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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.


Help Reach the Next Goal: 6,000 comments

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Showing 3503 reactions

  • 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
  • Anna Lee Batson
    signed 2017-12-22 15:31:58 -0500
    Enbridge has already proven to be irresponsible in the poor clean up effort of the Kalamazoo area oil spill.Please shut down Line 5 before we have a horrendous spill and irreparable damage.
  • Herbert Pfabe
    signed 2017-12-22 15:29:04 -0500
    Stop Line 5
  • Jacob R. Raitt
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-12-22 15:25:56 -0500
    JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5.
  • Jacob R. Raitt
    @Luvnstuff2 tweeted link to this page. 2017-12-22 15:25:52 -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=4675
  • Jacob R. Raitt
    signed 2017-12-22 15:25:40 -0500
    The risks engendered by a pipeline that could destroy the Great Lakes is too real to risk realization.
  • Allison Manker
    signed 2017-12-22 15:11:40 -0500
    Please side with common sense, environmental stewardship and the health of your constituents. This is dangerous, unnecessary and poses threats to our most cherished resources.
  • Polly Hubbard
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-12-22 15:11:15 -0500
    JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5.
  • Polly Hubbard
    signed via 2017-12-22 15:10:48 -0500
    We must protect our Great Lakes at all costs! Enbridge must be held accountable!
  • Joe Hughes
    signed 2017-12-22 15:05:07 -0500
  • Mikhel Waling
    signed 2017-12-22 15:01:10 -0500
  • Barb Cherem
    signed 2017-12-22 15:01:07 -0500
    LIne 5 should be shut down so that no tragedy has Any chance of despoiling our priceless Great Lakes.
  • Linda Hammond
    signed 2017-12-22 14:57:07 -0500
    The writing is on the wall! Line 5 is a threat and hazard to the right to enjoy our great lakes… There are many feasible alternatives to oil transport. Quit passing the buck!
  • Steve Bellis
    signed via 2017-12-22 14:53:50 -0500
  • Mike Savina
    signed 2017-12-22 14:49:38 -0500
  • Betty Marr
    signed via 2017-12-22 14:47:33 -0500
  • Kathleen Faith
    signed 2017-12-22 14:44:56 -0500
    I cannot add anything to these points.
  • joe kaleel
    signed 2017-12-22 14:43:26 -0500
    Joe Kaleel
  • Jo Kelly
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-12-22 14:39:10 -0500
    JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5.
  • Jo Kelly
    signed 2017-12-22 14:38:57 -0500
    Our little town on the St. Mary’s River depends on tourist that come to enjoy Lake Huron. Any spill would devastate our economy and destroy our way of life. PLEASE shut down Line 5.
  • Alexa DeCarlo
    signed 2017-12-22 14:30:24 -0500
    Please protect our Great Lakes! This pipeline isn’t worth the lose of life and the cost of cleanup if a spill were to happen. Let’s learn from companies like BP and others who’ve caused major catastrophes. Alternative energy is the way of the future and investing in those ventures is what Michigan should be looking into.
  • Suzette Petillo
    signed 2017-12-22 14:29:46 -0500
    Suzette Petillo
  • Hilary Appleby
    signed 2017-12-22 14:29:31 -0500
    Shut down Line 5. It’s not worth the risk of ruining the waters that make Michigan what it is.

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