Lansing, MI — Today, an hour before the Pipeline Safety Advisory Board (PSAB) quarterly meeting, over 100 Michigan residents, tribal leaders, health professionals and environmental advocates gathered in front of the Michigan Agency for Energy. The group gathered to urge Governor Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette, to decommission Line 5 once and for all. Certain groups also expressed major concerns with the process of the alternatives study and risk analysis study of Line 5.
Line 5 has been under fire for questions about the condition of it’s protective coating which was shown to lack important anti-corrosive coating. Last Thursday, Dr. Edward E. Timm, PhD, PE released a report on the deficiencies in the original design of Line 5 and the implications of the underwater current data for the Straits of Mackinac where the twin crude oil pipelines lie.
The PSAB is charged with conducting an independent study of alternatives to Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac. The board includes members of various oil corporations, including Enbridge, owner of Line 5, with concerning financial interests in the outcome of the study.
“Line 5 poses a significant risk to our Great Lakes and the life they support, said Aaron Payment Chairperson of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. “A rupture in Line 5 would devastate our tribal fishing grounds granted to us through treaty rights, it’s unacceptable to allow these dangerous oil and gas pipelines to put the health of the lakes and our livelihood at risk.”
The alternatives study identified six different alternatives to the pipeline including one industry friendly alternative, a call to replace Line 5 with a new oil pipeline, which was described as beneficial and advantageous. The other, more environmentally friendly options like the option to decommission the pipeline, used neutral language. The economic analysis of Line 5 included an eight-state regional analysis but the State of Michigan has no responsibility for the economies of these other states.
“The oil and gas industry-friendly firms chosen to conduct the risks and alternatives analyses studies for Line 5 are alarming and the validity of their reports are questionable at best,” said Mariah Urueta, Food & Water Watch. “It is the responsibility of our leaders like Gov. Rick Snyder and A.G. Bill Schuette to ensure their constituents are provided with a safe and health environment, and the only acceptable alternative is to shut down Line 5.”
The grassroots uprising against Line 5 in Michigan has been growing for years. The nearly 64 year-old twin oil and gas pipelines carry more than 20 million gallons of oil along the bottom of the Mackinac Straits and directly threaten the Great Lakes and surrounding communities. Michiganders want the Governor and AG to do more to protect public health in the state and ensure that the water remains safe to drink.
“Line 5 under the Straits is a Triple Winner in AA parlance. Fatigued metal, compromised coating, and corrosive biofouling,” said Dr. Ed timm, PhD, P.E. “I’m like Dilbert, I inform management so that they can make a difficult technical decision. You are the management, don’t let this come out like a typical Dilbert cartoon.”