Despite pledge, Enbridge yet to release info on anchor strike

May 2, 2019

The Line 5 oil pipelines run under the straits of Mackinac.
Credit GREGORY VARNUM

The Line 5 oil pipelines in the straits of Mackinac were struck by an anchor last April. Then at a hearing held by U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) in August, Enbridge Energy Vice President David Bryson pledged to release information on the strike.

"Will you provide full documentation of the damage sustained to Line 5 by the anchor strike, including all video and images, will you commit to doing that?" Peters asked.

"Yes, I will," Bryson responded.

 

But now over 8 months later, Enbridge hasn't done that. In a statement to IPR, the company says they're waiting for the U.S. Coast Guard to finish their investigation on the damage.

"Additional information was provided to Senator Peters and the Senate Commerce Committee. The U.S. Coast Guard has not yet issued a final report on the incident and therefore Enbridge considers it an active investigation. Going forward, the Line 5 tunnel project in the Straits would eliminate the possibility of an anchor strike, because the pipeline would be inside a tunnel with foot-thick concrete walls, approximately 100 feet below the lakebed," the statement read.

 

Chief of Prevention at the USCG Doug Salik oversees that investigation, and says they're not stopping Enbridge from releasing the information.

"I’m unaware of the Coast Guard asking Enbridge to not release any data,” Salik says. “They can choose to release it if they want to."

Salik says their investigation has entered it's final stage and could be released in the next few months.