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Environment & Climate Change

Stateside: Enbridge official, environmentalist on Line 5; Michigan metal band earns 2 Grammy noms

work being done under Mackinac bridge
Enbridge is in the early stages of construction of a tunnel that would run under the Straits of Mackinac. The tunnel would house the replacement for the twin pipelines known as Line 5. Those pipelines were built in 1953.

Today on Stateside, we talk to the head of Enbridge's tunnel project about what's happening with Line 5. Plus, a conversation with the Detroit-based metal band I Prevail, which is nominated for two Grammy Awards this year.

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below.

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Head of Enbridge Line 5 tunnel project talks about transparency, what’s happening at the Straits this year

Stateside’s conversation with Amber Pastoor

  • Work continues this week on the Enbridge tunnel planned beneath the Straits of Mackinac. The tunnel would house replacements for the twin pipelines known as Line 5. Michigan leaders are still locked in legal action with the company over the project. Last week, a panel of the Michigan Court of Appeals rejected a state request to halt construction. We talked to Amber Pastoor, Great Lakes Tunnel Project Manager for Enbridge, about the company’s progress on the project, as well as recent news that the company failed to notify state regulators for two months after a 200-foot rod-like pipe broke off while Enbridge was drilling the lake bed last September.
  • We reached out to the state's Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) to clarify what information was received about the broken boring rod. An EGLE spokesman sent us a correspondence the department had with Enbridge late last year. It specifies the company reported a 40-foot, not 200-foot, broken rod beneath the lake bottom. You can read that here.
  • In a statement to Stateside on the discrepancy, an EGLE spokesperson wrote: "...We are very disappointed with the communication from Enbridge during and after their permitted geo-technical work in the Straits of Mackinac during September of 2019. Although the incident with the drilling rod during the geotechnical boring work did not result in a risk to the environment or navigation in the Straits, EGLE expects more proactive and complete communication from Enbridge." You can read the full statement from EGLE here.
  • Editor's note: Enbridge is one of Michigan Radio's corporate sponsors.

Environmental advocate says future of Line 5 is in Gov. Whitmer’s hands

Stateside's conversation with Mike Shriberg

  • Many environmental advocates are highly critical of former Governor Rick Snyder's decision to sign off on Enbridge’s plan for a tunnel to house replacement pipes for Line 5. That includes Mike Shriberg, regional executive director of the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Regional Center. We talked to Shriberg about the multiple lawsuits against Line 5, and his concerns about Enbridge’s environmental track record.  

A metal Cinderella story: Detroit-based band I Prevail nominated for two Grammys

Stateside's conversation with Brian Burkheiser and Eric Vanlerberghe

  • This weekend will be a huge one for the Detroit-based group I Prevail. The metal band has two Grammy nominations. They have a record in the running for best rock album, and their song "Bow Down" is nominated for best metal performance. We spoke with vocalists Brian Burkheiser and Eric Vanlerberghe about the crazy story of the band's rise, and the many things they've overcome to grow into their stardom.

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