Environmental groups raise concern about protective coating on Line 5

Mackinac-02 (1)A Enbridge Energy report on the Line 5 pipeline beneath the Straits of Mackinac is raising concern among environmental groups, because it discusses portions of the line that may have lost their enamel coating, exposing the pipeline to corrosion.

The report mentions so-called ‘holidays,’ and explains that these are portions of the line where its enamel coating has been lost.

Enbridge officials say the mention of holidays in the report is merely hypothetical.

Jennifer McKay is with Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council. She first brought attention to the report, and said she doesn’t understand Enbridge’s stance on the holiday mentions being hypothetical.

“You know that’s a fascinating argument because within the report there are areas that say ‘if we find this then we’ll do that’ and that was not the case with the holidays it was ‘we are going to sample the holidays in this manner.”’

Ryan Duffy is with Enbridge. He said there are no gaps in the coating.

“That’s something we’re always on the lookout for: any kind of gaps or breaks in the coating. That’s part of our rigorous testing and inspection program.

McKay, who is a member of the state Pipeline Advisory Board, said she will bring the information up at the next meeting on March 13th.