Letter to Enbridge
Dear Mr. Monaco,
Yesterday evening your company informed the State of Michigan that an anchor support on one of the Line 5 dual pipelines running along the bottomlands of the Straits of Mackinac had incurred significant damage.
This support lies approximately 150 feet from a section of the pipeline where damage to the pipeline coating was discovered on or around May 26, 2020.
At this point, as I understand it, the cause for this damage to the pipeline support is unknown, although it appears the anchor support was subject to considerable force.
After discovering the damaged anchor support, Enbridge shut down the Line 5 pipeline and is gathering more information through divers, the use of a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), and other means.
The pipeline remains shut down as Enbridge continues to gather more information.
The information I have received about this incident leaves many unanswered questions as to the cause of this damage, the catastrophe that may have been narrowly avoided, and the threats that may remain as a result of the damaged infrastructure.
As you know, under the 1953 easement Enbridge holds an ongoing duty of “due care” to the State of Michigan in the “operating” and “maintaining” of the dual pipelines.
There can be no question this duty
obligates Enbridge to proceed with the utmost caution and care at this moment.
As a first step toward fulfilling that duty, I ask that Enbridge provide Director Liesl Clark, Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, and Director Dan Eichinger, Department of Natural Resources, all information available to E nbridge about this incident.
This includes, but is not limited to, all engineering reports, photographs, video, and other demonstrative evidence of the damage.
Please provide this information no later Monday, June 22, 2020 and supplement that disclosure with all further information about
the incident as it becomes available.
Information in digital form and available immediately should be provided within 24 hours to Director Eichinger (EichingerD@michigan.gov) and Director Clark (ClarkL20@michigan.gov).
In addition, I ask that Enbridge provide affirmative evidence, including appropriate diagnostic testing, that establishes the integrity of the dual pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac.
As Governor of the State of Michigan—the Great Lakes State—I carry an immense burden to protect this priceless treasure that defines the contours of our state and our way of life.
I anticipate and expect your full cooperation.
Gretchen Whitmer, Governor