Michigan DNR says Enbridge needs to assure it will pay for potential damage caused by Line 5

Jul 17, 2020

Enbridge's dual pipelines run beneath the Mackinac Bridge.

 As Line 5 undergoes repairs from an incident in June, the Department of Natural Resources has requested that Enbridge Inc. pledge to pay for all potential damages caused by Line 5.


The written agreement would assure that Enbridge Inc. would pay for all losses caused to property or individuals due to the Line 5 dual pipelines through the Straits of Mackinac.


“We just want to make certain that the people of the state aren’t on the hook for any potential costs that might be incurred because of a catastrophic spill in the Straits,” Ed Golder, the Public Information Officer at the DNR, says.


DNR director Dan Eichinger requests Enbridge Inc. agree to a minimum of $900 million in liability insurance.


As of now, a similar agreement between Enbridge Energy Company and the State of Michigan exists, but the DNR says this daughter company does not have the resources to cover the costs of a spill. In a press release, Eichinger said he’d like to make sure that the potential damage is the responsibility of Enbridge Inc., the parent company.


“As recent events have reminded us, we must get these pipelines that transport crude oil out of the Great Lakes as soon as possible,” Eichinger said. “In the meantime, Enbridge must provide full financial assurance to the people of Michigan that the company will meet its obligations in the event there is a spill or some other disastrous damage to the Great Lakes.”


In a statement, Enbridge said its existing agreement with the state assures that Enbridge Energy could cover the cost of a spill.

“Since we already have an agreement with the State of Michigan to provide these assurances, if the State would like to sit down and discuss our financial assurances, we would be happy to do so and will again make this offer in our response to Director Eichinger,” Enbridge said.