My Line 5 journey actually started in 2010 when I heard about the Enbridge Line 6b oil spill in Marshall, Michigan, near my hometown, where over 1 million gallons of tar sands overtook 40 miles of the river system. Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline runs under the Straits of Mackinac. "This newly-released data shows a worse history of spill and detection systems failing over time," said Mike Shriberg, NWF Great Lakes regional director, who also sits on the state of Michigan's Pipeline Safety Advisory Board. The easement authorized Lakehead Pipe Line Co., Inc., which eventually became Enbridge Energy Limited Partnership, “to construct, lay and maintain pipe lines over, through, under and upon certain lake bottom lands …for the purpose of transporting petroleum and other products. The NWF says that's a troubling reminder of the colossal failure that caused the Line 6B spill into the Kalamazoo River in 2010, when the company didn't notice the pipeline had ruptured until being alerted by an outside caller 17 hours later. In April 2018, Line 5 in the Straits was damaged by a boat anchor that was dragged along the lake bottom.  Total cost of the tunnel was estimated to be $500 million. Some Michigan drilling companies use Line 5 to transport the oil they produce. Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission. In addition, people tracking the existing Line 5 said it has numerous leaks, a sign of an aging pipeline that has seen its better days. "Only one spill I could find was discovered by leak detection systems," said Wallace, a Pipeline Safety Trust board member who co-authored the NWF's 2012 "Sunken Hazard" report that helped galvanize scrutiny on the Line 5 section under the Straits of Mackinac. The First Agreement also called for Enbridge to replace the portion of Line 5 that crosses beneath the St. Clair River with horizontal directional drilling, temporarily shut down Line 5 during periods of sustained adverse weather conditions in the Straits, implement additional underwater technologies to better monitor the pipeline beneath the Straits, implement measures to mitigate a potential vessel anchor strike, evaluate every Line 5 water crossing in Michigan and implement measures to minimize the likelihood of an oil spill at these locations, and increase transparency through regular communication with the state. The Second Agreement also added safety enhancements along the entire length of the Line 5 petroleum pipeline crossing the state, such as providing a radar system to track wave heights in the Straits to inform whether conditions require the pipeline to be temporarily shut down, install cameras to monitor boat traffic to make sure none is dragging its anchor through the Straits, guarantee Enbridge can make available up to $1.8 billion is available to Enbridge for cleanup should a spill occur, require immediate additional safety measures at 13 priority Line 5 water crossings across the state and permanently banning the transport of heavy crude oil through the pipeline. Enbridge Energy’s Line 5 pipeline was built in 1953 and extends for 645 miles across the state of Michigan. The cause was recorded as a seal that failed due to "normal wear and tear.". The pipeline is a single, 30-indiameter pipe except for the section that crosses the Straits of Mackinac. "This is not new information and we have addressed this issue many times in the past," Duffy said via email. Two people were also injured a few years later in 1976 when another 210,000-gallon spill near Lake Gogebic was caused by a "pipe failure.". Enbridge spokesperson Ryan Duffy dismissed the findings. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local. The agreement called for Enbridge to negotiate a public-private partnership agreement with the Mackinac Bridge Authority for Enbridge to fund the construction of a tunnel. The 1990 spill spotted by chopper patrol is actually one of two along the pipeline near Engadine. Enbridge Energy’s Line 5 pipeline was built in 1953 and extends for 645 miles across the state of Michigan. The group said Monday it has found at least 29 instances of oil and natural gas liquids spills totaling more […] In between, Enbridge alerted the state to gaps in the protective coating on the pipeline in the Straits, information the company had as early as 2014. In response to questions raised by the Governor, the Attorney General issued a formal legal opinion that the legislation was not properly enacted under Michigan’s Constitution and should be considered void. Among their many oil pipelines in the US and Canada, Enbridge operates Line 5 through Michigan. The Pipeline Safety Advisory Board oversaw two independent analyses of Line 5, which the Task Force recommended: An alternatives analysis that was to look at the feasibility of other forms of transportation to handle the same amount of product that moves through Line 5, and a risk analysis of the potential financial impact of a worst-case spill to determine the final assurance amount as required under the 1953 easement. As a result of the Kalamazoo River spill – one of the largest inland spills in U.S. history – the State and Enbridge in May 2015 entered into a $75 million Consent Judgment. Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, has reintroduced a bill from last session that would require all existing submerged pipelines undergo a third-party review and be shut down if the risk is too great. Line 5, which is part of Enbridge’s Lakehead System, begins in Superior, Wisconsin, and ends in Sarnia, Canada. The NWF considers its estimate conservative because the research identified known spills, like a 1980 spill in Hiawatha National Forest, that weren't in federal records. Meanwhile, Michigan legislators on both sides of the aisle are targeting the pipeline. In 2010, about 21,000 barrels of heavy crude oil spilled in a tributary of the Kalamazoo River near Marshall from a line owned by Enbridge. Rick Snyder signed legislation to create the Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority and its Board voted to approve an agreement with Enbridge to build a utility tunnel in the Straits. Many of the spills incident records do not say how the leak was initially detected. "That's a big problem for the overall pipeline if it's system-wide. MACKINAC COUNTY, MI -- In 1990, a helicopter patrol spotted a patch of oil on the ground about a mile south of Millecoquins Lake near Engadine. Subscribe to MLive.com. LANSING – If the Enbridge Line 5 oil pipeline across the Straits of Mackinac ruptures, the various agreements involving the pipeline do not require the company to pay for the cost of cleanup and remediation, a study commissioned by the departments of Attorney General and Environment, Great Lakes and Energy says. A spill from Enbridge Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac could contaminate nearby municipal drinking water, devastate major fisheries, kill aquatic and terrestrial wildlife, impair critical ecosystem services, diminish coastal property values, and tarnish the image of the State of Michigan and its high levels of ecological integrity. A similar spill disaster on Line 5 in the Straits would devastate the Great Lakes shoreline communities and the Michigan economy, critics of the pipeline have long contended. Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel saying publicly that they oppose the continued operation of Line 5 within the Straits of Mackinac. The remainder crosses the St. Clair river for processing in Sarnia. “In addition, Enbridge Inc. will take full responsibility for the clean-up of any incident in Michigan or anywhere along our pipeline system.” Under the U.S. Oil Pollution Act, the owner of Line 5 “would be obligated as a responsible party to assume the cost of any cleanup,” Koby said. Others were caused by manufacturing defects in the pipe, such as stress cracking along a seam. … ”. Some of the natural gas liquids are refined into propane and used in the Upper Peninsula, while other products are routed for processing at oil refineries in Detroit and Toledo, Ohio. Note: This a rush transcript and has been lightly edited for clarity. Plains is a subsidiary of Texas-based Plains All American Pipeline, LP. "The oil made its way there though a major tributary.". “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 Administration (PHMSA). Under the agreement, Enbridge will undertake an enhanced inspection and stewardship regimen. The organization released the results of Wallace's research this week, estimating that Line 5, which runs from Superior, Wis., to Sarnia, Ontario by way of Michigan, has spilled at least 1.13 million gallons of oil in 29 incidents since 1968. However, Enbridge has denied any plans to pump such materials. A significant spill occurred from Line 5 in 1999 when more than 220,000 gallons of oil and natural gas liquids gushed into a marsh near Crystal Falls in the Upper Peninsula. "The Kalamazoo River spill didn't happen in the river," she said. ", "We should be talking about this as we consider long term planning for this pipeline.". 2013 (July 1st) - Michigan Department of Environmental Quality issues a citation against Enbridge for… Lansing — Gov. The oil was from Enbridge Line 5, which had spilled 630 gallons through a pinhole leak. Mike Ludwig talks to Whitney Gravelle, an attorney for the Bay Mills Indian Community, about the fight against Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline. Built in 1953, the two 20-inch-in-diameter “Line 5” pipelines owned by Canadian company Enbridge, Inc., lie exposed in the water along the public bottomlands of the Mackinac Straits. A FOIA photo from a March 13, 2011 Enbridge inspection report shows stress corrosion cracking the length of the longitudinal seam on a section of Line 5 located between Bay City and Sarnia. Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site. The group says the amount of manufacturing and construction defects and weld failures revealed by Wallace's research call into question the overall integrity of the Line 5 system. Heavy rains caused the river to overtop existing dams and … The data comes from inspection records obtained by the NWF through the Freedom of Information Act and others put online recently by the Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), which Congress has required to make more information accessible to the public. The agreement with Snyder included a pledge to hold the state financially harmless for any damages from a Line 5 spill. According to the data, the largest spills happened earlier in Line 5's history -- apart from a fairly well known 222,600-gallon oil and natural gas liquid spill near Crystal Falls in 1999, caused by the line lying on a rock, which forced the evacuation of about 500 people after responders ignited a vapor cloud that sparked a 36-hour long fire. One recommendation in the Task Force’s final report was to create the Pipeline Safety Advisory Board (PSAB), which would review and recommend actions for the state to ensure the safety, upkeep and transparency of issues related to the network of more than 3,400 miles of petroleum and hazardous liquid pipelines in Michigan. The debate is intensifying amid an Enbridge advertising and public relations campaign touting the benefits of Line 5 that is bumping up against stepped-up … The remainder were found by the public or Enbridge staff on the ground. Line 5 ships nearly 23 million gallons of crude oil and petroleum products every day. Concerns about the existing Line 3 pipe were also echoed by the Minnesota PUC as a reason to move ahead with Enbridge’s replacement and expansion plan. BACKGROUND: Earlier this month, the state notified Enbridge that it is revoking and terminating the 1953 easement allowing Enbridge to operate the Line 5 dual pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac, effective 180 days from the date of the notice. A new administration took office in January 2019, with both Gov. LANSING (WJRT) (6/25/2020) - A judge ordered Enbridge to shut down its controversial Line 5 oil pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac and give … These spills released approximately 161,475 barrels (25,672.5 m3) of crude oil into the environment … Will YOUR Community Be Next? Copy may not be in its final form. Line 5, which is part of Enbridge’s Lakehead System, begins in Superior, Wisconsin, and ends in Sarnia, Canada. One lawsuit involves a law that was passed by the Michigan legislature in December of 2018 which created the Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority and authorized it to enter into the Tunnel Agreement with Enbridge to build a new tunnel which would be owned by the Authority. In 1972 near Iron River, a 252,000-gallon spill was caused by a longitudinal weld failure. Families and businesses in the Upper Peninsula rely on Line 5 to meet 65% of their propane demand. The agreement also includes interpretations of the 1953 easement for the dual pipelines on the bottom of the Straits, as well as ongoing financial assurance requirements for the pipelines. "Over the past fifteen years, there have been three incidents on Line 5 that have resulted in a total of approximately 21 barrels of product being released off the mainline. Enbridge spokesman Michael Barnes took issue with the National Wildlife Federation’s assessment of Line 5’s leak history, stating that the line has … In December 2018, Gov. Such stress cracking along the seam isn't limited to the Upper Peninsula section. The other occurred in 1972 when a defective weld caused a 4,200-gallon spill just south of the Krause Road and Hiawatha Trail intersection, near the headwaters of O'Niel Creek, which flows south a few miles into Lake Michigan. Enbridge Inc. has sued in federal court to halt Gov. Michigan House Democrats say they are preparing a bill package that would tighten pipeline regulation and give the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality regulatory oversight of pipelines crossing the state. News of the damage comes a day after Enbridge announced a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that includes $6.7 million in fines for failing to quickly address pipeline safety issues within its Lakehead Pipeline System, which includes Line 5 and other Midwest pipelines.. This is not the first time Line 5 has sustained damage in recent years. The oil spill response plan for Enbridge Line 5 is the Integrated Contingency Plan: Superior Region Response Zone, which was submitted, reviewed, and approved by PHMSA. Although the line is 64 years old, 1968 is the earliest year of data available, The most recent spill is a small one, about 8 gallons, caused by an equipment failure on March 5, 2015 near Marenisco that Enbridge staff discovered while conducting a station review. Enbridge says it plans to test Line 5 under the straits at its original 1953 pressure, install more anchor supports and take a closer look at the defective coating. Enbridge challenged that ruling. In March, Enbridge admitted that parts of Line 5 under the straits had lost its outer wrap anticorrosion coating, although there's no bare metal exposed. The pipeline was constructed in 1953 and was meant to last only 50 years. Was estimated to be $ 500 million issue many times in the US and Canada, Enbridge Will an! 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