December 6, 2017

Citizens Groups React to Line 5 Shut Down

CONTACT: Sean McBrearty, Oil & Water Don’t Mix, (616)516-7758

Citizens Groups React to Line 5 Shut Down

LANSING- Yesterday, the portion of Enbridge Energy’s controversial Line 5 pipeline that operates through the Straits of Mackinac was temporarily shut down due to adverse weather conditions in the Straits. According to the backroom deal that Governor Snyder struck with Enbridge on November 27th, the portion of pipeline that runs through the Straits must be shut down any time in which there are sustained waves of eight feet or larger in the Straits of Mackinac. Tuesday’s nine-foot waves accompanied with high winds were identified, and the pipeline was shut down at 11:37 AM.

“The very fact that this agreement between Governor Snyder and Enbridge requires the pipeline to be shut down in adverse weather conditions is an admission that there is a genuine risk identified with the continued operation of this pipeline,” said Liz Kirkwood, executive director of FLOW (For Love of Water).

“The US Coast Guard says they cannot clean up an oil spill when waves are larger than three feet high. It makes absolutely no sense to allow Enbridge to operate this outdated, poorly maintained pipeline any longer. Especially in conditions that would make a cleanup nearly impossible,” said Bill Latka, group leader of TC350.

“Shutting down the pipeline during bad weather is an indication of the truly terrible condition that the pipeline is in. How much longer is the state going to let Enbridge hobble this old, failing pipeline along while putting the Great Lakes at risk?” said Greg Reisig, board chair of the Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council.

“The state allowing Enbridge to continue to operate this pipeline in most conditions, while adding the arbitrary requirement that it be shut down when waves on the surface are greater than eight feet, is roughly the equivalent of the state allowing someone to operate a car without brakes or steering, as long as they don’t drive in the fog,” said Jessica Fujan, midwest regional director of Food and Water Watch, “it is an arbitrary requirement that makes no sense and puts a lot of Michigan residents at risk.”

Oil & Water Don’t Mix is a broad campaign of organizations, citizens and businesses across Michigan who are working to keep oil out of our Great Lakes by shutting down the dangerous, 64-year-old Line 5 Pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac. The campaign fights for clean water and air, Indigenous rights, reducing pollution, sustainable economies and protecting sporting, tourism and jobs that are dependent on our water and Pure Michigan way of life.

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