Advance Notice: Briefs

Enbridge-owned Kentucky pipeline has lethal rupture

By: - August 1, 2019 4:02 pm

Enbridge, Sti. Ignace | Susan J. Demas

Updated, 6:44 a.m. 8/2/19

As several Democratic elected officials continue to seek a shut down of Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac, the company that owns it has had yet another rupture in a different oil pipeline. 

A pipeline owned by Canadian energy firm Enbridge ruptured in eastern Kentucky on Thursday, reportedly leaving one person dead and seven people injured. 

“Enbridge is continuing to respond to the incident on the Texas Eastern natural gas pipeline system in Lincoln County,” the company said in a statement on Thursday. “The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has assumed control of the incident site. The NTSB is investigating the incident and Enbridge is supporting that investigation. At Enbridge, our first concern is the safety of the public and the surrounding communities.”

But environmental groups in Michigan, along with some top Democrats, have long warned that such an incident is likely to occur in the Straits, which connects Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.

Both Attorney General Dana Nessel and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer have sought to close Line 5. The governor walked away from negotiations with the company earlier this summer over a GOP-backed law signed last year wherein Enbridge would encase the pipeline in a tunnel. 

Nessel shared news of the Kentucky pipeline rupture on her Twitter account on Thursday.

“Consider it a compelling reminder of the dangers of an Enbridge pipeline – two of which lie under the Straits of Mackinac,” Nessel spokeswoman Kelly Rossman-McKinney said of the Kentucky rupture. 

A Michigan-based spokesperson for Enbridge referred the Advance to the company’s statement.* 

Last month marked the five-year anniversary of an oil spill from another Enbridge-owned pipeline near Kalamazoo. 

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Nick Manes
Nick Manes

Nick Manes is a former Michigan Advance reporter, covering West Michigan, business and labor, health care and the safety net. He previously spent six years as a reporter at MiBiz covering commercial real estate, economic development and all manner of public policy at the local and state levels.