Independent Risk Analysis for the Straits Pipeline, Draft Report Released


On July 19, the State released the independent risk analysis of potential impacts of a “worst case scenario” spill. The Michigan Tech Team, directed by Guy Meadows of Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center submitted the draft report to state officials on July 16, 208. According to the State, the worst-case approach implemented in the study is based on the accumulation of worst-case assumptions and explicitly excludes consideration of the probability of such events.  

The scenarios in the report are “purely hypothetical” and “extraordinarily unlikely to happen,” Enbridge spokesman Ryan Duffy said in a Thursday statement.

Enbridge’s safety protocols on preventing a worst-case spill include a 24-hour control center, automatic shut-off valves and trained employees who would be able to respond quickly, he said.

“We all agree that the state’s natural resources are a treasure that must be protected,” Duffy said. “While Line 5 continues to operate safely, and there never has been a release in the Straits since it was installed, the State and Enbridge are working on new safeguards to enhance pipeline safety.”

The Draft risk analysis is yet another assessment intended to insure the protection of the Great Lakes while maintaining the critical infrastructure link between Michigan’s peninsulas and will be used in conjunction with the other assessments to help inform discussions on the future of Line 5 and energy infrastructure in Michigan.  

To view the draft analysis in its entirety, click here

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