Enbridge releases new Line 5 Pipeline information

The animation features the company’s Tunnel Boring Machine
Published: Oct. 1, 2020 at 4:22 PM EDT
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STRAITS OF MACKINAC, Mich. (WLUC) - Enbridge has launched a new step by step animation on how the tunnel around the Line 5 Pipeline will be built. Line 5 is a tunnel that travels through the Great Lakes delivering light crude oil to be transformed into other energies.

“A really great example is that product is being refined so that it can be refined into jet fuel and then it is going to the Detroit International Airport,” said Amber Pastoor, Project Manager for the Great Lakes Tunnel Project.

Enbridge is confident that by placing the pipes hundreds of feet below the surface. the Great Lakes won’t be harmed.

“And the purpose for doing that was concerns related to the potential for an anchor strike, concerns related in the unlikely event that there was a leak in the pipelines. Our objective is to limit any sort of impact to the environment and to specifically to the Great Lakes,” said Pastoor.

But not everyone is that confident.

“We are fully supportive of the attorney general’s to shut down the existing pipeline and we don’t believe the tunnel plan is ready for primetime and ready to go right now,” said Sean McBrearty, Legislative Policy Director for Clean Water Action.

Enbridge will be using what they call a Tunnel Boring Machine and it will be launched on land.

“Because we launch it from land and then by the time it gets underneath the lake itself, there’s no opportunity for water to get in because we’re going to be below the lakebed,” said Pastoor.

“They haven’t done the hydrogeological research to prove that. If their tunnel boring machine for instance runs into a rock formation that they’re not anticipating, which will happen with the lack of research, there’s always the potential for a blowout scenario,” said McBrearty.

Enbridge says it’s done the research to launch the Tunnel Boring Machine. But McBrearty is against the new construction calling Line 5 a “shortcut.”

“Line 5 is a shortcut for Canadian oil to get from Canada to Canada using Michigan, using the most sensitive sport in the Great Lakes ecosystem as a shortcut,” said McBrearty.

Enbridge hopes to begin construction in late 2021.

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