New: Line 5 east leg not damaged, internal tests show

1/2 of line remains shut down as state reviews results

Enbridge, St. Ignace | Susan J. Demas

The eastern segment of the dual Line 5 oil pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac did not sustain damage during an incident that left an anchor support significantly bent, according to a court-ordered internal test.

Canadian oil company Enbridge had been allowed to restart the east leg to complete an in-line inspection (ILI) on the segment on Aug. 24, thanks to a new amended temporary restraining order (TRO) ordered by Circuit Court Judge James Jamo.

The east leg ILI was completed one day later.

“The amended TRO allowed us to start the segment just to run the ILI. We submitted the results to PHMSA [Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration] and they are reviewing them now. The results showed no dents and no metal loss,” Enbridge spokesperson Ryan Duffy said Friday.

The same test had been performed on Line 5’s west segment in early July. Those results had also come back without any indication of pipeline damage.

Tests show west leg of Line 5 pipeline isn’t damaged

The west line has been in operation since then, but the east portion under the Straits of Mackinac remains shut down until further orders from the court.

“PHMSA has reviewed those results and issued a letter today stating that it has no objection to Enbridge restarting the line. However, the pipeline cannot be restarted until the Court also approves. Our office’s review of the test results is ongoing,” said Ryan Jarvi, spokesperson for Attorney General Dana Nessel.

Nessel had won the initial TRO in June as part of her lawsuit to decommission Line 5.

A spokesperson for the anti-Line 5 Oil & Water Don’t Mix coalition did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Laina G. Stebbins
Laina G. Stebbins covers the environment, immigration and criminal justice for the Advance. A lifelong Michigander, she is a graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Journalism, where she served as Founding Editor of The Tab Michigan State and as a reporter for the Capital News Service. When Laina is not writing or spending time with her cats, she loves art and design, listening to music, playing piano, enjoying good food and being out in nature (especially Up North).