2017-11-16 / News

Stabenow, Peters Raise Concerns About Line 5 Coating

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters raised concerns about the current conditions of Enbridge’s Line 5 Pipeline and called for an investigation into whether Enbridge complied with reporting and safety requirements Tuesday, November 7. The Senators sent letters to Enbridge CEO Al Monaco and the head of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) following recent reports that the company took more than three years to disclose problems in the protective coating of Line 5.

“Despite Enbridge knowing about the damage in 2014 and conducting a full suite of inspections throughout the summer of 2016, we are just learning now in 2017 of damage to the protective coatings,” the senators wrote in a letter to PHMSA. “Michiganders need assurance about the integrity and safety of operating Line 5 in a high consequence, unusually sensitive area and that any problems will be addressed quickly and transparently. We ask PHMSA to determine whether Enbridge committed any violations with respect to the pipeline integrity management program, their reporting requirements to PHMSA, and safety requirements to maintain the integrity of Line 5.”

In the letter to the CEO of Enbridge, the senators wrote, “It is apparent to us that further changes are needed in the institutional procedures and culture at Enbridge to ensure accurate reporting, transparency, and communication of pipeline integrity management. Given the critical risk this pipeline poses to public health and safety, please respond to the following questions:

• “What is being done to correct internal reporting procedures at Enbridge to ensure that damage sustained by pipelines and the coatings that protect these pipelines against corrosion is accurately communicated throughout the company and to our offices and the state regulators?

• “Are there any additional portions of Line 5 with anomalies of any type to any of the coatings covering the pipeline that have not been reported? Were any additional sites identified needing further inspection or repairs of any sort since September 13?

• “How can we be certain that no other damage to either the pipeline or its protective coatings has occurred and that state regulators, federal agencies providing oversight, and our offices are fully informed?”

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