Judge rules Enbridge can resume work on Line 5

MICHIGAN – A Michigan judge has ruled Enbridge can resume normal operations on the Line 5 pipeline.

The east segment work on its Line 5 pipeline went back online last Thursday after the judge ruling. Ingham County Circuit Court Judge James Jamo ruled on Wednesday of last week that Enbridge can resume normal operations on Line 5, which had been partially shut down for months after damage was discovered to an anchor support on the lake bottom petroleum pipeline

“Well no, I don’t feel this is good news,” stated Mike Wilton, of Spring Bay. “It feels as if all the ground that the state representatives (and groups opposed to this) were gaining is lost, but they say they are going on.”

Enbridge won its court case to restart the east segment of the crude oil pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac. The west segment of the pipeline was restored in July. Judge Jamo ruled the east segment could restart, citing a third-party expert did not identify, “any integrity issues.” 

The ruling is not stopping the Michigan attorney general’s office’s quest to shut down the pipeline, reported Michigan Radio, September 10. “Our stipulation that Line 5 wasn’t structurally damaged, after review of the in-line inspection data by PHMSA and an expert retained by our office, doesn’t change the attorney general’s position in her lawsuit that the pipelines are a clean and present danger,” Ryan Jarvi, Michigan Attorney general’s office spokesman said.

The attorney general’s office will continue to pursue the decommissioning of Line 5 in a lawsuit filed last year against Enbridge. Those who want the line decommissioned feel the Line 5 dual pipelines on the bottom lands of the Straits threatens the health of the Great Lakes.

Enbridge line 5 carries oil and natural gas liquids used in propane from Superior, Wisconsin to Sarnia, Ontario. A four-mile (6.4-kilometre) segment divides into two pipes that lie on the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac, which connect Lake Huron and Lake Michigan between Michigan’s Upper and Lower peninsulas.