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Groups Challenge Coast Guard's Michigan Spill Response Plan

Mackinac Bridge
Amanda Barberena
/
WKAR-MSU

Two advocacy groups say the U.S. Coast Guard doesn't have an adequate strategy for dealing with oil spills in the channel linking Lakes Huron and Michigan.

The Coast Guard approved a plan last year for responding to spills in northern Michigan, including the Straits of Mackinac.

A section of Enbridge Inc.'s Line 5 oil pipeline runs beneath the straits.

In a federal suit filed Wednesday, the Environmental Law & Policy Center and the National Wildlife Federation say Coast Guard leaders have acknowledged they're unprepared to clean up a spill in open Great Lakes waters.

They say Line 5 cannot legally operate without a valid response plan.

Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Paul Rhynard declined comment on the suit but said the Guard has a "robust" process for approving oil spill plans.

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