As you saw last week on greatlakesnow.org, Michigan lawmakers including Governor Rick Snyder are calling for Enbridge Oil Company to immediately repair areas of lost protective coating on the oil pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac. A new report reveals bare metal in several spots.
Governor Rick Snyder issued this statement to Great Lakes Now: “I am greatly concerned by the new information regarding Line 5. Protection of Michigan’s natural resources is of utmost importance. I have directed our departments to accelerate an aggressive review of Enbridge operations and maintenance procedures throughout the state.”
Over the weekend, indigenous and environmental activists came from all over the Midwest for protests aimed at decommissioning the 64-year old pipeline that carries about 23 million gallons of oil a day. The new report of exposed bare metal is giving new fuel to the controversy over the pipeline.
But Enbridge spokesperson Ryan Duffy says this new report should not cause concern about the safety of the pipeline.
Duffy has now given greatlakesnow.org the following response to this latest report. We decided to publish this response in its entirety:
“Enbridge initiated this summer several studies, inspections and maintenance projects along the dual pipelines of Line 5 in the Straits.
One of the studies, which will run mid-August through mid-September 2017, includes assessing the impact of aquatic organisms, such as mussels, attached to the outer portion of Line 5 and an inspection of the enamel coating in various locations. Results from the August aquatic organism study will not be available for several weeks following the completion of the study; however, during the course of the associated inspection of the pipelines enamel coating, Enbridge has confirmed two locations containing small areas where there is pipeline without coating. A third location also has a possible small area of bare metal which is still being evaluated. None of the areas involve where delamination of the outer wrap over the coating had been observed.
There is no visual evidence of any corrosion or impact on the integrity of the pipe or the safe operation of the dual pipelines. The Line 5 pipelines at the Straits are protected with redundant systems including the enamel coating, cathodic protection, and internal and external integrity inspections.
Enbridge will repair these sections of coating immediately following the completion of all sampling and coating inspections, and after obtaining any necessary permits.
The findings underscore the effectiveness of Enbridge’s monitoring and maintenance program, which continues to exceed federal standards and reflects Enbridge’s commitment to Michigan and safe pipeline operations. Enbridge is proud that its safety management program worked as intended to identify and address promptly a concern and that the dual pipelines remain in excellent condition.”
Great Lakes Now contacted Michigan U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow as well as several other organizations for reaction to this report and to Enbridge’s response. No comment so far.
We will keep you posted as we receive more responses.