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Pipeline construction project protected by off-duty Livingston County deputies

Logan Chadde
Michigan Radio

Some Livingston County residents who live near a pipeline project say they don't understand why off-duty sheriff's deputies have been hired to provide security.

Enbridge Energy says its contractor hired the Livingston County Sheriff's Department to ensure public safety while the pipeline is replaced.

A few weeks ago, a resident said Enbridge clear-cut trees on her property without permission.  A judge has ordered work to stop until a property rights issue can be sorted out.

Enbridge spokeswoman Lorraine Little says there's been no trouble, other than the disagreement over the felled trees.  But she says the deputies are there to make sure nothing does happen.

"It would be like anybody who tried to get into a construction site, no matter where it is," Little says. "If the person is not part of the construction crew, they don't belong there. Certainly anytime sees somebody in uniform, that helps cooler heads prevail if there is any kind of dispute or a concern."

Little also says the deputies provide traffic control as heavy equipment moves in and out of the work sites.