Great Lakes in the news

1/15 Detroit Free Press – Enbridge replaces 461-foot section of oil pipeline that fell

Beth Wallace, Great Lakes Regional Coordinator for the National Wildlife Federation noted that the administration’s own statistics show nine engineers have spent 79 days in-office and 113 days out-of-office overseeing Enbridge’s Line 6B remedial work since the 2010 oil spill. The wildlife federation has been critical of Enbridge’s cleanup of the Marshall oil spill and its ongoing expansion of tar sands oil pipelines.

“PHMSA’s time spent overseeing this project is extremely disappointing,” she said. “The ongoing disregard for landowners by Enbridge is widespread and systemic. There needs to be leadership stepping in and requiring more oversight of this company. It’s not only an issue for landowners, it’s also a worker safety issue.”

http://www.freep.com/article/20140115/NEWS06/301150022/Enbridge-new-oil-pipline-Michigan

12/31 Petoskey News – Enbridge to increase oil flow under Straits, rally planned

The Canada-based Enbridge Energy hopes to increase oil flow through the pipelines at the Straits of Mackinac by about 50,000 barrels per day, for a total of 540,000.

The pipeline originates in Superior, Wisc., and cuts across the Upper Peninsula. Across the Straits, it splits into two, 20-inch diameter pipes and carries a light crude oil from western Canada.

Problem is, that pipeline is 60 years old.

“We have concerns that (Enbridge) is increasing capacity on a 60-year-old pipeline that has not been upgraded at all, and has one of the most sensitive water crossings in the world,” Beth Wallace, community outreach coordinator for the National Wildlife Federation, told the Petoskey News-Review.

Larry Springer, spokesperson for Enbridge, told the News-Review the pipelines are safe, and that Enbridge regularly checks the interior of the pipeline with leak detection sensors and the exterior of the lines are patrolled by remotely-operated vehicles installed with cameras.

Even so, Wallace and Gary Street, an advisor for the Petoskey-based Freshwater Future, worry about the sensitivity of the Straits should an oil spill occur.

“…The drinking water supplies out of Lake Michigan and Huron, tourism, fishing,” said Street. “Setting aside the environmental concerns, the economic impact would be devastating.”

http://www.petoskeynews.com/featured-pnr/pink-gull-makes-top-environmental-story-list/article_a1e19ab8-715f-11e3-a7d4-0019bb30f31a.html

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