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Schuette Calls For Line 5 Shutdown, NoMI Water Advocacy Groups Discuss His Statement

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Attorney General Bill Schuette is calling for a shutdown, he wants to close the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline.

He issued a statement Thursday following the release of the pipeline alternatives report.    

The Attorney General wants to establish a timeline for the closure of the oil and natural gas pipeline running under the Straits of Mackinac.

“It’s good to see somebody coming forward and them saying that they really think the problem needs to be solved,” said Executive Director of Freshwater Future Jill Ryan.

Local water advocacy groups are in agreement with the Attorney General.

“Coming up with a timetable is a good idea, whatever it takes to protect the Great Lakes we need to do,” said Ryan.

Both are calling for the shutdown of Enbridge’s Line 5. But parts of Schuette’s statement, still bring up questions. Including, which pipeline alternatives to explore?

“Alternatives that the attorney general was talking about included a tunnel under the straits,” said Ryan.

“There are concerns with tunneling as any kind of replacement of Line 5 because you will have different materials being used. It also creates long term issues with maintenance because you can’t see the pipeline,” explained Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council Executive Director Gail Gruenwald.   

A lot to look over regarding the future of Line 5.

“Alternatives analysis was great now we need to really go through that with a fine tooth comb what are the most prudent things we can do to protect that water,” added Ryan.

The public hopes to have input.

“We need to protect our water in the Great Lakes. I believe there’s an alternative way, but we need to think about what the people want and what our environment needs,” said Rodney Meeks, who lives near where the pipeline runs through.

Enbridge maintains that Line 5 is safe and the company will continue to work with the public.

“We look forward to engaging in the process as it moves forward and to having a respectful dialogue about the need for Line 5, the safe transportation of energy through the straits, as well as Enbridge’s commitment to Line 5’s on-going safe operation,” said Director of Operations Great Lakes Region John Gauderman.