The Rebound West Michigan: State of Education, Excellence in Education Award Nominations. On Tuesday, Enbridge filed suit in Federal court in order to keep their pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac, known as Line 5, open. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The DNR rejected Enbridge’s offer to allow technical experts to discuss any questions or clarifications related to its review. NS: Primarily it’s oil. That’s six months away, that’s a long time in today’s world. The Company Enbridge is required to have a plan in place to act expedisiosly to identify and contain a spill in either case. As it travels under the Straits of Mackinac, Line 5 diverges into two, 20-inch-diameter, parallel pipelines. Remind us what’s in the pipeline and how it’s affecting people in their everyday lives in Michigan and beyond. Public Hearing - Enbridge Line 5 Tunnel. “This notice and the report from Michigan Department of Natural Resources are a distraction from the fundamental facts,” said Vern Yu, Executive Vice President and President, Liquids Pipelines. I should note that there is a way to get propane to other folks by rail or truck or creating a new pipeline for that concern. In developing its report, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) chose to conduct its assessment of Easement compliance in a non-public manner. They start underground onshore, taper deep underwater and cross the Straits for 4.5 miles. Enbridge said, in part: “We will continue to focus on the safe operation of the dual Line 5 pipelines at the Straits of Mackinac, ensuring the Great Lakes are protected while also reliably delivering the energy that helps to fuel Michigan’s and the region’s economy.”. A court decision in Michigan could have major implications for the energy security of Ontario and Quebec. Your email address will not be published. The Canadian company’s filing in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan seeks an injunction against Whitmer’s shutdown orders. SS: And is any of this impacting the plan to build a tunnel under the Straits to replace this aging pipeline? Line 5 carries oil from Superior, Wisconsin, across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, through northern Michigan, down to the thumb region, and under the St. Clair River to Sarnia, Ontario. Line 5 is particularly notable for passing under the environmentally sensitive Straits of Mackinac, which connect Lake Michigan to Lake Huron. This is a fundamental issue about the ability of this pipeline to continue its operations there along the Straits of Mackinac. Enbridge in Michigan Line 5 helps heat Michigan homes, schools, hospitals and businesses, fuels vehicles, and powers industry by safely and reliably transporting light crude oil, light synthetic crude oil and natural gas liquids (NGL). Enbridge received the notice from the Governor’s chief legal counsel this afternoon and is reviewing the document. You can watch that film HERE. Whitmer signed an executive order in 2019 creating the Upper Peninsula Energy Task Force. On April 17, 2020, Enbridge Energy, Limited Partnership (Enbridge) filed an application with the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC or Commission) pursuant to Public Act 16 of 1929, MCL 483.1 et seq, also referred to as Act 16, requesting authority to replace and relocate the segment of Line 5 … We will continue to focus on the safe operation of the dual Line 5 pipelines at the Straits of Mackinac, ensuring the Great Lakes are protected while also reliably delivering the energy that helps to fuel Michigan’s and the region’s economy,” Yu continued. How is this new action different? And so what the state is invoking here when looking at this easement with Enbridge is whether the public trust doctrine was considered in 1953 when the original easement was granted. Several construction unions, along with the business lobby Wisconsin Manufacturers and … Legal Translation: Environmental attorney explains the latest on Enbridge Line 5 news. With so many twists and turns in the Line 5 story, it’s hard to keep up with the legal filings and positions from Enbridge Energy Corp., various Michigan governmental agencies and groups trying to stop or keep the pipeline. As of December 2013, the line carries 540,000 barrels (86,000 m ) of oil per day. The company says it is confident that Line 5 continues to operate safely, and there is "no credible basis" for shutting it down. Our focus remains on protecting the Great Lakes, the environment and all the people who use these waters while delivering energy that people rely on daily. Enbridge filed a federal lawsuit soon thereafter to battle the order and keep the pipeline flowing. Ask the Great Lakes Now Team Your PFAS Question, Beneath the Surface: The Line 5 Pipeline in the Great Lakes, Michigan Gov. SS: What can happen between now and May? Certainly there will be litigation there in Ingham County Circuit Court. What should we look for maybe in a legal fight or otherwise with this new order and Enbridge? What’s the difference if you have a breach in the water or on the ground soil. Gretchen Whitmer’s quest to shut down the Line 5 petroleum pipeline. Let me Begin by saying I have a great deal of knowledge in issues related to EPA guidelines. Enbridge Application for Line 5. Enbridge received notice from the governor's legal counsel Friday afternoon and is reviewing the document. NS: It’s really interesting. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Here is an edited transcript of the Schroeck-Svoboda conversation: Sandra Svoboda: We’ve seen so many things happen with Enbridge Line 5. In Any case tunnel, pipe in the water, or pipe over land, truck, or rail the risk is the same. Nick Schroeck: It’s different because this is specifically related to the easement, the easement that the state initially granted back in 1953 for the pipeline. Now all of that permitting process continues. Lansing — Gov. We should task our engineering schools such as Michigan Tech to come up with answers, we secure Federal funding for these schools, we should require that they become engaged in our needs. “Line 5 remains safe, as envisioned by the 1953 Easement, and as recently validated by our federal safety regulator. Enbridge files federal challenge to Whitmer’s Line 5 … SS: We did reach out to Enbridge to have someone interviewed on this program. As Enbridge Energy started construction this week on one pipeline in Minnesota, it was receiving support from a coalition of union trades groups for its plans to rebuild part of its Line 5 natural gas line in northern Wisconsin. Participants who wish to speak will have three minutes to comment. Enbridge's Line 5 has served Michiganders safely without incident at the Straits crossing for more than 65 years, over nine different State Administrations. However if the pipeline is shut down, one of the arguments to have the tunnel is that Enbridge needs it as a necessity to continue to transport oil through the Straits of Mackinac. Wisconsin receives no benefit from the pipeline but is subject to a lot of risk. What Michigan’s move to shut down Enbridge Line 5 means, Governor Whitmer takes legal action to force shut down of Enbridge’s Line 5, Michigan Governor seeks shutdown of Great Lakes oil pipeline. Both sides in a multi-year battle over the future of Enbridge's Line 5 faced off during an online public hearing before officials with the Army Corps of Engineers. The state is in charge of our Great Lakes bottomlands, and the protector of our Great Lakes bottomlands has authority over that submerged ground under the Straits of Mackinac. Enbridge said it is confident Line 5 continues to operate safely and “there is no credible basis for terminating” the easement. If you have a breach in the water you simply scim it off the surface, collect it and use it. Enzyms will eat the residual. According to Enbridge vice president and president of liquids pipelines, Vern Yu, Line 5 is still very viable. (Image from One Detroit). It’s also easier to isolate. There’re other legal theories that they may raise to try to slow down or stop this action. Families and businesses in the Upper Peninsula rely on Line 5 to meet 65% of their propane … Primarily light crude. This is why people sometimes call the pipeline system the “dual” or “twin” pipelines. The state’s also alleging that ongoing operation of this pipeline, which the state is alleging is in violation of this easement, puts our public trust resources, puts the Great Lakes at risk. Any disruption would have devastating consequences. Line 5 Tunnel Project Proposal Enbridge Energy Limited Partnership is seeking approval to build a utility tunnel and to replace and relocate the portion of the Line 5 pipeline that runs beneath the Straits of Mackinac. We remain committed to advancing The Great Lakes Tunnel that will contain a new section of pipeline to replace the Dual Pipelines. So primarily the use of this pipeline is really just to go through Michigan, right? So Enbridge line five, the dual pipelines that run beneath the straits of Mackinac have actually been in existence since 1953. What that means, that’s legal speak, saying that the court would actually agree with the state’s interpretation and agree that this easement should be revoked or otherwise terminated. There are some other liquid gases that are carried in this pipeline, and some of that is diverted in the Upper Peninsula and to be used for propane, for heating homes and that kind of thing. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the governor are contending that public trust considerations were not made and, in fact, the easement should not have been granted back then in 1953. TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Enbridge responded Friday to Gov. Required fields are marked *. Enbridge said that grief counseling is being made available for workers. I would prefer a stainless steel flex pipe with a ancor proof angle over top. We did not hear back in time before this taping, but we do have their statement. Plains Midstream Canada ULC (Plains) recently interceded on behalf of Enbridge, underscoring the significance of the Line 5 pipeline to the Plains workforce and operations, specifically in Michigan. Enbridge has warned that a Line 5 shutdown would threaten Michigan’s energy security, particularly for Upper Peninsula residents who rely upon propane from Line 5 to heat their homes. And the state is arguing it’s an unacceptable risk and therefore this easement should be terminated. With today’s actions by the Governor and Attorney General based on historical Line 5 compliance, Enbridge finally will have an opportunity to review the DNR’s analysis and provide a thorough response through the legal process. LRE-2010-00463-56-A19. Gretchen Whitmer revoked Enbridge’s easement for the pipeline and Attorney General Dana Nessel filed a lawsuit seeking to enforce it. The pipeline provides communities across the Midwest with light oil and natural gas needed to heat homes, fuel vehicles, and power businesses and industries. December 7, 2020, 1:00 – 4:00 PM, EST. There maybe other ideas . Attorney Nick Schroeck and Great Lakes Now Program Director Sandra Svoboda chat about the latest on Line 5. Energizing Michigan since 1953. Enbridge says shutting down Line 5 will disrupt propane supply to the Upper Peninsula, where the fuel is relied upon for residential heating. Enbridge’s Line 5 is a 645-mile, 30-inch-diameter pipeline that travels through Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas, originating in Superior, Wisconsin, and terminating in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. Enbridge's Line 5 has served Michiganders safely without incident at the Straits crossing for more than 65 years, over nine different State Administrations. Enbridge Inc. has sued in federal court to halt Gov. Last week, a Michigan judge ordered the temporary shutdown of Enbridge’s Line 5 oil pipeline that runs from Superior, Wisconsin to refineries in Sarnia, Ontario.. Shutting down Line 5 has serious … Water and oil don’t mix and oil is lighter than water. Gretchen Whitmer is moving to shut down Line 5 by revoking and ending a 1953 easement that allows Enbridge Energy to run the dual pipeline through the Straits of Mackinac. Copyright 2020 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Shutting down this infrastructure could cause the shutdown of refineries served by Line 5 … This failure to engage reflects a lack of understanding or worse, a continued failure to meet the State’s commitments under the 2018 Second Agreement between the State of Michigan and Enbridge, which contemplates periodic meetings on pipeline issues to avoid just this kind of situation. But really, I think, the state is hoping to have legal actions based on this easement and Enbridge’s performance based on this easement. As Enbridge plans to replace the pipeline with a tunnel under the lake bottom, a permitting process is currently underway aiming at the tunnel’s operation within a decade. Enbridge is currently seeking permit approval for the tunnel project and replacement pipeline which, upon completion, will make a safe Straits crossing even safer. GLN Editor’s Note: Great Lakes Now produced a half-hour documentary called “Beneath the Surface” in 2019. I imagine Enbridge may also try and raise some other legal claims. Your email address will not be published. Enbridge Line 5 Tunnel File No. Enbridge Energy is suing the State of Michigan in federal court in hopes of thwarting Michigan Gov. This is a question over whether or not Enbridge has been operating this pipeline legally in accordance with that easement. To contain and clean up oil from water is easier. NS: The same day that the governor announced the termination of this easement, the attorney general, Dana Nessel, also filed a lawsuit in Ingham County Circuit Court seeking what’s a called a declaratory judgement. I would rather clean up a breach in the water than in the soil. “Line 5 remains safe, as envisioned by the 1953 Easement, and as recently validated by our federal safety regulator,” which according to the Detroit Free press is the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety … You have the ongoing permitting processes in place related to the tunnel, which would house potentially a new pipeline going through the Straits of Mackinac. Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline has been operating for over 65 years. Dear Editor: Enbridge Line 5, a 67-year-old Canadian oil pipeline, starts in Superior, and traverses east using the upper Great Lake states for a shortcut to its destination in Sarnia, Ontario. If this pipeline was shut down, what will that mean for people, homeowners in the Upper Peninsula that rely on that fuel source? Enbridge remains confident that Line 5 continues to operate safely and that there is no credible basis for terminating the 1953 Easement allowing the Dual Line 5 Pipelines to cross the Straits of Mackinac. What is Enbridge Line 5? You have to burn the dirt to remeadiate it from contaminating the aquifer. That’s the ground the state wants to be arguing on, so it will be interesting to see what additional legal claims or other lawsuits are filed by Enbridge to try and either slow down or perhaps stop the state from being able to take this action. So certainly people in the Upper Peninsula think that’s a major concern. The tunnel proposed is an expensive but positive way to work toward protecting the resources. Well if you don’t have that pipeline in existence, are you still able to make that argument persuasively that you need a tunnel? That is when Embridge first saw an easement from the state of Michigan and actually placed the pipelines into the water. Line 5 is an essential source of energy for not only Michigan but for the entire region including Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Ontario, and Quebec. With so many twists and turns in the Line 5 story, it’s hard to keep up with the legal filings and positions from Enbridge Energy Corp., various Michigan governmental agencies and groups trying to stop or keep the pipeline. In a Dec. 3 letter to Gov. To travel through the state, make its way to refineries primarily in Sarnia, Ontario. NS: I mentioned the petroleum products that are actually diverted for heating and liquid petroleum in the Upper Peninsula. SS: Is this a different kind of legal authority that the governor and the attorney general are invoking to try to have this shut down in six months? But last week Michigan Gov. But primarily this is a Canadian company using this pipeline to transport its product to Canada through Michigan. Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline runs under the Straits of Mackinac. But in the following conversation, attorney Nick Schroeck, who is the director of the environmental law clinic at University of Detroit Mercy, and Great Lakes Now Program Director Sandra Svoboda have this update about the latest legal actions and a refresher about what the pipeline is all about. We’re talking hydrocarbons. It carries synthetic crude, natural … Enbridge's Line 5 has served Michiganders safely without incident at the Straits crossing for more than 65 years, over nine different State Administrations. SS: Let’s talk about that risk for a moment. Enbridge’s Line 5 is a 645-mile petroleum pipeline that is part of the larger Enbridge Lakehead System. 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