Enbridge

The state has awarded permits to Enbridge Energy to dig the tunnel that would house a new Line 5 pipeline. The replacement would still be used to move petroleum products on a path that runs beneath environmentally sensitive Straits of Mackinac.

Hugh McDiarmid of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy says this decision does not address the wisdom of an oil pipeline in the Great Lakes, but technical issues with digging the tunnel.

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

Images from an underwater vehicle seem to reveal stone patterns on the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac in northern Michigan, possible evidence of Native American artifacts from thousands of years ago, a newspaper reported.

A group of amateur explorers raised money to look at Enbridge Inc.’s oil pipeline on the lake bottom. The four women hired a boat equipped with an underwater vehicle and side-scan sonar. It can map the sea floor based on sound.

The sonar showed what appears to be stones in a half-circle, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Enbridge Energy logo
enbridge.com

  Enbridge says damage that prompted the temporary shutdown of its underwater oil pipelines in a Great Lakes channel may have been done by vessels working for the company. The Canadian company this week submitted to government agencies the results of its investigation into “disturbances” that were discovered during inspections of dual pipelines that run across Michigan’s Straits of Mackinac. They are part of Line 5, which carries oil and liquids used in propane. The report says a number of vessels that had been operating in the area were Enbridge contractors.

Underwater photo of Line 5
SCREEN SHOT OF A BALLARD MARINE INSPECTION VIDEO / ENBRIDGE ENERGY

 

Underwater photo of Line 5
SCREEN SHOT OF A BALLARD MARINE INSPECTION VIDEO / ENBRIDGE ENERGY

  State officials are asking Enbridge Energy to enter into a written agreement saying the company will cover any potential losses and damage related to Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac. 

 

 

The Department of Natural Resources requested the agreement after an independent analysis last year identified the lack of one as a weakness in the current understanding between the state and Enbridge.  

 

wikipedia.com

The Michigan Court of Appeals has upheld a law that allows Enbridge Energy to build a tunnel so it can continue to move oil and natural gas liquids through a controversial Great Lakes pipeline.

Line Five runs beneath the Straits of Mackinac, which connects Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.

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

An energy company sees no reason to remove a narrow 270-foot rod from the Straits of Mackinac in northern Michigan. Enbridge told state regulators that it poses no risk to the environment while embedded in the lake bottom. Enbridge says the rod became stuck in September when it was used to fill a hole with grout. A contractor then broke the rod, which left a 45 foot segment on the lake bottom and the remainder in the hole. The shorter piece was recovered in December. The rod was part of advance work related to Enbridge's plan to replace a pipeline with one protected by a tunnel.

Underwater photo of Line 5
SCREEN SHOT OF A BALLARD MARINE INSPECTION VIDEO / ENBRIDGE ENERGY

  Michigan officials demanded an extensive set of records Monday from Enbridge Inc. in an investigation of the company’s oil pipeline that runs beneath a channel linking two of the Great Lakes.

In a letter to the Canadian company, the state Department of Natural Resources requested documents dating back to 1953, when two 20-inch pipelines were placed across the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac.

They are part of Line 5, which carries crude oil and natural gas liquids used in propane from Superior, Wisconsin, to Sarnia, Ontario. The straits connect Lakes Huron and Michigan.

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

A controversial pipeline that carries crude oil and natural gas liquids under the Straits of Mackinac is on its way toward being decommissioned. Sort of. The plan is to have a new pipeline built under about 100 feet of bedrock through the Straits of Mackinac with a tunnel around the line. Then decommission the current line. But it’s not a done deal yet. Other agreements have to be made. And with a new governor on the horizon, it’s unclear how permanent this solution could be.