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Measures agreed upon to protect the Straits of Mackinac

Published by
World Pipelines,

Enbridge has entered into a second agreement with the State of Michigan on the future of Line 5. Under the agreement, Enbridge has committed to a range of measures to protect the Straits of Mackinac and the Great Lakes – including exploring with the State a new pipeline in a tunnel deep under the Straits.

The agreement protects the waters of the Straits and the Great Lakes in several ways, and makes a safe pipeline even safer. It will:

  • Increase co-ordination between the State and Enbridge.
  • Enhance safety on Line 5 water crossings other than the Straits.
  • Provide financial assurances from Enbridge to meet the costs of a Straits worst-case scenario.
  • Further commitments based on the November 2017 agreement between Enbridge and the State:
    • Replace the Line 5 St. Clair River crossing.
    • Discontinue Line 5 operations in the Straits during sustained adverse weather conditions.
    • Use technologies to enhance leak detection and condition of coating.
    • Implement measures to mitigate potential vessel anchor strikes.
  • Explore the replacement of the Straits section of Line 5 with a tunnel under the lakebed that would contain a new pipeline.

Included in the agreement is a commitment to explore the replacement of the Straits section of Line 5 with a tunnel under the lakebed that would contain a new pipeline. Placing a pipeline in a tunnel would reduce the likelihood of a release of oil into the Straits to near zero and eliminate the potential for an anchor strike.

The agreement with the State reflects Enbridge’s steadfast commitment to protecting the Great Lakes while safely meeting Michigan’s energy needs.

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