Seven ways to protect Michigan’s water

Trust is earned, and while we have a long way to go, we remain committed to doing what it takes to rebuild trust and uphold our pledge to protect our Great Lakes while safely meeting Michigan’s energy needs.

We have been listening to the concerns of the people of Michigan about protecting water, and in November 2017, Enbridge formally entered into an agreement with the State of Michigan. This agreement includes seven key actions that we are undertaking to move toward a long-term solution for the future of Line 5.

In December 2018, we took another important step and committed to spending $500 million on a Line 5 Straits of Mackinac tunnel project—even though independent studies have confirmed the current Line 5 crossing is safe.

Shutting down Line 5 before the tunnel is built would hurt the economy, kill thousands of jobs and seriously disrupt the state’s energy supply.

We can build a tunnel by 2024. Let’s work together and get it done.

Guy Jarvis, President of Enbridge’s Liquids Pipelines group, talks in late 2017
about Enbridge’s formal Line 5 agreement with the State of Michigan.


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1

In December 2018, Enbridge reached an agreement with the Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority to replace our Line 5 Straits of Mackinac crossing with a pipeline secured in a tunnel, bored deep beneath the lake bed. The tunnel project represents a private investment of about $500 million in Michigan by Enbridge, with no taxpayer dollars involved.

It will entail a geotechnical and engineering analysis in 2019, followed by design and construction, placement into service, and decommissioning of the current dual pipelines anchored to the bottom of the Straits. The targeted completion date is 2024


2

We now temporarily shut down Line 5 operations when adverse weather conditions create sustained waves higher than eight feet in the Straits.

Wave shutdown graphic
Anchor graphic

3

We have evaluated additional technologies and strategies to mitigate potential anchor strikes from shipping vessels to Line 5 in the Straits. We presented the findings in a report to the State of Michigan in June 2018—with identified measures including enhanced marine shipping communications in the Straits, and possibly constructing a protective cover of gravel and rock over the existing dual pipelines.

4

We have evaluated additional potential technologies to provide leak detection and coating integrity assessment on the underwater portion of Line 5 in the Straits, and presented these findings in two separate reports—one focusing on pipe coating, one on leak detection—to the State of Michigan in June 2018.

Underwater pipeline Inspection illustration
Map of pipeline in relation to the great lakes

5

We studied safety enhancements on Line 5 water crossings outside the Straits of Mackinac, and presented these findings in a report to the State of Michigan in June 2018

6

We will replace the Line 5 St. Clair River crossing segment, between Marysville, MI and Froomfield, ON, as soon as we receive the necessary federal and state approvals. The new pipe will be installed underneath the river bed using a horizontal direction drilling technique.

Illustration of underwater pipeline

7

We have increased coordination with the State of Michigan regarding the operations, maintenance and future of Line 5, and we have promoted greater transparency between Enbridge and the State of Michigan. State representatives have full access to our data and our studies, and are collaborating with us every step of the way.

Illustration of Enbridge building and government building