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Health, Science and Environment

Enbridge Energy can resume operating the eastern leg of Line 5 pipeline

Nick Damico

A judge ordered on Wednesday that Enbridge Energy can resume operating the eastern leg of the Line 5 pipeline.

The company shut down the pipeline in June following a report of “significant damage” to the eastern segment of the line. It was then hit with a preliminary injunction from the Attorney General’s office after resuming the use of the western leg of the line.

The Attorney General’s office argued Enbridge needed to provide additional information about the cause of damage to the line.

Ryan Jarvi is with the Attorney Generals Office, which filed a preliminary injunction against the company following the initial reports of damage. He said the resumption of pipeline operations doesn’t change the facts on the ground.

“The evidence here is showing there’s no reason not to restart it, it wasn’t structurally damaged, but our position is still that it is a threat to the environment and the state.”

The court order cites a letter from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration which says it “did not identify any integrity issues… in the area around the displaced anchor.”

Jarvi said the Attorney General is still pursuing its lawsuit against Enbridge to have the pipeline decommissioned.

“The pipelines are a clear and present danger and that this recent discovery along with the anchor strike in 2018 demonstrates the continuing risk that a catastrophic accident could occur.”

In a written statement a spokesperson for Enbridge said “safety and protecting the environment are as important to us as they are to all Michiganders.”