Michigan Judge Orders Immediate Shut Down of Enbridge Line 5 Leg

DETROIT (AP) — A judge granted a request from the Michigan Attorney General on Thursday to order the immediate shutdown of a portion of Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline that runs under the Great Lakes. 

Ingham County Judge James Jamo approved a temporary restraining order saying Enbridge has not provided enough information to show that continued operation of the west leg of its Line 5 twin pipeline is safe.

The order states that both legs of the pipeline are to remain closed until a hearing next Tuesday.

Enbridge's Line 5 carries oil and natural gas liquids used in propane from Superior, Wisconsin, to Sarnia, Ontario.

A four-mile (6.4-kilometer) segment divides into two pipes that lie on the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac, which connect Lake Huron and Lake Michigan between Michigan’s Upper and Lower peninsulas.

Enbridge last week said an anchor support on the east leg of the pipeline had shifted. The company said Line 5 itself was not damaged and that no oil spilled into the water.

The east leg remains shut down, but Enbridge resumed the flow on the west line Saturday.

Attorney General Dana Nessel petitioned the court on Monday to shut down the pipeline after Enbridge announced it has resumed flows on the west leg.

“With the continued operation of this pipeline, the risk of severe and lasting environmental damage to Michigan’s most important natural resource continues to grow every day,” Attorney General Dana Nessel said.

Judge Jamo said Line 5 must be closed “as immediately as possible.”

Line 5 delivers 65% of the propane that heats Upper Peninsula homes and 55% of Michigan’s propane needs, according to Enbridge. It has been operating since 1953.

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