Enbridge wins approval to restart east leg of Line 5 pipeline through Great Lakes

Posted September 10, 2020 11:02 am

Enbridge Inc. says it will restart the east segment of Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac after winning approval from the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and the Michigan Circuit Court.

The Calgary-based company shut down both legs of the pipeline in June after noticing a disturbance to an underwater anchor supporting the eastern line.

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The west leg was restarted, then ordered shut down by a judge at the request of Michigan state Attorney General Dana Nessel, then started again, but the east leg has remained closed.

Line 5 moves crude oil and propane from Wisconsin to Sarnia, Ont., passing through parts of Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas. A 6.4-kilometre-long segment divides into two pipes that cross the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac, which connects Great Lakes Huron and Michigan.

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Vern Yu, Enbridge vice-president of liquids pipelines, says the decision to allow the restart is good news for Michigan residents who depend on the energy Line 5 delivers.

Enbridge says it has been assured by the pipeline administration that there are no integrity issues with Line 5.

© 2020 The Canadian Press