good
  • Jesse Warner
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-12-27 14:11:18 -0500
    JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5.
  • Jesse Warner
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-12-27 14:11:17 -0500
    JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5.
  • Jesse Warner
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-12-27 14:11:13 -0500
    JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5.
  • Jesse Warner
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-12-27 14:11:12 -0500
    JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5.
  • Jesse Warner
    signed 2017-12-27 14:10:57 -0500
    This is the single biggest issue of our generation as we take steps to heal our relationship with mother earth. The great lakes are the biggest fresh water collection on planet earth and we must protect them in order to preserve our way of life.
  • Marie Kung
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-12-27 09:45:46 -0500
    JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5.
  • Marie Kung
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-12-27 09:45:42 -0500
    JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5.
  • Marie Kung
    signed 2017-12-27 09:45:26 -0500
    Marie Kung water is life we do not need fossil fuels we are in climate crisis.
  • Judith Eberline
    signed 2017-12-26 23:15:24 -0500
    keep our Great Lakes free of oil spills. I have lived on the Lake Huron and the beach is great, clean and a place to call my own, Greenbush !!!
  • Sara Goodell
    signed via 2017-12-26 10:54:45 -0500
  • John Greathouse
    signed via 2017-12-26 08:17:13 -0500
    Would you drive a car built in 1960 back and forth to Lansing and Ann Arbor everyday and not expect it to leave you stranded on the side of the road?

    Doubt it so why are we expecting a ttpipeline that is well past it’s design life span that is showing signs of stress and lack of maintenance not to do the same?


    Failure of this pipeline under the Straights would cause so much damage that it would take our kids and grandkids lifetimes to clean up if not longer!

    This is the largest fresh water source in the world, why risk it?
  • Lesley Howe
    signed via 2017-12-25 17:24:23 -0500
  • Anthony Trayser
    signed 2017-12-25 14:14:43 -0500
    As Ed Timm, the most comprehensively studied expert on pipelines and this pipeline has demonstrated with comprehensive analysis and study, the threat of Line 5 to the Great Lakes extends its entire length, across the hundreds of streams and rivers all leading to the Great Lakes. As he has pointed out oil pipelines eventually leak, and this one will one day destroy our key natural resource. This simple powerful logic is self evident and yet missing.


    .

    The oversight allowed by Enbridge of the committee charged with regulating it and protecting our waters, was the key fundamental flaw of setting up of the study committee. which became evident as they dominated most of the committee’s input, and sidelined the most representative people appointed and minimized independent expertise.

    .

    We strongly urge members of the Advisory Panel to express their skepticism to the report, when a far better firm, from the Midwest, was available, with far more expertise to the Great Lakes, and true independence, which would have accurately projected the risks, and would have without self interest, advised a prudent path away from this disastrous course

    .

    With the greatest risk to the Great Lakes extending all across the State, with pipelines inevitable to fail and most likely to fail at the crossing points hidden below rivers lakes and streams, all of which empty into the Great Lakes, the problem will persist until that fundamental problem is erased by decommissioning the aged line.

    .

    Without removing that risk by decommissioning the line, the inevitable disaster will linger over us until it occurs. Have your efforts NOT be in vain.. The people of the State of Michigan deserve better than a flawed study and alternative analysis which fail to point to the most obvious conclusion: a line endangering our existential resource must be ended, and alternatives found which do not endanger our future.
  • Joe Henne
    signed 2017-12-25 13:12:14 -0500
    I do not trust the Snyder -shuteye government SIGNIF CHANGES HAVE TO BE MADE OTHERWISE WE WILL NOT AVERT A catastrophe
  • Charlene Ormsby
    signed 2017-12-25 12:03:55 -0500
  • David Bennis
    signed via 2017-12-25 10:18:56 -0500
  • Caylie Davis
    signed 2017-12-25 00:20:44 -0500
  • Marilyn Pikaart
    signed 2017-12-24 18:21:05 -0500
  • James A. Stover
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-12-24 16:01:38 -0500
    JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5.
  • James A. Stover
    signed 2017-12-24 16:01:24 -0500
  • Patricia Dinges
    signed via 2017-12-24 15:27:12 -0500
    Fails to follow recommendations and standards outlined in the Michigan Petroleum Task Force Report.
  • Matthew Posner
    signed 2017-12-24 13:28:54 -0500
    December 13, 2017

    I am the president of the League of Women Voters Leelanau County. I live in Leelanau County. We reside on a peninsula with 100 miles of shoreline jutting into Lake Michigan. It is about 70 nautical miles from the Straits of Mackinac.

    Last year the Leelanau League sought and secured resolutions from 8 local government bodies in Leelanau County expressing concern over the risks posed by Pipeline 5.

    The League of Women Voters of Michigan has nearly 2500 members and is active in 25 counties in Michigan, many of which border the Great Lakes. The position of the League of Women Voters Michigan remains unchanged:

    The State must terminate the easement allowing Enbridge to use the lake bed for Line 5, whether above ground or through the newly proposed underground tunnel.

    The agreement reached solely between Enbridge and Governor Snyder last month offers some protections, but it was made without consultation of the Governor’s own Pipeline Safety Advisory Board and before these scheduled public meetings.

    Bear in mind that Pipeline 5 occupies publicly owned waters and bottomlands. The threat of a catastrophic oil pipeline rupture to the Great Lakes is of tremendous controversy and has generated an extraordinary level of public engagement.

    The voice of the people, and not backroom deals, should be determining the future of the Great Lakes and its protection for future generations.

    Thank you for your consideration

    Marian Kromkowski, LWVLC, President
  • Anne Kiley
    signed via 2017-12-24 12:01:04 -0500
  • Lauren Shear
    signed via 2017-12-24 11:27:38 -0500
  • Robert Bailey
    signed via 2017-12-24 11:15:57 -0500
    Robert Bailey
  • Lynn Kowalewski
    signed via 2017-12-24 11:13:24 -0500
  • Leigh Fryling
    signed via 2017-12-24 05:50:44 -0500
  • Tukuur Leal
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-12-24 05:43:23 -0500
    JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5.
  • Isaias Leal
    signed via 2017-12-24 05:43:04 -0500

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