Great Lakes News

Great Lakes News

Governor Demands Changes from Enbridge


Instead of waiting for the state’s analysis of Enbridge Line 5, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is taking preemptive action concerning the pipeline and has signed a binding agreement with Enbridge that requires the company to improve environmental protection and transparency through a number of steps.

“Business as usual by Enbridge is not acceptable and we are going to ensure the highest level of environmental safety standards are implemented to protect one of Michigan’s most valuable natural resources,” says Gov. Rick Snyder in a statement. “The items required in this agreement are good strides forward. The state is evaluating the entire span of Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline and its future, but we cannot wait for the analyses to be completed before taking action to defend our waterways.”

Under the agreement, the state is requiring Enbridge to:
  • - Replace the portion of Line 5 that crosses beneath the St. Clair River with a new pipe in a tunnel under the river.

  • - Undertake a study, in conjunction with the state, on the placement of a new pipeline or the existing dual pipelines in a tunnel beneath the Straits of Mackinac.

  • - Temporarily shut down operation of Line 5 in the straits during periods of sustained adverse weather conditions.

  • - Assess the possible installation of underwater technologies, including cameras, to better monitor the pipeline beneath the Straits of Mackinac. 

  • - Implement technologies that improve the safety of Line 5 in the straits by allowing faster detection and a more immediate response in the event of a spill. 

  • - Implement measures to mitigate a potential vessel anchor strike on Line 5 beneath the straits. 

  • - Implement additional measures to minimize the likelihood of an oil spill at every Line 5 water crossing in Michigan.

  • - Increase transparency by: Providing the opportunity for the state to fully participate in each of the evaluations required under the agreement; providing all information requested by the state about the operation of Line 5 in Michigan; and meet regularly with the state to assess and discuss any changes to the pipeline’s operation.

To find more details about each stipulation, visit

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