Michigan environmental officials said Friday that Enbridge Energy is working to remove a 15,000-pound ship anchor from the Straits of Mackinac lakebed.
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) said Enbridge informed the state Wednesday night that the anchor was left by an Enbridge contractor after equipment failed when the contractor attempted to retrieve the anchor from the bottom of the Straits where it had been placed.
“Enbridge reported the anchor was several hundred feet from the twin Line 5 pipelines. Enbridge has informed EGLE it is developing a retrieval plan and expects to have the anchor removed within days,” reads a statement from EGLE.
Enbridge is a Canada-based oil pipeline company that operates Enbridge Line 5 which spans from Sarnia, Ontario to Superior, Wisconsin. The oil pipeline runs under the Straits of Mackinac between Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas.
Many Michiganders, including current Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, have been calling for the pipeline to be shut down for years in fear of a devastating environmental disaster if it were to leak from the Straits of Mackinac lakebed. In 2018, a team of scientists from Michigan universities wrote a 400-page draft report on the risks of an extraordinary spill from Enbridge Line 5. Their report said such a spill could be as high as $1.8 billion, including $500 million in cleanup and $678 million in lost tourism revenue in Wisconsin and Michigan.
- June 19, 2020: Whitmer demands answers from Enbridge on pipeline damage