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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 3880 reactions

  • Renee Puranen
    signed 2017-12-22 19:10:16 -0500
    Didn’t you learn anything from Flint Mr Snyder?
  • Christian Latuszek
    signed 2017-12-22 18:52:01 -0500
    SAVE OUR GREAT LAKES! Shut down line 5!!!!
  • Matt Brzezinski
    signed 2017-12-22 18:49:33 -0500
  • Remi Bruell
    signed 2017-12-22 18:48:15 -0500
    Shut this down! It is doing nothing to help the environment whatsoever!
  • Jane Speer
    signed 2017-12-22 18:44:03 -0500
    I was deeply troubled, if not insulted and outraged, that Governor Snyder went ahead and negotiated an agreement with Enbridge Energy Partners several days after release of the final version of the Line 5 Independent Alternative Analysis Report and prior to any public comment period. I consider his action an attempt to gag the public and devalue any say we might have in protecting the Great Lakes.


    Regarding the final recommendations of the Dynamic Risk Alternative Analysis report, I believe that it is biased and narrow inscope. For example, the report states that it would be more expensive to decommission Line 5 than to build an oil tunnel under the Straits to house the pipeline. How does this make any kind of sense?


    The whole idea of building a tunnel is problematic for several reasons: (1) it ignores the feasible alternative of using existing pipeline infrastructure around the Great Lakes, (2) remains still vulnerable to spills because of corrosion and human error, and (3) contradicts Michigan’s legal policy against oil and gas drilling in the Great Lakes.


    In conclusion, we should have made a decision on Line 5 this summer. We had plenty of technical and scientific analysis data to reference, for example, The Technical Update Note on Enbridge Energy Partners and Line 5, completed by Dr. Edward Timm (July – November, 2018) which clearly outlines Line 5’s potential for disaster.


    Instead of moving toward a plan to uphold the public trust by protecting our state’s most valuable resource, the governor has placed us right back into the untrustworthy hands of Enbridge.


    Enbridge is rewarded for their regulatory neglect while the people of Michigan face a disaster comparable to the Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.


    Janet Fairchild

    Northeastern Michigan

    People for Social Justice Environmental

    Committee, Alpena, Michigan
  • Claire Donovan
    signed 2017-12-22 18:43:52 -0500
    Come on elected officials!!! The people of Michigan have spoken….again, again and again!! What will it take for you to listen…loss of position, an oil spill???DO THE RIGHT THING!! My vote hinges on what happens to this pipeline.
  • Catherine Daligga
    signed 2017-12-22 18:41:50 -0500
    Devastating environmental disasters don’t just happen, they are the result of either cutting corners for profit, or basing decisions on slanted and flawed studies like this one, designed to support a pre-ordained conclusion, regardless of the real risks, and of other more viable alternatives.
  • Gary Twardowski
    signed 2017-12-22 18:39:35 -0500
    Shut down line 5 NOW!
  • Peggy Ferro
    signed 2017-12-22 18:36:06 -0500
    Prevent a Great Lakes catastrophe, close Line 5
  • Rebecca Kennedy
    signed 2017-12-22 18:29:11 -0500
    Given Enbridge’s abysmal failure’s to date and the condition of the decades-old pipeline, it is not a question of if, but when a spill will occur.


    I am at a loss. What could possibly justify endangering the Great Lakes?

    What happened in Kalamazoo was horrifying, and there’s no reason to believe that it won’t happen here.
    There is an abundance of data. Consider it. There are people who know what they’re talking about. Listen to them. There are other feasible options. Choose one. Or several. Make it work.


    Shut down the 5.
  • Sandra Xenakis
    signed via 2017-12-22 18:14:21 -0500
    Line 5 is a disaster waiting to happen. The oil that runs through this old, fast deteriorating line doesn’t even benefit Michiganders. PLEASE shut down Line 5 NOW.
  • Shaina Alvesteffer
    signed 2017-12-22 18:08:08 -0500
  • Ethyl Rivera
    signed 2017-12-22 18:03:31 -0500
    We are tired of the Governor, the Attorney General, the DEQ and others in Lansing flagrantly shirking their responsibilities to protect the public health and general welfare of the people of Michigan as expressed in the Constitution of Michigan. Constantly delaying, studying and making deals with Endbridge that do nothing but prolong the grossly unstable and fragile status of this pipeline.


    It is beyond time for shutting down this pipeline. It is your duty to the people of Michigan and our Great Lakes neighbors to not only consider, but to take the only safe alternative and SHUT IT DOWN NOW.
  • Lesley Miller
    signed 2017-12-22 18:02:22 -0500
    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. Shut down line 5.
  • Brian LaBatte
    signed 2017-12-22 17:59:22 -0500
    i Brian LaBatte say No to line 5.
  • Nancy Schwartz
    signed 2017-12-22 17:57:06 -0500
    Shut down Line 5! Protect the Great Lakes!
  • Timothy McGrew
    signed 2017-12-22 17:48:21 -0500
  • Sally Erickson
    signed via text message 2017-12-22 17:47:00 -0500
    PLEASE GET RID OF THE POTENTIAL FOR A PIPELINE OIL SPILL. HOW? BY SHUTTING DOWN ANY PIPE CARRYING OUL UNDER THE LARGEST RESERVOIR OF FRESH WATER ON THE GLOBE. STOP
  • Chris Soderman
    signed 2017-12-22 17:33:21 -0500
    I along with my wife, our children and grandchildren hope to swim and fish in front of our home on Lake Huron in the Les Cheneaux Islands for years to come. Shutting down Line 5 is the only we can be sure this will be always possible. It was designed and built with a service life of 30-40 in 1953…..it’s 2017 now. What is hard to figure out about this…..it’s not if it will fail, but rather when. Please shut it down before the worlds largest source of fresh water is destroyed.
  • Josh Kofflin
    signed via 2017-12-22 17:27:42 -0500
    The great lakes will be damage if line five keeps on going., Variables are there for issues with the line five.
  • Wayne Say
    followed this page 2017-12-22 17:23:36 -0500
  • William Rand
    signed 2017-12-22 17:22:02 -0500
    Is Enbridge promising to cover 100% of the cost of the economic impact when a disaster occurs?
  • Sidney Kardon
    signed 2017-12-22 17:21:24 -0500
    Sidney Kardon
  • Alexis Reid
    signed 2017-12-22 17:21:10 -0500
    Shut down pipeline 5. Please be proactive and protect our beautiful state and natural resource!
  • Kate Warner
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-12-22 17:20:25 -0500
    JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5.
  • Frank Hurt
    signed 2017-12-22 17:19:20 -0500
  • Kate P Warner
    signed 2017-12-22 17:18:38 -0500
    Endangering the Great Lakes is not a RISK that can be tolerated! We must SHUTDOWN Line 5!
  • Patricia J. Abraham
    signed 2017-12-22 17:06:55 -0500
    Come up with an alternative or shut line 5 down before an accident happens in the Great Lakes. You, Governor Snyder will not be able to plead ignorance like you did with Flint’s water supply.
  • Karen Turnbull
    signed 2017-12-22 17:05:51 -0500
    RE: Alternative study and decisions about Enbridge Pipeline 5


    As I begin to celebrate this special Christmas time of the year with my family and friends, I always look back upon the year at the optimistic and wonderful things that have happened.

    I also examine “what went wrong with certain aspects in my life” and how can I improve the situation in 2018.

    Reflecting on this year, the health and safety of the WATER in my neighborhood, only 40 feet from my home on Beaver Island is threatened. And all of the research and work that I have accomplished to let more people know about the FACTS of this issue – have gone in vain as a result of Governor Snyder making “a deal” behind closed doors and ignoring the faulty Alternative study.


    This is my preliminary list of what I will I do this coming year to address the current “illegal” activity happening with Enbridge Pipeline 5 that YOU are entrusted under the Public Trust Doctrine to PROTECT:


    1. I will amp up my educational/organizational efforts. I will tell as many people as I can that “Decommissioning Line 5” and stopping the flow of crude oil under the total 645 miles of Pipeline 5, is the only credible alternative that will protect the Great Lakes for generations to come. When I mention to anyone that “Canadian oil through a Canadian pipeline to a Canadian refinery” doesn’t make economic or environmental sense for Michigan, 95% agree!!


    2. I will double-up my work to ensure DEMOCRACY in our fair state. At first I respected Gov. Snyder’s decision to create the Task Force, and then to continue to study the pipeline with the Pipeline Safety Advisory Committee. But “cutting the deal” without his Advisory Committee is an affront on the democracy that we as Americans are striving for. This isn’t the first time, because it is a pattern that began with changing the mission statement of the DEQ, and the Emergency Manager law that also undermines our democracy.


    3. I will work as hard as I can to expose and educate about WATER INJUSTICE in Michigan. This includes issues happening all over the state starting with Flint, Detroit water shut-offs, U.S. Ecology, Wolverine World Wide, Nestle water taking, plumes around our state, use of water for CAFOs, septic systems that are worse in the USA, algae in Great Lakes, invasive species, etc.

    I will continue to protect our water resources as much as a regular citizen can do.


    4. I will work to use alternative energy – and cut my consumption of oil and gas in my life, and encourage whoever is listening to do the same. The current Alternative Report lacks credibility because it’s author, Dynamic Risk, has ties to Enbridge, and doesn’t even look at other alternatives other than “pipelines”. So narrow-minded. Especially in a time when we KNOW that oil/gas production and bringing it out of the earth places our whole EARTH in jeopardy. The economics tips in ONE direction – towards oil/gas companies. It points to their profits.

    Where consumers spend their money is critical, and I will limit my consumption of oil/gas.


    5. I will do everything in my power to look at candidates for all elected positions in 2018, and find out how they feel and will ACT on behalf of the WATER in Michigan and in the Great Lakes Basin. I will vote, send money, and support all candidates who will PROTECT, and stop the poisoning and threats on our water resources, AND STOP any attempts at privatizing OUR WATER.


    In all of my 63 years of my life, I have completely lost the trust in the government of the State of Michigan, especially the Governor, Attorney General, and Director of the DEQ.


    I would like to THANK the folks on the Advisory Committee who passed 3 Resolutions. You are listening, learning, and putting forward much better options and questions. I appreciated your time and talents.


    Sincerely,


    Karen Turnbull


    Resident of Mecosta County

    Part-time Resident of Beaver Island
  • Patrick Cooper-McCann
    signed 2017-12-22 17:00:02 -0500
    Line 5 represents a clear and unnecessary danger to the Great Lakes and to Michigan. Oil should not be permitted to run through the straits.

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