Stupak Urges Federal Regulators To Oversee Enbridge's Underwater Maintenance Plans
U.S. Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Menominee) today sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to request a thorough review of Enbridge Energy Partners' scheduled underwater maintenance to its "line 5" oil pipeline located beneath the Straits of Mackinac, MI.
"I am deeply concerned over the possibility of an oil leak occurring in the Straits as a result of Enbridge's maintenance work," said Stupak. "With so many residents reliant on the Great Lakes for their employment and drinking water, it is imperative that federal regulators play a role in ensuring that Enbridge's plans are thoroughly reviewed and supervised in order to avoid a potentially disastrous oil spill."
In the letter, Stupak requests that PHMSA review Enbridge's plans to avert a possible leak during maintenance and to analyze a possible spill's effect on the safety of drinking water and ecology of the Great Lakes. Stupak is also requesting that the transport of oil through the pipeline be suspended during maintenance in order to minimize the risk of an oil spill.
In July, an Enbridge Energy Partners pipeline ruptured near Marshall, MI, causing approximately one million gallons of crude oil to be spilled into the Kalamazoo River.
"The oil spill back in July brought to light the failures of Enbridge to properly oversee its operations," said Stupak. "I strongly urge PHMSA to conduct a comprehensive review of Enbridge's maintenance plans so we do not witness another devastating spill in Michigan."