89.1 WEMU

Report Says Line 5 Sustainable Indefinitely; Critics Disagree

Jun 30, 2017

Great Lakes Map
Credit Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

A report released Thursday outlines alternatives to running an energy pipeline beneath the Great Lakes.  But it also says Enbridge’s Line 5 is safe to operate for the foreseeable future. 


More than 23 million gallons of oil and natural gas travel through Line 5 daily, including a five-mile stretch that runs beneath the Straits of Mackinac.  

Enbridge says the report shows its maintenance and improvements are working to keep the 65-year-old pipeline reliable and safe.  But David Holtz of the Sierra Club says there is no risk-free way to operate a pipeline in the Great Lakes

“The Great Lakes are no place for oil pipelines.” 

The report says one alternative to a pipeline on the lakebed is burying it.  That’s an approach endorsed by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, who co-chairs a pipeline safety task force. 

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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