Public Forum Discusses 60 Year Old Pipeline in Northern Michigan

A public forum tonight on the controversy over a 60 year old oil pipeline in Northern Michigan.

Hundreds of concerned citizens voiced their opinions on what some call a ticking time bomb in the Great Lakes. “It’s a really out of sight, out of mind issue and we’re raising that level of awareness so that people are better informed,” says Gail Gruenwald, Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council.

A lot of information tonight as several agencies talked about the oil and gas pipelines buried beneath our feet, and under the Straits of Mackinac. “And today is a good day for our members at the Watershed Council and the general public to have everybody in the same room at the same time, get as much information as they can, express their concerns through questions and hopefully get the answers they need,” says Gruenwald.

“I think the most important thing for people to do with the information is to use it constructively,” says Moira Croghan, lives on Mackinac Island.

Many people say a lot of misinformation and emotions are mixed up with the facts and that’s why tonight’s information session was so important. “My main goal personally, is to find out why they aren’t committed to replacing the pipeline promptly because by the logic of life span, it should be replaced soon,” says Croghan.

More than 100 questions were submitted during the panel discussion, and there were even outburst from the crowd, but in the end every agency was glad to have an open discussion with the public. “I think it’s very important, I think to the extent there’s ever concern out there we want to have a discuss around that concern to make sure that people understand what the pipeline is, what it’s not and all the things that we are doing to ensure the operation reliability and safety of that pipeline,” says Brad Shamla, Vice President of Enbridge.

The Watershed Council says because of tonight’s success, they are planning a workshop in the near future to continue these kind of discussions. For more information about the council, visit the Watershed Council’s website.