In a statement released earlier this week by Enbridge, the company has confirmed it has placed additional operating pressure restrictions on the pipelines across the Straits of Mackinac as a precautionary and prudent measure. Reporting they took this step in close consultation with their federal regulator PHMSA (the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration), with federal code, and with the State of Michigan.
The operating pressure is what pushes the product through the line, Enbridge spokesman Ryan Duffy told The Detroit News. “Line 5 is tested at 1200 pounds per square inch, the maximum pressure we’re allowed to run at is 600 psi, but as an extra safety measure, we elect to operate the line day to day at just 150 to 200 psi.”
Enbridge noted that diver inspections continue. Plans to reinforce the pipes continue to be developed and will be finalized in close coordination with PHMSA and the State of Michigan.
In their statement, the company reiterated that the structural integrity of the pipes remain sound and the regular operations of the pipelines continues at the reduced pressure limit. Enbridge continues to work closely with the State and United States Coast Guard as they investigate what is believed to be an unauthorized anchor drop in the Straits that caused denting on Line 5.