Enbridge responds to letter from Gov. Whitmer

Published: Jun. 20, 2020 at 5:20 PM EDT
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Enbridge responded Saturday afternoon to a letter they received from Governor Whitmer on Friday.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer Friday sent a letter to Al Monaco, CEO of Enbridge, following the discovery this week of further damage to the Line 5 pipeline running through the Straits of Mackinac.

“The information I have received about this incident leaves many unanswered questions as to the cause of this damage, the catastrophe that may have been narrowly avoided, and the threats that may remain as a result of the damaged infrastructure,” Governor Whitmer said. “That’s why I am requesting Enbridge turn over to the State of Michigan all relevant information about this most recent damage and provide affirmative evidence that establishes the integrity of the pipeline.”

Here is the full response from Enbridge CEO Al Monaco:

"Dear Governor Whitmer,

Thank you for your letter of June 19, 2020, which I received yesterday evening.

As you know from our earlier discussions with your staff and regulatory agencies, on June 18, 2020 Enbridge observed as part of our seasonal maintenance work on Line 5 a screw anchor assembly on the east leg that had shifted from its original position. This is an issue affecting that anchor support assembly and not the pipeline itself.

As a preliminary precaution, we immediately shut down both the east and west legs of Line 5 and promptly notified the State of Michigan and our federal regulator, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), as well as the U.S. Environmental Protection Administration (EPA).

During the morning of June 19, 2020, we briefed your administration and staff on what is currently known about the damage to the support assembly and related background, and responded to questions asked by the officials. We also fully briefed PHMSA on June 19, 2020. We are committed to keep the State of Michigan and PHMSA informed of new information as it develops.

Our current efforts to assess the fitness for service of the dual pipelines includes deployment of divers to inspect the area around the damaged support assembly and the use of a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to inspect the entire pipeline, both the east and west legs. We have and will continue to discharge our duty of due care under the 1953 easement that you referenced in your letter.

As part of our assessment process, we are committed to sharing what we learn about this incident with PHMSA and the State of Michigan. Mr. Michael Koby, our Vice President of U.S. Operations, will provide the information you requested to Director Liesl Clark and Director Dan Eichinger.

Finally, we share your commitment to keeping the Great Lakes safe. Mr. Koby and our team will give this matter their highest priority.


Al Monaco"

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