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Report Says Line 5 Sustainable Indefinitely; Critics Disagree

Mackinac Bridge
Melissa Benmark
Mackinac Island's Line 5 has been deemed safe by Enbridge for the forseeable future.

A report released Thursday outlines alternatives to running an energy pipeline beneath the Great Lakes. It also says Enbridge’s Line 5 is safe to operate for the foreseeable future.

More than 23 (m) million gallons of oil and natural gas travel through Line 5 daily, including a five-mile stretch that runs beneath the Straits of Mackinac.

Enbridge says the report shows its maintenance and improvements are working to keep the 65-year-old pipeline reliable and safe.

But David Holtz of the Sierra Club says there is no risk-free way to operate a pipeline in the Great Lakes.

“The Great Lakes are no place for oil pipelines," said Holtz.

The report says one alternative to a pipeline on the lakebed is burying it. That’s an approach endorsed by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, who co-chairs a pipeline safety task force.

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