National Wildlife Federation Statement on State Terminating Line 5 Risk Analysis Contract for Conflict of Interest

ANN ARBOR, MI - In a statement today, the State of Michigan announced it terminated a contract with Det Norske Veritas, Inc. (DNV GL), the firm preparing a risk analysis report on Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline below the Straits of Mackinac. The contract was terminated prior to the draft report being delivered to the state’s project team because DNV had been hired by Enbridge on a separate contract, which created a conflict of interest.

The following is an on the record statement regarding this termination from Mike Shriberg, executive director of the National Wildlife Federation Great Lakes Regional Center:

“While the National Wildlife Federation applauds the state for closely following its conflict of interest procedures and terminating the contract to conduct a risk analysis on the Mackinac Straits section of Line 5, we are concerned that this could delay the state’s ultimate decision on Line 5.  Fortunately, the alternatives analysis is still moving forward, and we expect it to provide a clear pathway to decommissioning Line 5.  We already have enough information on the existential risk that Line 5 poses to the Great Lakes; from missing structural supports to peeling coating to a flawed design, the risks are high.  We also know the overall consequences of a break: According to the University of Michigan, 700 miles of shoreline and 17,000 square miles of open water are at risk. Lack of ability to assign a precise value on something as invaluable as the Great Lakes and our way of life should not unduly delay the state’s actions.”

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