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Whitmer, Enbridge swap letters on Line 5

LANSING — Enbridge officials have responded to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s request over the weekend to shut down the Line 5 pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac.

Whitmer sent two letters to Enbridge CEO Al Monaco after the company Thursday reported damage to the east leg of the dual 4.5-mile pipeline.

The governor urged a full shutdown of the pipeline until damage can be assessed and preventative measures put in place.

In a written statement released Saturday, Enbridge reported it had completed a remote vehicle inspection of the west leg of Line 5 and confirmed “there are no issues or damage to the anchor structures or pipeline on the west leg.”

“As we have verified that the west leg is not affected, we resumed normal operations on that line today at approximately 2 p.m. Eastern Time (Saturday),” company officials said in the statement. “The east leg will remain shut down. The issue with the screw anchor assembly observed on Thursday is isolated to the east leg, which we will continue to investigate and evaluate over the weekend.”

The U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which is the federal regulator of the pipeline, “has no objection” to restarting the west leg of the pipeline, according to the company’s statement Saturday.

Monaco responded to Whitmer and confirmed that Enbridge is committed to sharing what is learned about the incident with the screw anchor assembly on the east leg with the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and the state of Michigan.

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