Anchor Strike Causes Straits Spill, Also Dents Line 5

Governor Snyder Calling for Line 5 to be Decommissioned

ANN ARBOR, MI -- In a statement released today, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announced that the U.S. Coast Guard confirmed that a vessel anchor strike caused the recent spill of insulating mineral oil from transmission lines crossing the Straits of Mackinac, and that the same anchor may have caused three dents in Enbridge’s Line 5 oil pipeline, which also crosses the Straits. Governor Snyder’s statement also stated that “Assuming studies show a tunnel is physically possible and construction would not cause significant environmental damage, the Governor will move to require Enbridge to construct the tunnel and decommission the existing Line 5 that runs under the Straits of Mackinac.” The Governor’s full statement is available here.

In response, here is an on-the-record statement from Mike Shriberg, executive director for the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Regional Center and a member of the state’s Pipeline Safety Advisory Board:

“This vessel anchor strike is exactly why we need to decommission Line 5 as soon as possible. For the first time, Governor Snyder has called for the decommissioning of Line 5, which is the right thing to do. However, pushing forward on the tunnel presumes that it is the best pathway for the state. What we know is that Line 5 is not critical infrastructure and that there are alternatives which do not endanger the Great Lakes.”

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