Enbridge Inc.’s yearlong battle with Michigan officials over a pipeline that runs through the Great Lakes is flaring up again after damage to a support structure prompted the state to try to shut down the conduit.
The most recent skirmish started last week, when Enbridge discovered that a screw anchor support for Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac, where Lake Huron and Lake Michigan connect, had shifted from its original position. The company says it shut down the line and notified the state and federal regulators the day it found the damage.
“One close call with Line 5 is one too many, which is why I am calling on Enbridge to proceed with the utmost caution and care,” Whitmer said in a statement on her website. “At this point in time, Enbridge has provided no reason to think this damage could not happen again, but next time with oil gushing into the Great Lakes.”
Enbridge plans to fight the request to shut down the whole line, which it called unnecessary and “legally unsupportable.” The company said it’s working closely with the Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration on the incident and that it has provided engineering assessments and other materials to the state.
Enbridge won the challenge to the replacement project, as well as an appeal of the lower court’s ruling. Nessel’s office will seek to have the Michigan Supreme Court review the matter.
The lawsuit over the 1953 easement remains active.