HOLT, Mich. (WLNS) – Although the pipelines are hundreds of miles away from us here in Mid-Michigan, that didn’t stop more than 100 people from our community from taking a stance.
Most there tonight want the pipeline shut down, however they did listen patiently as representatives from Dynamic Risk Assessment Systems laid out the results of their report.
“When the water is under attack, what do we do?! Stand up like that!”
Shut down Line 5…that’s the message protesters chanted loud and clear today.
“We’re here to say that Line 5 poses too great of a risk to our Great Lakes,” said protester Mariah Urueta who is also the Michigan Organizer for Food & Water Watch.
Just last week Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said he would support a shut-down of the Enbridge pipelines that run under the straits of Mackinac and while Urueta says that’s all well and good, she wants action taken now.
“Even in our best case scenario, if they all gave the recommendation of shutting down Line 5 at the end of the day, the decision is up to Attorney General Bill Schuette,” Urueta stated.
Urueta was just one of many gathered to protest the pipelines as state officials hosted a meeting to release the results of a new study on pipeline safety to the public.
That independent report shows that corrosion is not a concern on Line 5 instead, the biggest threat to the Line is a dropped anchor from a ship.
For Faith Brown, any risk no matter how low is too high.
“Any proposed solution that is going to get the biggest risk factor out of the actual lakes themselves would be better than just leaving the pipeline as is,” said Brown.
Pam Doty-Nation agrees.
She says the future of our state is in jeopardy if the twin oil pipelines aren’t removed.
“As people in the state of Michigan, it’s time to take a stand…I mean that pipeline is as old as I am and I’m certainly not functioning like I did when I was first born and that pipeline is definitely not functioning the way it did when it was first put down,” Doty-Nation stated.
The report also lays out six different options that include everything from continuing to operate the pipelines, to removing them altogether or even building a new pipeline that wouldn’t go through any of the Great Lakes.
The independent review says Michigan could keep getting oil from other sources like rail cars or barges.
Another possibility would be putting new pipelines through the straights that are buried in a tunnel.
And now what happens next?
According to the Michigan DEQ, officials will take public concern into consideration.
If you missed tonight’s presentation, there’s another one on July 24th at 8 a.m. again at Holt High School.
Statement from Enbridge Communications Spokesperson Ryan Duffy:
“The report by Dynamic Risk represents thoughtful, thorough, and expert consideration of key issues around Line 5’s construction and condition, as well as the safety, feasibility and cost of alternative methods to transport energy to the Great Lakes region. While there are some conclusions that require further review, overall the report is comprehensive.”