Michigan government officials comment on Enbridge's Line 5 pipeline

UPPER PENINSULA, Mich. (WLUC) - After erosion created a large gap between one of two Line 5 pipelines in the channel linking Lakes Huron and Michigan, Enbridge says it wants to install more than 50 screw anchors.

"There is a reason that this is so problematic, and that's because the currents are so incredibly strong in the Straights."

Though the gap is 6 feet wider than allowed under a state easement, the company says the pipe's integrity isn't threatened. Attorney General Nessel disagrees.

"It really goes to corroborate and solidify all my reasons that I had in the first place for wanting to ensure that Line 5 is eventually decommissioned."

"The attorney general is under some delusion,” said State Representative Beau Lafave, “Line 5 is where the Upper Peninsula gets 65% of its propane."

Line 5 carries 23 million gallons of crude oil and natural gas liquids daily. However if something does happen to the pipeline, the line could rupture, creating an oil spill.

"Were talking about 40 million people losing their drinking water, hundreds and hundreds of miles of shoreline in Michigan that would be saturated with oil. It will be devastating to our state and we will absolutely never recover from it,” warns Attorney General Nessel.

Lafave was quick to disagree saying, "We need the jobs we need the energy, we need the infrastructure. If Canada is willing to pay for it, I say let them do it."

"I have an obligation to this state and I have an obligation to protect the great lakes and I intend to do that. But in the meantime I'm going to make certain that the residents in the U-P are taken care of,” continued Attorney General Nessel.

Nessel announced Thursday she filed a civil lawsuit with the Ingham County Circuit Court asking the court to find that Enbridge's continued operation of the Straits Pipelines under the easement granted by the State in 1953 violates the public trust doctrine, is a common law public nuisance, and violates the Michigan Environmental Protection Act.