89.1 WEMU

Emergency Order Formally Bans Dropping Anchor In Straits Of Mackinac

May 25, 2018

Mackinac Bridge from the Straits of Mackinac
Credit Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Governor Rick Snyder has approved a six-month ban on ships dropping anchor in the Straits of Mackinac.  It’s a response to a mishap in April that caused a mineral oil spill and damage to Enbridge Line 5.


There are advisories that say ships shouldn’t drop anchor in the straits, where there’s a risk posed by the Enbridge fuel line and other infrastructure.  But it’s not a regulation.  In April, a ship dragged an anchor across the bottom of the straits and ruptured a utility line and dented Line 5

Snyder Communications Director Ari Adler says the state is trying to get a federal rule adopted by the Coast Guard.

“That is taking a little longer than Governor Snyder would like, and, so, in the meantime, he has issued an emergency rule that will help put that prohibition in place.”

Adler says the rule can be renewed for another six months, if necessary.  Environmental groups say the temporary rule is an improvement, but also shows why the best move would be to shut down Line 5.

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— Rick Pluta is the Managing Editor and Reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org