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May 2020

UPDATE - Fight over Line 5 continues in Michigan

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The confrontation over how to deal with the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. At this point, Enbridge and Michigan Governor Whitmer’s administration are at an impasse. Complicating the issue is that several environmental organizations have called for the decommissioning of Line 5, citing environmental reasons.

Built in 1953, the Line 5 Straits of Mackinac Crossing has operated without incident for more than 60 years. It transports light crude oil and natural gas liquids that help to fuel quality of life for people in Michigan. This pipeline plays a vital role in the Canadian propane industry.

In January, a Michigan State court judge ruled that the deal signed between Enbridge and the administration of former Governor Rick Snyder was valid.  At that time, current Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said the state would appeal the court’s decision.

On April 17, Enbridge filed an application with the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) requesting authority to replace and relocate the segment of Line 5 that crosses the Straits of Mackinac into a tunnel beneath the Straits of Mackinac. Enbridge asked the MPSC for a declaratory ruling that it already has the authority from the Commission to construct the replacement segment based on the Commission’s original 1953 order granting authority for the Line 5 pipeline.  

On April 22, the MPSC put Enbridge Energy LP’s application on hold while it considered public comment and the company’s request for a declaratory ruling on whether new siting authority from the MPSC is needed for Enbridge to construct this segment. 

The MPSC also established a public comment period on the request for a declaratory ruling. Comments should address only the declaratory ruling issue, and not the merits of Enbridge’s Act 16 application.  

The CPA continues to monitor the situation closely and will providean update as the issue continues to evolve.

 

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