State Orders Enbridge To Fix Pipeline Through Mackinac Straits

Jul 26, 2014

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and the state Department of Environmental Quality have officially told Enbridge Energy the company has to do a better job of securing an oil pipeline that runs through the Straits of Mackinac.

The pipeline is part of a 1,900-mile network that runs from North Dakota to Sarnia, Ontario.

DEQ Director Dan Wyant says a state inquiry found the 61-year-old Enbridge pipeline that runs through the Mackinac Straits has fewer supports anchoring it than what’s called for in its lease with the state.

“We just want to make sure that this pipeline’s going to be safe,” he said. “A lot of concern about this pipeline. Sixty years it’s been safe, but we’re in a position, Attorney General Schuette, I as the chief environmental officer of this state, to ensure we don’t have a problem on this pipeline.”

Wyant says a leak in the pipeline would have implications throughout the Great Lakes. Environmentalists have called for stronger measures to ensure the lakes are protected. 

Enbridge quickly responded to the state’s letter. The company plans to add the anchors as part of its routine maintenance. That should be done in about three months.

Four years ago, a break in an Enbridge pipe dumped about a millions of gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River.