Gov. Snyder directing state departments to aggressively review Enbridge operations
LANSING, Mich. (SINCLAIR BROADCAST GROUP) - Governor Rick Snyder says he's greatly concerned about new information on Enbridge's Line 5 pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac.
Enbridge has confirmed it found two spots on Line 5 that are missing protective enamel coating.
Enbridge tells us it handed this information over to the state in an effort to be transparent.
But now, Governor Snyder is directing state departments to aggressively review Enbridge's operations throughout the state.
Governor Snyder and several state agencies are concerned about Enbridge's Line 5 pipeline that transports light crude oil and natural gas underwater near the Mackinac Bridge.
Enbridge confirms in at least two areas the pipeline is missing it's protective coating.
Still, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality says the pipeline seems to be structurally sound.
"But is certainly raises some concerns about the upkeep of the pipeline and about Enbridge's procedure," said Michigan DEQ spokesperson Melody Kindraka.
The DEQ has no idea how long the protective coating has been compromised.
"We have asked for Enbridge to inspect all the anchor supports along the pipeline and we've asked them to notify us of that inspection process and also repair any issues they may find within 30 days," Kindraka said.
Enbridge officials say they are working on solving the issues within the next few days.
Company spokesman Ryan Duffy told us the pipeline is still in excellent working condition, but many Republican and Democratic lawmakers are worried.
"It's a tremendous concern...the Great Lakes are such an incredible source of fresh water that we can't really play around," said Representative Andy Schor (D-Lansing).
"My reaction is I told you so. The pipeline is 64 years old. The same age as the pipeline that polluted the Kalamazoo River. It needs to be shut down," said Senator Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge).
But shutting down Line 5 may mean higher propane and crude oil prices in Michigan.
"Without this pipeline, Michigan ends up at the tail end of the supply line. That means not only are we likely to see price increases, but also any supply issues, we are going to be the ones first that are first effected," said Jeffrey Cook, the President of Southwestern Oil Company.
The DEQ recently closed its public comment period on the alternative analysis of Line 5.
The final alternative report is expected to be released this fall.