UPDATE: AG Schuette proposes removing oil pipeline

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UPDATE: Michigan officials have released a consulting firm’s draft report listing alternatives for dealing with twin oil pipelines beneath the waterway where Lakes Huron and Michigan meet.

The state commissioned the report as environmental groups push to decommission the nearly 5-mile-long (8-kilometer-long) section of Enbridge Inc.’s Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac, which was laid in 1953. State Attorney General Bill Schuette endorsed a shutdown Thursday.

The report by Dynamic Risk Assessment Systems Inc. lists six choices.

Among them are continuing to operate the pipelines or removing them.

Others include building a new pipeline that wouldn’t cross open Great Lakes waters; moving Line 5’s oil through other pipelines; using rail cars, trucks or barges to transport oil; or putting new pipelines in the straits that would run through a trench or tunnel.

The report doesn’t endorse a particular alternative but analyzes each for technical and cost feasibility.

UPDATE: Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is calling for a shutdown of twin oil pipelines beneath the waterway where Lakes Huron and Michigan meet.

Schuette says a “specific and definite timetable” should be established for decommissioning the nearly 5-mile-long section of Enbridge Inc.’s Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac.

He says one option is a tunnel under the straits that would “create infrastructure and construction jobs” while allowing for “continuous visual inspection.”

Schuette commented as the state of Michigan prepares to release a consultant’s report analyzing alternatives to Line 5, which has been in place since 1953. Environmental groups say it’s unsafe and want it removed, although the company insists it’s in good shape.

It carries about 23 million gallons of light crude oil and liquid natural gas daily across sections of Michigan’s Upper and Lower peninsulas.

A 30-day public comment period on the report developed by independent contractor Dynamic Risk Assessment Systems, Inc. opens July 6.

Comments can be submitted online at the Michigan Petroleum Pipelines website, by email through the website, or by standard mail sent to Michigan Agency for Energy, Attn: Line 5 Pipeline Study, P.O. Box 30221, 7109 W. Saginaw Highway, Lansing, MI 48917.

After the initial 30-day comment period, the public will have another 15 days to reply to posted comments.

ONLINE: Read the report

LANSING, Mich (AP) – Michigan officials are preparing to make public a report outlining alternatives to twin oil pipelines that run beneath the waterway where Lakes Huron and Michigan meet.

The state attorney general’s office and the Department of Environmental Quality are scheduled to release the analysis by Dynamic Risk Assessment Systems Inc. on Thursday.

They hired the pipeline engineering and consulting firm as part of a review of Enbridge Inc.’s Line 5. It runs through Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and beneath the Straits of Mackinac, where it divides into two sections.

Environmentalists say the underwater segments are aging and should be decommissioned, while the company says they’re in good shape.

The analysis is expected to outline alternatives such as a new pipeline route or different methods for transporting the oil and liquid natural gas.

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