LANSING, Mich. – Enbridge Energy Partners has delivered to the State of Michigan three reports that examine possible measures and technologies to mitigate potential leaks from Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac and at water crossings throughout Michigan.
The three studies were delivered by their June 30 deadlines set in a November 2017 agreement between the state and Enbridge, which operates Line 5.
The reports have been posted to the Michigan Petroleum Pipelines website.
Under the November agreement, Enbridge was to conduct four studies, with state oversight, that were due in June. The first report, released publicly June 15, detailed feasible replacement alternatives to the existing Line 5 beneath the straits.
The three other Enbridge reports:
Assess technologies that will provide additional leak and coating damage detection benefits over and above technologies in place at the Line 5 straits crossing.
Study options to mitigate the risk of a vessel anchor damaging Line 5 in the straits.
List priority waters crossed by Line 5 – jointly identified by the state and Enbridge – and assess measures at each crossing to minimize the likelihood and consequences of a spill.
Each report was independently reviewed by two contractors hired by the state to ensure the accuracy of Enbridge’s findings. The four reports will supplement public and stakeholder input to inform a decision on the final disposition of Line 5. That decision will be made this fall.
The pending Risk Analysis is being conducted by a team of researchers led by Dr. Guy Meadows of Michigan Technological University in Houghton. It will assess the impact of a worst-case scenario of a pipeline spill in the Straits of Mackinac and is expected to be completed this fall.
Built in 1953, Line 5 is 645 miles long and transports up to 540,000 barrels a day of light crude oil and natural gas liquids from Superior, Wisconsin, to Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. Below the Straits of Mackinac, the pipeline lies on the lake bottom within an easement issued in 1953 by the State of Michigan.