Line 5

An Enbridge boat circles the bulk carrier Maumee to check that it's not dragging something that could damage the pipeline company's Line 5.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The Canadian pipeline company Enbridge Energy has been eager to show news media its new Enbridge Straits Maritime Operations Center in Mackinaw City. Its purpose is to try to prevent another anchor strike or other damage to Line 5, the dual pipelines carrying oil and natural gas liquids.


Bailiwick Studios

 

Supporters of the Line 5 tunnel project showed up in full force at a state agency hearing this week. 


Flickr user Doug Kerr

 

 

A Michigan judge granted four tribes the right to participate in Enbridge’s Line 5 permitting process last week. The Canadian energy company is looking to relocate and build a tunnel to house its pipeline at the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac. 

 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.

 

Courtesy of EGLE

 

An Ingham County Circuit Court Judge ruled today to continue a temporary restraining order against Enbridge, while also allowing the company to resume operations on the western leg of its Line 5 pipeline. 

The decision comes after a long hearing in court yesterday, during which the state and Enbridge each made their case for why the state should, or shouldn't, be able to regulate the pipeline.

Today on Stateside, recent developments with Enbridge’s Line 5 have lead Attorney General Dana Nessel to ask for a temporarily halt of operations. Tribes who live and work around the Great Lakes have had an eye on this for years.  Also, Michigan’s legislators have announced funding plans for reopening K-12 schools. What will that look like? Plus, what to expect when you’re expecting to travel this summer.

University of Michigan

UPDATE: Judge James Jamo has granted state Attorney General Dana Nessel's request for a temporary restraining order that says Enbridge Energy must shut down Line 5 while the legal challenge plays out. That means the lines will be turned off until at least next Tuesday when a hearing is scheduled in Ingham County.

 

After an unknown incident caused Enbridge Energy to shut down the east leg of Line 5 last week, Attorney General Dana Nessel has requested that the entire pipeline be temporarily shut down until the damage is investigated further.

Kaye LaFond / Interlochen Public Radio

 

Enbridge Energy’s permit application to build a tunnel for the Line 5 oil pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac needs revisions. 

That’s what the Department of Environment Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) told the company this week. 

Specifically, EGLE says the application is too long, especially for the public to review. 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

TRAVERSE CITY — The Michigan Public Service Commission is seeking comment on whether Enbridge Energy needs its approval to re-site a segment of its Line 5 oil pipeline into a bedrock tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac.

Today on Stateside, how one Detroit emergency room physician is searching for answers and solutions to handling the coronavirus pandemic. Plus, what would it mean to safely reopen the state.

Mark Brush/Michigan Radio

On Wednesday, Enbridge submitted an application for a permit to build the Line 5 tunnel.

The planned bedrock tunnel would encase the replacement for 67-year-old oil pipelines that currently sit on the lakebed beneath the Straits of Mackinac.

Last week, tribal leaders raised the alarm about the state reviewing permits, holding public comment or engaging in tribal consultation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tribal governments in the Straits area are unilaterally opposed to the tunnel.

Record Eagle/Pete Rodman

Enbridge Energy will not delay submitting permits for its controversial Great Lakes Tunnel Project because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tribal governments that oppose the project want Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to slow the process down. They say it’s impossible to prepare for public comment and official tribal consultations when most tribal staff are sheltering in place.

A conference room full of people facing the front, where a powerpoint is being given.
Kaye LaFond / Interlochen Public Radio

ST. IGNACE — Enbridge Energy and the state of Michigan are moving forward with plans for a tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac.

Enbridge, a Canadian energy company, chose Great Lakes Tunnel Constructors to complete the project.

Great Lakes Tunnel Constructors was formed through a partnership with Michigan-based Jay Dee Contractors and the Japanese Obayashi Corporation.

Enbridge made the announcement ahead of a meeting with the Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority Friday in St. Ignace.

Kaye LaFond

This week on Points North, democrats worry the controversial Line 5 pipeline is dividing labor,  environmental and tribal groups ahead of the Michigan primary.

Plus, hear how environmental policies could impact the presidential race in Michigan. 


Kaye LaFond / Interlochen Public Radio

Michigan Democrats can usually rely on at least three groups for support: environmentalists, tribal nations and labor unions.

But there’s one issue they don’t all agree on — the future of Enbridge Energy's Line 5 oil pipeline. Some Democrats worry about uniting those groups ahead of the Michigan primary.

Kaye LaFond / Interlochen Public Radio

The Upper Peninsula Energy Task force met in St. Ignace today to discuss preliminary findings on Line 5 and the Upper Peninsula’s propane supply.

Public Sector Consultants, the firm hired by the state of Michigan, presented ranges of numbers to the task force.

They say if Line 5 was shut down between Superior, Wisconsin and Sarnia, Ontario, it could impact between 65 and 90 percent of the U.P.’s propane supply. 

If propane also stopped coming to Superior by pipeline, up to 99 percent of the supply could be impacted.

A long, thing metal pipe sits on a concrete floor.
Enbridge Energy

Enbridge Energy has retrieved a 45-foot steel rod it left in the Straits of Mackinac in September. Strong currents moved the rod 150 feet during its time underwater.

The company dropped the rod while sampling bedrock in preparation for building a tunnel under the straits.

The tunnel would replace Enbridge’s 66-year-old oil and gas pipelines that currently sit on the lake bottom.

10 most viewed stories in 2019 from IPR News

Dec 31, 2019
Interlochen Public Radio

IPR’s news team reported on hundreds of stories across the region in 2019, and the top 10 stories viewed are listed below:

 

Kaye LaFond / Interlochen Public Radio

This week on Points North, we examine propane needs in the Upper Peninsula. Do yoopers need Line 5 for propane, or would they survive without the pipelines?

 

Tribal nations, Michigan’s governor and environmental groups are all calling for a shutdown of Line 5: the pipeline that carries oil underneath the Straits of Mackinac.

People on kayaks work together to hold up a sign that says "SHUT DOWN LINE 5".
Kaye LaFond / Interlochen Public Radio

Interlochen Public Radio has obtained emails between a private security contractor working for Enbridge Energy and several law enforcement agencies near the Straits of Mackinac.

The emails show the contractor kept tabs on anti-Line 5 activists (known as water protectors) in the Straits of Mackinac this summer. He shared information about their camp, protests and social media posts with local law enforcement.

A man points at a stove.
Kaye LaFond / Interlochen Public Radio

Tribal nations, Michigan’s governor and environmental groups are all calling for a shutdown of Line 5: the pipeline that carries oil underneath the Straits of Mackinac.

They say the pipeline, which is 60-plus years old, poses too great a risk of rupturing.

The pipeline doesn’t just carry oil — its liquid mix includes propane that is delivered to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. So, what would happen to U.P. households using propane if Line 5 shut down?


Gregory Varnum

The Michigan Court of Claims ruled on Thursday in favor of Enbridge and its plan to house the Line 5 oil pipelines in a tunnel under the straits of Mackinac.

In 2018, former Gov. Rick Snyder signed a law authorizing the Mackinac Bridge Authority to oversee the construction of a tunnel for Line 5. Earlier this year Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel filed a suit for state agencies to stop work on it. Enbridge also filed suit and now the court knocked down Whitmer and Nessel's order.

A rocky river flows through a forest.
Tim Kiser/Wikimedia Commons

A tribe in Northern Wisconsin still wants Line 5 off their land, despite a $24 million offer from Enbridge.

The Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa sued Enbridge Energy earlier this year, asking them to immediately shut down the portion of the Line 5 oil pipeline that runs through their reservation.

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.)

The federal agency that regulates pipelines across the United States announced new rules Tuesday.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) implemented regulations that increase inspections and leak detection technology on pipelines, while also increasing oversight on damaged pipelines.

Enbridge

Enbridge announced that it will install more steel supports along the controversial Line 5 oil pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac.

Many have had concerns over the safety and integrity of the 60-year-old pipelines.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved the plan and permitting needed for installation.

According to a press release, the energy company says it will put 54 more supports along Line 5. Work is set to start immediately and should be finished later this week, according to Enbridge.

Enbridge has installed 147 supports on Line 5 since 2002. 

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