NWF Supports Michigan Effort to Get More Information on Straits of Mackinac Pipeline

"Enbridge now needs to come clean about the integrity of its 60-year-old pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac."

05-01-2014 // Jordan Lubetkin

Clinton River Spillway Weir in floodMichigan officials yesterday publicly pressed Enbridge Inc.—the company responsible for the largest inland oil spill in U.S. history—to answer questions about its plans to expand its decades-old pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac.

Among other information, Attorney General Bill Schuette and Dan Wyant, director of the state Department of Environmental Quality, are asking the company to provide inspection records of the 61-year-old pipeline and response plans in the event of a spill.

Commenting on the request, Andy Buchsbaum, regional executive director of the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes office, said:

"We fully support Gov. Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Shuette for taking this important step to protect Michigan communities and the Great Lakes from another potentially catastrophic oil spill. The state is asking the right questions.

"Enbridge now needs to come clean about the integrity of its 60-year-old pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac. Following its 2010 oil disaster in Michigan—the largest inland oil spill in U.S. history—it owes Michigan citizens answers.

"The stakes are too high. The Mackinac pipeline carries more than 20 million gallons of oil every day under Lakes Michigan and Huron. And an oil spill there would have devastating consequences for people, fish and wildlife, and the economy. It’s a recipe for disaster.

"We look forward to see how the company responds. In the meantime, we will continue to fight to protect the Great Lakes –and all of our nation’s waters and wildlife—from future spills."

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