Enbridge Line 5 RFIs Deadline Extended

Contractors have until April 18 to submit proposals to perform an independent risk analysis and an independent alternatives analysis related to the Enbridge 5 pipelines under the Straits of Mackinac.

The state of Michigan has extended the deadline for requests for information and proposals as a result of requests from prospective contractors who are interested in performing an independent risk analysis and an independent alternatives analysis related to the pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac known as Enbridge Line 5. The new deadline is April 18, a week later than the original date, giving contractors additional time to submit their proposals.

The risk analysis will focus on Enbridge Energy Co.'s potential liability for a worst-case scenario spill from the Straits pipelines and its responsibility to maintain adequate financial assurance should a spill take place. The alternatives analysis will compare alternatives to the existing pipelines to help inform decisions about their future. The Straits of Mackinac are a narrow waterway between Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas.

According to Enbridge, Line 5 is a 645-mile, 30-inch-diameter pipeline that travels through the peninsulas. It originates in Superior, Wis., and terminating in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. The portion under the Straits of Mackinac splits into two 20-inch-diameter, parallel pipelines that cross the Straits west of the Mackinac Bridge for a distance of 4.5 miles.

The Michigan Agency for Energy, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and the Department of the Attorney General jointly developed the RFIs and will be responsible for selecting and overseeing contractors for each analysis. The RFIs and instructions regarding submitting questions and responses are available here.

Last September, the state and Enbridge signed an agreement preventing the future passage of heavy crude oil through Enbridge's Line 5 pipelines running under the Straits of Mackinac. The RFIs were developed as a response to two recommendations listed in the Michigan Pipeline Task Force Report released in July 2015. The Pipeline Safety Advisory Board, consisting of industry, environmental and conservation representatives, cabinet members, and members of the public was one of 13 recommendations included in the task force's July report and is housed in the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

Implementing the recommendations of the task force continues to be a priority of the state of Michigan and the Pipeline Safety Advisory Board as they work toward ensuring the safety, upkeep and transparency of issues related to Michigan’s network of pipelines.

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