Michigan, pipeline company reach deal to keep controversial line running

Snyder, Enbridge agree to shut down Line 5 section

Enbridge has officially entered an agreement with the State of MI regarding Line 5, according to a statement released by the company.

The agreement means Enbridge can, for the time being, keep operating the line, despite intense scrutiny in recent years by regulators and environmentalists.

Earlier this year, the State of MI released a report, funded by Enbridge but overseen by the state, that examined several alternatives to move the Line 5 oil from Superior to Sarnia.

The agreement is also drawing reaction from candidates for MI governor.

"The Great Lakes are one of the great treasures of the world, not just for Michigan", Snyder said.

By June 2018, we will have evaluated three options for the eventual replacement of the dual pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac. "And I believe we have Enbridge's attention and their commitment to move forward in a constructive way to address this issue".

The state of MI is imposing some new conditions on the operation of a controversial oil and gas pipeline.

Enbridge has committed to replace a section of Line 5 that runs underneath the St. Clair River with a new pipeline, temporarily shut down portions of the line in extreme weather and look into new safety technology.

"We are concerned that this agreement could shortcut exploration of better options for protecting the Great Lakes, while favoring the tunneling option under the Straits, which could still pose an unacceptable risk to our waters", said Mike Shriberg, regional executive director of the National Wildlife Federation.

Brader outlined ways in which the people of MI "depend on this pipe", including the fact that it handles more than 80 percent of statewide propane demand. We also will do our part with increased responsiveness by taking meaningful, concrete actions.

Governor Snyder said that we must ensure the highest level of environmental safety standards to protect Michigan's natural resources.

And while this is not a final decision by the state regarding Line 5, but it is a start to improving the safety of the pipeline.

Lisa Wozniak, of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters, says the state is putting too much trust in Enbridge. It also calls for the company to explore building a new pipe or pipes that would tunnel under the Straits.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette released a statement in response to the agreement saying "Today's announcement is a good step forward toward fulfilling our responsibilities to protect the Great Lakes and the health of Michigan citizens". "In the meantime, the actions mandated in the agreement will improve the information available and improve safety, stewardship, and transparency".

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