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State agencies weigh in on Enbridge Line 5 pipeline

map of Line 5
Enbridge Energy
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State agencies have weighed in on the controversial Enbridge Line 5 pipeline.

There’s still time for people to comment on a report about potential alternatives to the Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Agency for Energy, Michigan Public Service Commission and Office of the Attorney General gave their thoughts over the weekend.

The line sends oil and natural gas liquids under the Straits of Mackinac.

In June, an independent agency released a draft report about possible alternatives to the pipeline. Public comment about the report has been open since early July.

Melody Kindraka is with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. She said it’s important for citizens who are not experts to share their concerns.    

“So that they get an understanding of the information that’s in there and can provide information that they feel is relevant to the future of not only the energy that comes through Line 5 but also the resources in the area,” she said.

The state agencies suggested improvements for the final draft. For example, what happen if a small hole slowly leaked oil out of the line? Also, how long the line can safely continue to operate?

Kindraka said it’s important that the report be as thorough as possible.

“The natural resources component, the environmental quality component, the energy component are all different pieces that play into this larger conversation,” she said. “So it’s very important that we have all of those pieces represented.”

People can still go online and comment until mid-August. Kindraka says the company plans to have a final draft of the report in the fall.

DISCLOSURE: Enbridge Energy is a financial supporter of Michigan Radio.

Correction: An earlier version of this story reported Enbridge Line 5 transports liquid natural gas. That is not correct. It transports light crude and natural gas liquids.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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