Pipeline Safety Advisory Board Quarterly Meeting Coverage

Pipeline Safety Advisory Board meets Oct. 15 in Lansing

The Michigan’s Pipeline Safety Advisory Board (PSAB) met and discussed the Enbridge Agreement and its Final Board Report in its quarterly meeting Oct. 15 in Lansing.

The meeting came on the heels of several recent announcements related to the future of Line 5 and an agreement that provides a clear path forward to further protect the Great Lakes while maintaining the critical infrastructure link between Michigan’s peninsulas and protecting families and the real jobs that depend on Line 5 for moving energy to where it’s needed.

The U.S. Coast Guard has enacted a new “no anchor zone” rule in the Straits of Mackinac. This rule follows a set of temporary emergency rules issued by the Governor after an April 2018 anchor strike incident. In addition, recent legislation approved by the State House made anchoring in the Straits a felony. The rule officially prohibits vessels from anchoring over any charted, submerged cable and pipeline within the "no anchor" area unless the crew has received permission from the Captain of the Port of Sault Ste. Marie, or a designated representative.

Gov. Snyder, in his official statement, thanked the Coast Guard and District Commander Rear Admiral Joanna M. Nunan while affirming that "this is one of many critical measures to provide robust short-term protections as we move forward with our long-term plan of putting Line 5 in a utility tunnel and decommissioning the existing pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac."

Earlier this month, the State of Michigan and Enbridge announced a second agreement on Oct. 3 that gave the go-ahead for the State and Enbridge to pursue further agreements related to a Straits Tunnel that could accommodate a replacement for Line 5 under the Straits. A new final agreement is anticipated sometime in November with an opportunity to comment in December. The next meeting of the PSAB will be Dec. 10, 2018, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Lansing. The location has yet to be announced.

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