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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

  • Marisa Gies
    signed 2017-12-22 16:57:51 -0500
    The scope of the alternatives analysis seems to have been only alternatives that allow Enbridge to keep turning a profit shipping its dirty fuels—which puts great risk on the people, wildlife, and economy of Michigan—instead of on alternatives that keep Michigan and the waters it holds in public trust safe. It’s not our problem what Enbridge does with its oil; our government’s concern should be keeping our water safe.


    Additionally, the entire alternatives analysis process has been undermined by Governor Snyder’s secret deal with Enbridge, privileging the tunnel option before the public comment period had ended. Why does the government go to such lengths to further lock us into agreements with Enbridge, a company which has deceived the state drastically and repeatedly. Beyond that, a tunnel doesn’t make the Straits safe, and it does nothing to protect all the other waterways and public lands crossed by Line 5 elsewhere in Michigan.


    The only 100% safe option is to revoke the easement and decommission the pipeline throughout the state.
  • Jane Koski
    signed 2017-12-22 16:56:41 -0500
    The Great Lakes are too precious to expose to possible contamination
  • Denise McDowell
    signed 2017-12-22 16:54:18 -0500
    SHUT DOWN & DECOMMISION Line 5. Michigan doesn’t need it. Don’t take chances with our watershed/nature/tourism.
  • Suzanne Joy
    signed via 2017-12-22 16:52:38 -0500
  • Nancy Crisp
    signed 2017-12-22 16:51:29 -0500
    There is only one answer to keeping our Great Lakes healthy and free of oil and that is to shut down line 5 now. How else is it possible to prevent a devastating oil spill in the Straights of Mackinac? Anything else but shutting down the pipe line does not protect our fresh water.
  • Jessica Sanker
    signed 2017-12-22 16:48:29 -0500
    It’s wrong when we put big businesses above the long term damage this can very well bring to our future generations.
  • Barbara Rentschler
    signed 2017-12-22 16:46:00 -0500
    Shut down this pipe line before an irreversible disaster occurs that could destroy what I know as one of the Crown Jewels of this country!!!!
  • Rita Mitchell
    signed 2017-12-22 16:42:03 -0500
    The report lacks adequate assessment of Line 5 the economic benefit to the people and resources of the State of Michigan. The report is designed to support ongoing use of Line 5 for the sole economic benefit of Enbridge, which is using and easement on the bottomlands of the Great Lakes State of Michigan. The risk of pipeline failure and subsequent pollution of the fresh water of the Great Lakes supercedes the use of of the easement for transport of fossil fuel by Enbridge. It is time to stop living with the risk of rupture, and to shut down Line 5.
  • Jon Krueger
    signed 2017-12-22 16:34:53 -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.
  • Gay Anderson
    signed 2017-12-22 16:31:45 -0500
  • Tom and Barbara Auer
    signed 2017-12-22 16:30:28 -0500
  • Patty Morse
    signed 2017-12-22 16:25:36 -0500
    Michigan’s leaders must lead, for the sake of our country! Shut down that line 5!!!!
  • Maeve Croghan
    signed 2017-12-22 16:25:08 -0500
  • Diana Wright
    signed 2017-12-22 16:22:33 -0500
    Michigan has a special gift of fresh water. This water will soon be even more precious than the dirty oil which flows through the pipeline, given the growing need for water. Please protect our water!
  • Debra Kruttlin
    signed 2017-12-22 16:19:33 -0500
    Shut it down!
  • Leonard Wardell
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-12-22 16:17:16 -0500
    JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5.
  • Leon Wardell
    signed 2017-12-22 16:16:34 -0500
    We must stop all threats to our limited natural resources, the great lakes must be protected to stay Great!!
  • David Ernst
    signed via 2017-12-22 16:11:08 -0500
    No more oil!
  • Bill Latka
    signed 2017-12-22 16:10:37 -0500
    Gov Snyder has broken the law with his backroom deal with Enbridge.
  • John Males
    signed 2017-12-22 16:06:58 -0500
    It is unfortunate that the Governor and the Attorney General refuse to deal with what is a potential disaster waiting to happen. Enbridge does not care about the importance of the water in Huron and Michigan.. This is a vital resource needed for economic development but more importantly for human consumption. A spill would be catastrophic and Enbridge has a terrible record on spill clean-up. There should be an immediate order from the State to shut Line 5 down. Is it any wonder that politicians are held in low esteem? Snyder and Schuette can order this line shut down. Why has this order never come? Could it be that there is some big money involved for the Attorney General as he runs for Governor. I voted for Snyder but if he were not term limited I would not even consider a vote for him again. He is playing fast and loose with the health and welfare of the residents and all who depend on the Great Lakes. Dynamic Risk failed to follow the provisions of the document that outlined what was required in the study. Why would the State think that Dynamic Risk would submit an objective and fair study when they depend on Enbridge for many thousands of dollars. What State official refused to see the conflict of interest with Dynamic Risk being hired to complete the study.? There are no alternatives . The only option is to shut Line 5 down now.
  • Lucinda Keils
    signed 2017-12-22 16:01:56 -0500
    Avoid a BP type disaster and another Enbridge Kalamazoo disaster. Close down Line 5 now, Imagine how terrible you will feel if you fail to act and catastrophe happens. As with the Flint water disaster, failure to spend pennies now results in billions in losses and in many ruined lives. Surprise us and do the right thing!
  • William Knop
    signed 2017-12-22 16:00:27 -0500
    Shut down line 5.
  • Bryan Thompson
    signed 2017-12-22 15:58:31 -0500
    Shut down line 5 now.
  • Rita TurnerSheerin
    signed 2017-12-22 15:57:57 -0500
  • Katherine Busch
    signed via 2017-12-22 15:53:25 -0500
    Stop this oil spill before it damages our lakes!!! We need new pipelines now!!
  • Robert Lowing
    signed 2017-12-22 15:52:41 -0500
    I volunteer in two different Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore programs, beach cleanup and the avian botulism study.

    I am a regular SBDNL visitor and spend a great deal of time on Lake Michigan sea kayaking.

    I am horrified at the thought of a spill. Please prevent this.

    Shut down Line 5 immediately.
  • Jandy Kerby-Miller Sprouse
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-12-22 15:52:11 -0500
    JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5.
  • Brian Hanson
    signed 2017-12-22 15:48:14 -0500
    I agree with Oil & Water Don’t Mix! Shut down Line 5!
  • Casey C
    signed via 2017-12-22 15:46:57 -0500
  • Colleen Morse
    signed 2017-12-22 15:43:44 -0500

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