Fuel Flowing Again in Half of Great Lakes Pipeline

MACKINAW CITY, Mich. (AP) — Fuel is flowing again in half of a twin pipeline in Michigan’s Great Lakes after an inspection last week found an anchor support had shifted, an energy company said Monday.

Enbridge Inc. said operations resumed on Line 5′s west pipe Saturday, while the east pipe in the Straits of Mackinac remains shut down, spokesman Ryan Duffy said.

The anchor support system that shifted is related to the east pipe, Duffy said.

“We shut down both legs of the line to investigate,” he said, adding that federal regulators did not object to reopening the west line.

Enbridge will repair the east line support system when it gets approval from state and federal officials, Duffy said.

Line 5 carries oil and natural gas liquids used in propane from Superior, Wisconsin, to Sarnia, Ontario. A four-mile (6.4-kilometer) segment divides into two pipes that lie on the bottom of the straits, which connect Lake Huron and Lake Michigan.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last week demanded that Enbridge provide evidence that the latest problem does not pose a risk to the Great Lakes.

Separately, Enbridge wants to put the twin pipes in a tunnel to protect them. The project was approved in 2018 before Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel took office.

Nessel has argued that a law authorizing the tunnel is unconstitutional. The Michigan appeals court recently disagreed.

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