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Environment & Climate Change

State wants Enbridge to promise to cover costs from any Line 5 spill

map of Line 5
Enbridge Energy
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The state of Michigan wants Enbridge to promise it will cover costs from a potential oil spill in the channel that links two of the Great Lakes. Department of Natural Resources Director Dan Eichenger made the request Friday in a letter to the Canadian company. An Enbridge subsidiary pledged in 2018 to set aside about $1.8 billion to deal with a worst-case spill from its Line 5 pipes in the Straits of Mackinac. But the state says the subsidiary doesn't have enough money to fulfill that promise, and it's not clear that the parent company is bound by the pledge. A spokesman says Enbridge is reviewing the state's request but has made clear it would pay for damages if Line 5 ruptures, which the company says is highly unlikely.

Editor's note: Enbridge is one of Michigan Radio's corporate sponsors.

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