Enbridge Energy

State officials have hired a Michigan Technological University professor to lead a risk analysis of twin pipelines carrying crude oil beneath the Straits of Mackinac. Guy Meadows and a team of researchers will focus on the underwater segment of Enbridge Inc.'s Line 5, which carries nearly 23 million gallons of oil daily through the waterway linking lakes Michigan and Huron. Meadows is a mechanical engineer and director of Michigan Tech's Great Lakes Research Center.

Straits of Mackinac
Gregory Varnum via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 / wikimedia.org

Michigan’s energy chief says damage to the protective coating on an oil and gas pipeline that runs beneath the Straits of Mackinac was worse than initially reported.

Valerie Brater directs the Michigan Agency for Energy. She says Enbridge Energy initially reported small sections of Line Five’s protective coating were accidentally worn off down to the metal while underwater safety anchors were being installed.

Brater says the places where metal is showing are much larger than Enbridge said they were, and she says company was too slow to repair the damage.

Straits of Mackinac
Gregory Varnum via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 / wikimedia.org

Michigan environmental groups are frustrated with Ontario’s support for keeping an oil-and-gas pipeline running beneath the Straits of Mackinac.

The province’s Ministry of Energy sent Michigan a letter earlier this week. The ministry stressed the importance of Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline to Ontario.

Environmental groups say this flies in the face of their efforts to shut down the pipeline. Line 5 carries crude oil and liquid natural gas under the Straits of Mackinac. Activists say it’s a massive environmental risk.

Michigan officials have approved plans by pipeline company Enbridge to install additional supports for its twin oil pipelines in the waterway where Lakes Michigan and Huron meet.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality says it issued a permit Monday for Enbridge to install four additional supports beneath sections of the Straits of Mackinac pipelines known as Line 5.

An easement granted in the 1950s requires that the pipelines have some type of support no more than 75 feet apart.

Mackinac Bridge
Glabb via Wikimedia | CC BY 2.0 / wikimedia.org

State officials are taking public comments on a plan by Enbridge Energy Partners to install additional supports for its twin oil pipelines in the waterway where Lakes Michigan and Huron meet.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality says a 20-day comment period began Monday for an Enbridge application for a permit to place the steel supports beneath sections of the Straits of Mackinac pipelines.

An easement granted in the 1950s requires that the pipelines have some type of support no more than 75 feet apart.

Image of the Kalamazoo River in Saugatuck.
Terry Johnston via Wikimedia | CC BY 2.0 / flickr.com via Wikimedia.org

Enbridge Energy Partners will pay a $61 million penalty for the costliest inland oil spill in U.S. history under an agreement with federal officials.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice announced the settlement Wednesday over a 2010 pipeline rupture near Marshall, Michigan, that released an estimated 843,000 gallons of crude oil.

A nearly 40-mile stretch of the Kalamazoo River was polluted as shoreline residents fled their homes.

Mackinac Bridge
Glabb via Wikimedia | CC BY 2.0 / wikimedia.org

The state of Michigan has tapped two companies to analyze the financial risk of an oil pipeline rupture in the Straits of Mackinac and evaluate any alternatives to the pipeline.

Enbridge Energy, based in Calgary, Alberta, has agreed to pay $3.5 million but will not oversee the studies.

Enbridge owns the twin oil pipelines in the area where lakes Huron and Michigan converge.

Det Norske Veritas will determine how much money would be needed to clean up an oil spill.

Dynamic Risk Assessment Systems will study alternatives to Line 5.

A federal appeals court says an Enbridge oil pipeline that runs through a northern Michigan national forest does not need a new permit to continue operating.

The Sierra Club says Enbridge’s Line 5 permit effectively expired and needed a new one.

The Sierra Club’s David Holtz says that warranted a new environmental risk assessment by the US Forest Service.

“So their permit was up and that’s basically what our argument is, that they should have done that.”

Scales of Justice
Tim Evanson via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 / wikimedia.org

A federal appeals court has ruled in favor of the government in a dispute over an oil pipeline that runs through a national forest in Michigan's Oscoda County.

The Sierra Club sued the U.S. Forest Service, saying it didn't prepare an environmental analysis when it renewed Enbridge Energy's right-of-way permit.

But the appeals court on Thursday agreed with a federal judge in Bay City who said the agency wasn't required to perform an assessment.

The 30-inch pipeline is part of an Enbridge line that starts in Wisconsin and ends in Ontario, Canada.

Lake Michigan
3bylunch via Wikimedia | CC BY 2.0 / Wikimedia.org

An environmental group is accusing the federal government of misjudging an emergency response plan for a major oil pipeline that runs through Michigan.

The National Wildlife Federation filed a lawsuit Monday against a pipeline safety agency, saying the government in 2013 failed to account for impacts on wildlife, plants, and Great Lakes shore if Line 5 ruptures.

The pipeline is operated by Enbridge, a Canadian company.

It runs from Wisconsin to Ontario, Canada, including the Straits of Mackinac, which connect Lake Michigan and Lake Huron in Michigan.

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