Press Release

Michigan PSC Requests More Safety Info from Enbridge for Line 5 Tunnel Permit

“Commission’s request makes clear Enbridge failed to demonstrate tunnel could safely be constructed or operated”


Lansing, MI. –  The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) had Enbridge Line 5 on the agenda today, prompting the environmental community into rapid response mode. Instead of a final ruling, the issue decided today was highly procedural. The Commission reopened the record and asked for additional information from Enbridge about the feasibility and safety of the existing dual pipelines and the proposed tunnel project.

“We are glad to see that the Commission is taking these important safety issues so seriously,” said Margrethe Kearney, Senior Attorney at the Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC). “We do not believe that Enbridge will be able to demonstrate the safety or necessity of either its existing dual pipelines or the tunnel it proposes to build.

“The dual pipelines must be shut down as soon as reasonably possible since they pose an immediate risk of catastrophic harm to our Great Lakes. Enbridge continues to disregard these risks, continuing to operate in violation of the Governor’s revocation and termination of its easement.

“The proposed tunnel is an unnecessary and dangerous investment in new fossil fuel infrastructure. Allowing the tunnel would exacerbate climate change, and the Commission’s request for additional information makes clear that Enbridge has failed to demonstrate that the tunnel could safely be constructed or operated.”

ELPC is representing the Michigan Climate Action Network (MiCAN) as an intervenor in Enbridge’s tunnel permit case before the Public Service Commission. For the first time in Michigan, evidence of global warming impacts will be considered in this type of agency review, under authority of the Michigan Environmental Protection Act. The intervenors introduced research and analysis by internationally renowned environmental scientists and economists proving the climate damage that would result from building the tunnel, and that alternatives exist. Their findings show that the tunnel must be denied.

“There is no doubt that extending the life of this pipeline will exacerbate climate change and the impacts we are already experiencing in Michigan,” said Denise Keele, Director of the Michigan Climate Action Network. “MiCAN is grateful to the many members who showed up in person or sent in comments opposing the tunnel project today and over the last few years.”

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