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U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters of Michigan are raising serious concerns about the conditions of Enbridge’s Line 5 Pipeline running through the Straits of Mackinac and are seeking a federal investigation to determine if Enbridge has complied with reporting and safety standards.
Following reports that Enbridge did not disclose problems in the protective coating of Line 5 for more than three years, the Senators are asking the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) “to determine whether Enbridge committed any violations with respect to the pipeline integrity management program, their reporting requirements to PHMSA, and safety requirements to maintain the integrity of Line 5.”
The Senators are also calling on the CEO of Enbridge, Al Monaco, to address issues of inaccurate reporting and concerns over the condition of Line 5.
“According to your company’s public statements, ‘internal reporting issues’ are to blame for the discrepancies between the facts on the ground and the information provided to our offices and to state regulators. This explanation is simply unacceptable,” Senators Stabenow and Peters wrote in their letter to Enbridge.
The Senators also want to know what Enbridge is doing to correct internal reporting procedures and communications, and whether there are other sections of Line 5 with anomalies in coating that have not been reported.
Shortly after news broke about Enbridge failing to disclose problems with the coating for three years, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said in a statement:
“Trust and transparency are critical in any relationship. This latest revelation by Enbridge means that the faith and trust Michigan has placed in Enbridge has reached an even lower level. Enbridge needs to do more than apologize, Enbridge owes the citizens of Michigan a full and complete explanation of why they failed to truthfully report the status of the pipeline.”
Senator Peters tweeted on Tuesday “It’s outrageous that Enbridge hid information on the safety of Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac. @SenStabenow & I are demanding answers & transparency so any future damage to Line 5 is quickly released to the public & rapidly repaired.”
“The Great Lakes are too important to risk a disastrous pipeline break,” Senator Peters said in another tweet.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.