Reports & Media Releases

Snyder Administration Knowingly Violates State Law, Constitution in Race to Seal ‘Line 5’ Oil Tunnel Deals || December 17, 2018

In a rush to give away public land, water, and taxpayer resources to the private Canadian pipeline company Enbridge before departing office in 13 days, Gov. Rick Snyder and his administration are knowingly taking steps that trample Michigan law and openly violate the state constitution, while locking in at least...Read more »


Gridlock on the Great Lakes: ‘Line 5’ Oil Spill Threatens a $45 Billion Blow to Shipping, Steel Production, and Jobs || November 20, 2018

A Line 5 oil spill in the Straits of Mackinac could trigger a domino effect of damage disrupting Great Lakes commercial shipping and steel production, slashing jobs, and shrinking the nation’s Gross Domestic Product by $45 billion after just 15 days, according to a report....Read more »


FLOW’s Legal Analysis: Snyder-Enbridge Oil Tunnel Deal Risks the Mackinac Bridge’s Fiscal Integrity, Violates Environmental Laws || November 1, 2018

The use of the legal powers of the Mackinac Bridge Authority (MBA) to facilitate an oil tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac, as proposed by outgoing Gov. Rick Snyder in a secretly negotiated deal with Enbridge Energy Partners, violates environmental provisions of Michigan’s Constitution....Read more »


Gov. Snyder’s “Line 5” Oil Tunnel Increases Risk of Great Lakes Oil Spill || October 3, 2018

Make no mistake, Gov. Rick Snyder’s oil tunnel proposal announced today increases the likelihood of an oil spill disaster in the Straits of Mackinac, the very heart of the Great Lakes. The Governor’s proposed tunnel, to be completed in 7 to 10 years, means Enbridge will continue to pump 23...Read more »


Michigan Groundwater Emergency || September 25, 2018

Michigan’s groundwater resources are in deteriorating condition, and changes in state policy are urgently needed to restore it, FLOW said in a report released today. The report by FLOW, the Great Lakes law and policy center, says Michigan law and policy have adopted an “out of sight, out of mind”... Read more »


Public Water, Public Justice || September 19, 2018

Drawing upon decades of experience and after a year of research, conversation, and analysis in collaboration with many people and organizations, FLOW today released “Public Water, Public Justice,” model legislation designed to protect Michigan’s public waters, and the rights of the people who depend on them, from unauthorized privatization... Read more »


State-Commissioned Line 5 Risk Analysis Underlines Urgency of Shutdown, FLOW Says || August 21, 2018

Even the significantly understated economic impacts of a spill from Line 5 at the Straits of Mackinac in a state-commissioned analysis reveal a fiscal and human price tag too high for the people of Michigan, FLOW (For Love of Water) said in comments submitted to Lansing officials before Sunday’s.. Read more »


FLOW Says Army Corps Must Conduct Full Environmental Review of Line 5 || July 20, 2018

Enbridge’s latest in a long series of requests for government approval of a change in design that elevates a large portion of Line 5 pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac must trigger a full environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), a Great Lakes law and policy center.. Read more »


FLOW to Snyder and Schuette: Stop Delays, Scrap Side Deal, and Shut Down "Line 5" Pipelines to Prevent Great Lakes Oil Spill Disaster || July 16, 2018

Michigan is moving closer to a Great Lakes oil spill disaster and farther from a real alternative to the decaying oil pipelines in the Mackinac Straits, according to a Great Lakes law and policy center’s review released today of technical reports produced by Line 5-owner Enbridge at the direction.. Read more »


Latest Enbridge Reports Underscore Line 5's Vulnerability to 400 Michigan Waterways || June 29, 2018

Enbridge today released three reports required as part of the November 2017 agreement with the Governor concerning Line 5. The reports examine possible methodologies to mitigate potential leaks from Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac and at nearly 400 water crossings throughout Michigan.

“These reports from Enbridge provide a.. Read more »


Proposed "Line 5" Tunnel Under the Mackinac Straits Ignores Looming Disaster || June 15, 2018

A Canadian oil transport company would be assured billions of dollars in more profit, while the Great Lakes and Michigan’s tourist economy would face decades of more risk of an oil spill disaster from a new Line 5 pipeline tunnel or trench under the Mackinac Straits, as envisioned in a.. Read more »


FLOW Demands State Reject Latest Enbridge Ploy || May 14, 2018

In comments submitted to state officials Friday, FLOW is urging state regulators to deny a bid by Enbridge Energy to install 48 new anchor supports on dangerous Line 5 at the Straits of Mackinac while evading scrutiny of alternatives that would protect the environment.

Enbridge’s latest request, if approved, would.. Read more »


FLOW Challenges Wisconsin's Approval of Lake Michigan Water Diversion || May 14, 2018

A Lake Michigan water diversion approved by the State of Wisconsin is inconsistent with the Great Lakes Compact and threatens an open season on Great Lakes water, FLOW said today.

The Traverse City, Michigan-based science and law center asked Great Lakes governors and a Regional Body established by the.. Read more »


Line 5 Economic Report || May 2, 2018

A Line 5 oil spill could deliver a blow of over $6 billion in economic impacts and natural resource damages to Michigan’s economy, according to a study commissioned by FLOW. Conducted by nationally respected ecological economist Dr. Robert Richardson of Michigan State University, the study for the first time adds... Read more »


Public Comment to Michigan Pipeline Safety Advisory Board || December 13, 2017

Good evening, and thank you for the opportunity to comment on what is unfortunately a deeply flawed final Line 5 alternatives study. The people of Michigan are ill-served by this study. It cannot serve as a basis for an informed and intelligent decision about the fate of this profound.. Read more »


Liz Kirkwood's Comment to the Pipeline Safety Advisory Board || December 11, 2017

Over two years ago, the Governor of Michigan created this Advisory Board by Executive Order to “Review and make recommendations for statutory, regulatory, and contractual implementation of the Michigan Petroleum Pipeline Task Force Report.” This meant the board was required to oversee an independent and comprehensive analysis of risks.. Read more »


FLOW Responds to State-Enbridge Agreement || November 27, 2017

FLOW issued the following statement today regarding the announcement of an agreement between the state of Michigan and Enbridge Energy concerning the company’s Line 5 oil pipelines in the open waters of the Mackinac Straits, where Lake Michigan and Lake Huron meet:

“It is imprudent and arbitrary for the Governor.. Read more »


Pitting Corrosion and the Impact of Zebra and Quagga Mussels on Bare Steel Pipelines || October 31, 2017

Portions of the steel oil pipelines in the Mackinac Straits may have lost half their wall thickness since installation in 1953 and become dangerously weakened due to hard-to-detect pitting corrosion, an engineering expert said today.

The independent analysis further strengthens the case for an immediate shutdown of Line.. Read more »


1% for the Great Lakes || October 26, 2017

It’s called 1% for the Great Lakes, but it grows out of 100% enthusiasm for these majestic waters on the part of Timothy and Kathy Young, Founders of Esch Road Foods.

When Food For Thought launched Esch Road Foods, it was named after the founders’ favorite beach in the Sleeping.. Read more »


FLOW to Michigan Officials: Sideline the Study and Stop the Oil || August 4, 2017

FLOW today submitted formal public comments on the State of Michigan’s 337-page “Alternative Analysis for the Straits Pipeline,” calling on state officials to scrap the fatally flawed study and stop Line 5’s oil because of Enbridge’s repeated violations of the 1953 easement allowing the pipelines to occupy the.. Read more »


Enbridge's Neglect of 64-Year-Old "Line 5" Pipelines in Mackinac Straits Requires State to Apply Law, Stop Oil, Reject Permit || July 25, 2017

The state of Michigan must immediately apply the law, stop Line 5’s oil flow, and reject a Canadian company’s application to extract more life out of its decaying steel pipelines built in 1953, according to FLOW, a Traverse City-based Great Lakes water law and policy center in public comments.. Read more »


Analysis of Alternatives to 64-Year-Old "Line 5" Pipelines Riddled with Bad Assumptions, Miscalculations || July 24, 2017

A draft report for the State by Dynamic Risk Inc. of alternatives to Enbridge’s risky twin oil pipelines crossing the lakebed at the Straits of Mackinac is so deeply flawed, according to FLOW, a Traverse City-based Great Lakes water law and policy center, that the State cannot credibly rely.. Read more »