Judge Hears Arguments in Motion to Temporarily Shutdown Line 5

An Ingham County Circuit Court judge heard arguments Tuesday in a motion to temporarily shutdown the Line 5 pipeline.

The judge ordered the pipeline to be shutdown last week after damage was discovered on a portion of the line. 06 30 2020 Line 5 Hearing Pkg 6

Enbridge discovered damage on the east leg of the pipeline earlier this month.

They decided to shutdown that leg, while resuming operation of the west leg.

The state took issue with that and Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel took legal action asking the court for this temporary shutdown.

In Ingham County Circuit Court Tuesday, the Attorney General’s office argued the Line 5 pipeline should remain shutdown until the exact cause of damage is found and preventative measures are put in place.

In court documents, Enbridge says early information shows the “damage was caused by a vessel dragging an object parallel to the line.” The exact cause is still under investigation.

Enbridge attorneys argued they do have various safety measures put in place and the line is safer today than when it opened in 1953.

They also said a shutdown would result in severe and disruptive economic impact to Michigan and the region.

The Attorney General’s office wants to make clear this motion is only for a temporary shutdown.

This wasn’t the only Line 5 development Tuesday.

In an unrelated decision, the Michigan Public Service Commission decided Enbridge would need to go through an extended public process to determine if they can build their Line 5 tunnel.

The commission decided the tunnel project differs substantially from the pipeline approved in 1953 and they don’t have the authority to move forward with it under that order.

In a statement, Enbridge says they respect the commission’s decision and are prepared for the full review process. They say they “appreciate the timeliness of the decision” and “remain on schedule for completion of the project.”

A public hearing before an administrative law judge is set for the end of August.