Gov. Whitmer, State of Michigan Should Put an End to Enbridge’s Damaged and Decaying Oil Pipeline in the Great Lakes to Protect Drinking Water, Economy, and Way of Life
The following statement can be attributed to Liz Kirkwood, environmental attorney and executive director of FLOW (For Love of Water), a Great Lakes law and policy center based in Traverse City:
“In response to Enbridge’s revelation late Thursday that it had to perform an emergency shutdown of its 67-year-old Line 5 oil pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac because the infrastructure “has incurred significant damage,” according to the State of Michigan, FLOW is calling on the administration of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to make the shutdown permanent to protect the Great Lakes, which is the drinking water source for half of all Michigan residents, the economic engine for the Great Lakes State, and the essence of a way of life here.
We support Gov. Whitmer’s demand for immediate and full disclosure of Line 5’s condition from Enbridge to address this clear and present danger to our lakes. During a global pandemic and a deep economic downturn when fresh water is critical to our survival and comeback, the Whitmer administration must take affirmative action to permanently shut down Line 5 and avoid an inevitable catastrophic oil spill in our Great Lakes.”
Background: The Governor’s demand of Enbridge about Line 5 comes on the heels of disturbing revelations about Canadian-based Enbridge’s safety practices:
- News broke today that Enbridge has been fined $6.7 million for violating court orders on pipeline safety that put people and our drinking water at risk.
- On June 3, the Michigan Attorney General’s office argued in front of the Michigan Court of Appeals that Line 5 in the Straits is an “environmental time bomb.”
- Enbridge revealed in late May that the protective coating on the Line 5 pipeline had worn away in several spots, leaving bare metal exposed to decay.
- Since 2013, FLOW has filed legal and technical reports with the State of Michigan, including most recently in November 2019, citing extensive evidence of Enbridge operating illegally and risking the public’s water.