From Great Lakes Bureau Chief Mary Ellen Geist: It seems that almost every day there is news involving oil transport. Earlier this week, the controversial alternative Keystone XL pipeline route was approved by a Nebraska panel (see story below.) Though the decision could be challenged in court, it appears the last major obstacle to building the 8 billion dollar 1,179 mile long pipeline from Canada and though several U.S states has been removed. The decision comes just days after the Keystone-owned system linking Alberta’s oil sands with U.S. refineries spilled 5,000 barrels of oil – that’s 210,000 gallons – in rural northeastern South Dakota.
Though these pipelines are not located in the Great Lakes, greatlakesnow.org is watching these issues closely to see what impact they have on oil transport in the Great Lakes Region.
Enbridge’s Line 5 Pipeline located in Michigan’s Straits of Mackinac is facing close scrutiny lately for revelations involving the release of information about the loss of protective coating along the pipeline. The Line 5 alternatives analysis report has just been made public. A new risk analysis of Line 5 conducted by a team of academic researchers is underway and is scheduled to be completed by this summer. The Pipeline Safety Advisory Board will hold a meeting on December 11th in Lansing and has asked Enbridge officials to explain the latest coating gaps to officials. Detroit Public Television’s Great Lakes Bureau will be at that meeting with a camera crew to bring you the latest. greatlakesnow.org is currently producing a documentary about Line 5 that is scheduled to premiere this spring.
Mary Ellen Geist, Great Lakes Bureau Chief
Mary Ellen Geist is an award-winning broadcast journalist and author who was born and raised in the Detroit area. She began her career as a broadcast journalist in Northern Michigan where one of her first investigative reports involved the discovery of trichloroethylene in the ground water of a small town. She later won several awards...Read more