Great Lakes News

Great Lakes News

Enbridge Knew of Enamel Missing on Pipeline


Despite scrutiny from environmental groups and the public the past few years, Enbridge has recently revealed that it has known about gaps in an enamel coating on Line 5 since 2014 but did not inform regulatory agencies.

The Enbridge Line 5 pipeline runs through the Straits of Mackinac, an environmentally sensitive area that locals fear would be devastated in the face of a pipeline leak. The 65-year-old pipeline carries 23 million gallons of light crude oil and some natural gas through the Straights every day.

Enbridge representatives say employees who knew about the missing enamel coating did not pass the information up the chain because they did not deem the situation a safety concern. State officials demanded more information after learning about the gaps in August. The company has confirmed there were three gap areas, which are now being repaired.

The following is a statement released from Mike Shriberg, Executive Director of the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Regional Center and a member of the Michigan Pipeline Safety Advisory Council:

“The fact that Enbridge has known about these breaks in coating for years is, unfortunately, less surprising than it ought to be. It seems every month there is a new revelation about the deteriorating condition of Line 5 and Enbridge’s lack of transparency. This is the wrong pipeline in the wrong location operated by the wrong company. We cannot continue to allow this pipeline to jeopardize our Great Lakes.”

Read the Detroit News story here:

[Photo by Joe Brusky/Flickr]

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