Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Straits of Mackinac at risk? Enbridge wants to send divers down to shore up "unsupported" sections of underwater oil pipeline near Mackinac Bridge

So this is fascinating. Enbridge Energy, whose oil spill fouled the Kalamazoo River system, wants to drill ten or more “support structures” underneath the waters of the Straits of Mackinac to make its twin 20-inch oil pipelines there safer.

In this application to the state, they suggest that the “do nothing” option “presents a future risk to the pipeline.”
One wonders why this safety measure, to “minimize the distance between presently unsupported pipeline spans” wasn’t on the drawing board three months ago. Or three years ago. Or ten years ago. Or when the pipeline was built in the first place (which appears to be the 1950s.)

And one wonders how many other oil pipelines across the country may be in need of additional safety maintenance, but aren’t getting it because their owners aren’t as gun shy as the beleaguered crew at Enbridge.

Thursday update: Numerous media outlets have picked up this story, including this morning’s article in the Detroit Free Press this morning’s article in the Detroit Free Press. Enbridge says the work was planned prior to the Kalamazoo spill. And not to worry, everything is under control.

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