Federal Judge Thomas Ludington of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan yesterday upheld a determination that the U.S. Coast Guard’s Northern Michigan Area Contingency Plan (NMACP) adequately considers the possibility of an oil release from Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline that traverses the Straits of Mackinac. As part of ongoing litigation to shut down the critical utility pipeline, environmental groups including the Environmental Law & Policy Center and the National Wildlife Foundation expressed concern regarding the scope of the NMACP. Both groups asked the judge to issue summary judgment in their favor.
The pipeline, which extends from Ontario to Wisconsin, delivers crude oil and natural gas liquids for commercial and residential use throughout the Midwest. Enbridge has continued to face scrutiny from environmentalists and politicians as it moves forward on constructing a tunnel to house the pipeline where it crosses the Straits.
Following is a statement from the GAIN Coalition which you can attribute to me, Craig Stevens, spokesman for the coalition:
“The GAIN Coalition applauds yesterday’s ruling upholding the Coast Guard’s contingency plan for Line 5. The pipeline has been unnecessarily politicized by both Governor Whitmer and Attorney General Nessel, having suffered from costly litigious delays despite sounding approval from state and federal regulators. Considering the shaky economic climate of COVID-19, necessary infrastructure projects, like Line 5, could help mitigate the consequences of this downturn by employing skilled workers, while also helping to strengthen our energy and national security by using more North American energy resources.”