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Michigan agencies concerned by gaps in Great Lakes oil pipeline coating

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Staff Writer | August 31, 2017
State agencies in Michigan said they were concerned by evidence showing gaps in a protective coating on a pipeline system in the northern Great Lakes.
Great Lakes oil pipeline
Ecology   Pipeline operator Enbridge is facing push back
Pipeline operator Enbridge is facing push back from residents in the northern part of Michigan's lower peninsula worried about the integrity of Line 5, a pipeline system running through the Mackinac Straits.

The company said it felt the system was in as good a condition as when it was installed, though two of the state's Great Lakes intersect at the straits, creating a turbulent maritime environment.

The Michigan State Police, Departments of Environmental Quality and Natural Resources, and the Michigan Agency for Energy said they were concerned by information showing there are gaps in the protective coating on parts of Line 5, at least one of which was caused when Enbridge installed new supportive anchors.

"This recent finding raises concerns about the actions Enbridge is taking to protect the waters of the Great Lakes," DNR Director Keith Creagh said in a statement.

"We need to ensure that all appropriate risk mitigation measures have been put in place by Enbridge."

Enbridge confirmed two areas on the pipeline are exposed and a possible third area is still being reviewed.

In a statement, the company said there was no visual evidence that the integrity of the pipeline was compromised.