LANSING, Mich., Nov. 16, 2020 — Last week, Attorney General Dana Nessel filed a suit at the direction of Gov. Whitmer after DNR Director Dan Eichinger issued a Notice of Revocation and Termination of the 1953 Easement that has allowed Enbridge to operate Line 5. The suit aims to revoke and terminate the easement 6 months after the Court of Claims issues a judgment, which would see the end of Line 5’s operations.
“I am proud to see Attorney General Nessel, Gov. Whitmer and DNR Director Eichinger take this bold and important step toward protecting our Great Lakes,” said state Rep. Rachel Hood (D-Grand Rapids). “As I stated when introducing my Anchor Strike Accountability Package just weeks ago, Enbridge has operated Line 5 in a manner which has jeopardized our most valuable resource: the Great Lakes. I fully support the course of action taken by the Attorney General, governor and Director Eichinger.”
The Anchor Strike Accountability Package (HBs 6307 and –6308) imposes civil and criminal sanctions for freight operators and ship pilots who drag anchors, chains, cables or other attachments to their ship and strike underwater pipelines. The legislation would also impose a requirement that Enbridge clearly mark the pipeline with buoys to inform ship pilots of the location of hazards.
“It is imperative that the legal process is completed,” said Hood. “However, as we look to the coming winter, the Anchor Strike Accountability Package will ensure that the Great Lakes are protected until the easement is, hopefully, revoked in May 2021.”
The Anchor Strike Accountability Package was supported by the Michigan League of Conservation Voters and Clean Water Action. HB 6307 was co-sponsored by Representative Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor). Currently, the package awaits a hearing in the House Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Committee.
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