National Wildlife Federation Statement on Draft Independent Risk Analysis for Straits Pipeline (Line 5)

Ann Arbor, MI – Today, the State of Michigan released a draft Independent Risk Analysis for the Straits Pipeline it commissioned from a team led by Dr. Guy Meadows of Michigan Tech University. The draft report modeled over 4,000 spill scenarios to determine the largest foreseeable discharge of oil in adverse weather conditions, estimating over $1.8 billion in economic damages and over 770 km of oiled shoreline. The full press release from the State of Michigan can be found here.

Mike Shriberg, Great Lakes Regional Executive Director for the National Wildlife Federation and a member of the Michigan Pipeline Safety Advisory Board, issued this statement in response:

“The National Wildlife Federation is still reviewing the report and will provide full comments at a later date. However, one assumption that jumps out is that Enbridge would detect a leak within 5 minutes or less, when it took them 17 hours to detect the Kalamazoo River oil spill and weeks to assess the damage caused by this past April’s anchor strike. Given Enbridge’s track record, a 5-minute detection time seems closer to a best-case scenario, not a worst-case. Even with this estimate, the report outlines significant risks to northern Michigan communities, economy, tourism, recreation, fish and wildlife, and irreplaceable tribal and cultural resources which are far greater than the sliver of benefit anyone in Michigan receives from Line 5.”



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