Snyder cites ‘significant’ concerns over pipeline

LANSING (AP) — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said Monday he had “significant” concerns after the company that operates twin oil pipelines in a Great Lakes waterway told state officials it had found additional gaps in pipeline coating.

The Republican governor criticized Enbridge Inc. after the Canadian company issued an update on inspections and repairs of Line 5, which carries about 23 million gallons (87 million liters) of oil and natural gas across northern Wisconsin and Michigan to refineries in Ontario each day.

“I am no longer satisfied with the operational activities and public information tactics that have become status quo for Enbridge,” Snyder said in a statement. “It is vitally important that Enbridge immediately become much more transparent about the condition of Line 5 and their activities to ensure protection of the Great Lakes.”

A nearly 5-mile-long segment of the line runs along the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac, which connects Lakes Huron and Michigan. That section is divided into two pipes that have been in place since 1953. Enbridge says they are in good condition and monitored closely, but environmentalists contend they are at risk of leaking and want them decommissioned.

The company, based in Calgary, Alberta, has disclosed in recent months that gaps have formed in protective enamel coating on the outside of the pipes. Enbridge acknowledged in October some of its personnel knew about the problem for years but only recently informed the state.