A 98-year-old pipeline under the St. Clair River could soon begin shipping heavy crude oil from Marysville, Michigan to the Sarnia area in Ontario, with no public hearings or environmental assessment.
“The two pipelines in question, in St. Clair County, are eight inches in diameter and were built in 1918,” the Free Press reports, citing State Department documents. “They were fitted with five-inch-diameter liners at some unspecified point in time.”
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The export permit was posted on the U.S. Federal Register in mid-January, and local environmental groups spotted it on the day the 30-day comment period expired. They’ve asked for more time to respond.
“This is mind-blowing, really,” said Sierra Club Southeast Michigan Chair Ed McArdle. “We thought Line 5 was bad, but 1918?! Crude oil?!” He noted that “the main drinking water intake for Detroit is at the north end of Belle Isle, right downstream from that,” and water intakes for other Canadian and U.S. communities are immediately downstream from the pipeline.
Line 5, Enbridge Corporation’s 63-year-old natural gas and light crude pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac, has “generated huge controversy, with many concerned about what a potential spill could mean to the Great Lakes,” Matheney writes. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has convened a study group to look at alternatives. (h/t to Midwest Energy News for pointing us to this story)
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