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Attorney General Dana Nessel says legal action on Line 5 could be close

A diver inspects Enbridge's Line 5 pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac for a possible dent.
Enbridge inspection video shared with the state of Michigan

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says she’s ready to go to court to force Enbridge to shut down a pipeline, Line 5, that moves oil and gas on a route that runs through the Straits of Mackinac. That’s if the energy company and the state don’t reach a deal by the end of June.

But Nessel says it also sets a deadline for negotiations on the future of the pipeline.

“I believe that it is possible in the event that it ruptures, we’ll see the biggest oil spill in American history. It will be devastating to the state of Michigan, devastating to our economy, to our natural resources, to our drinking supply,” says Nessel.

Nessel says the dangers to the Great Lakes are too big to wait much longer.

“There are a number of legal avenues that we can pursue, and we are ready to go down any one of those legal avenues,” she says.

An Enbridge spokesman says the company’s ready to invest $500 million on a tunnel to house a replacement section of the pipeline that runs under the Straits. That's if the state gives its approval; Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered a haltto the tunnel project in March, after Nessel said a law creating a state authority to oversee construction of the tunnel was unconstitutional. 

Editor's note: Enbridge is a corporate sponsor of Michigan Radio.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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