Protests in Lansing call for removal of Enbridge's Line Five Pipeline

LANSING, MI. (WILX) - It's been nine years since one of the largest oil spills in U.S. history happened in Michigan.

Several activists used the anniversary to come to Lansing and demand action on a controversial pipeline owned by the same company. (Source WILX)

A pipeline owned by Enbridge ruptured on July 25, 2010. The spill started in Talmadge Creek in Marshall Township and eventually spilled into the Kalamazoo River.

More than one million gallons of oil was spilled into the river and it cost more than $1 billion to clean up.

Several activists used the anniversary to come to Lansing and demand action on a controversial pipeline owned by the same company.

Enbridge said in a statement, "Enbridge recognizes the rights of people to express their views legally and peacefully, and to discuss Enbridge's business and projects. We encourage active discussions on our operations and projects, as long as everyone is respectful of those who live and work near our pipelines, including our employees and contractors."

The group that wants the state to reject Enbridge's proposed tunnel for Line Five under the Straits of Mackinac.held a press conference at Central United Methodist Church in Lansing at 10:00 a.m. Afterward, they went to downtown Lansing to talk with lawmakers and to protest.

Enbridge added, "Enbridge remains committed to moving forward with the tunnel project which would invest $500 million into the State to ensure security of energy supply and reduce risk to the Straits to virtually zero, and could be under construction by 2021 and in service by 2024. The tunnel solution is the best long-term opportunity to secure the energy needs of the State while making an already safe pipeline even safer."

Attorney General Dana Nessel has filed a lawsuit stating that she wants the pipeline shut down.

The lawsuit is also asking to have an agreement made between Enbridge and former Governor Rick Snyder that would have built a replacement tunnel called off.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has ordered the State DNR to do a full review of the agreement made in 1953 that allowed Enbridge to build Line Five.

She says she is willing to negotiate with Enbridge, after the company has said it would rather cut a deal than go to court.

"We believe that the most effective path forward is to work expeditiously toward permitting and construction of the Tunnel, rather than through the courts," Enbridge said. "Evidence of our commitment to work collaboratively includes continuation of our $40 Million 2019 engineering and geotechnical program, which will allow us to maintain the earliest possible in-service date for the crossing."

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