American Petroleum Institute supports Enbridge’s Line 5 for pipeline safety

Published on August 22, 2018 by Chris Galford

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The American Petroleum Institute (API) recently announced its support of Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline, highlighting the importance of pipelines and pipeline safety for Michigan residents.

Grounding their argument in industry efforts and considerations, API noted before aU.S. Senate Commerce Committee hearing on pipeline safety in the Great Lakes that pipelines are critical to the well-being of state residents. Without them, API Pipeline Manager David Mur concluded, the state could not deliver the energy it needs to function.

“Enbridge’s Line 5 provides a vital link to propane and other petroleum products in northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula – providing the energy that’s needed to heat homes, fuel vehicles and power Michigan industry,” Mur said. “Further, promoting safety and protecting the public and the environment is a top priority for pipeline operators and a central component to pipeline design, construction, and maintenance.”

Generally, Mur expounded, pipelines like Line 5 are made from certified pipe that meets federal quality regulations and placed in an area that takes environmental sensibility into account. They pass environmental review practices and are inspected by the Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

“Oil spill planning, preparedness, and response are critical components of both onshore and offshore pipeline operations,” Mur said. “Operators follow federal and state regulations when developing response plans for a potential spill to ensure a well-organized and an efficient response should an incident occur. Pipeline operators are also working with first responders and government agencies on a number of initiatives going beyond regulation to properly and effectively improve emergency response efforts.”

Line 5 stretches nearly 1,100 miles and passes under the Straits of Mackinac carrying, as of 2013, approximately 540,000 barrels of oil per day. It has been previously found that Enbridge failed to comply with supporting anchor requirements for the line, and repeated spills from other Enbridge lines in-state have undermined the company’s defense of Line 5. A University of Michigan study conducted in 2016 found that numerous factors are contributing to erosion of the line, and 700 miles of shoreline, 3,528 square miles of Lake Michigan and 13,611 square miles of Lake Huron could be affected if the line leaks.