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Enbridge Energy pipeline repair concerns residents; meeting set



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May 09, 2012 - Dave Brock, a Brandon Township resident, likes living in the country.

But he is concerned that he will soon lose what is integral to any rural landscape— trees.

Brock, whose home is located off Reese Road, is one of several property owners in both Brandon and Groveland townships who will be affected by Enbridge Energy's plan to replace segments of a crude petroleum pipeline.

"This is a new pipeline and it's really going to change our property," said Brock. "They are taking down trees off our property, one of the reasons we live here in a rural area... They are going to compensate us, but when you have 100-year-old oak trees, how can you compensate for that?"

Brandon Township Supervisor Kathy Thurman said a meeting to address concerns of property owners affected by the pipeline in both Brandon and Groveland townships will be held at 6:30 p.m., May 24, at the Brandon Township Library, 304 South St. Kimberly Savage, an attorney with Savage Law PLC, will answer questions. Savage has hosted similar citizen meetings in other communities, most recently Fenton, helping landowners understand their rights in regards to public utilities and land easement.

According to a letter Thurman received from Enbridge, the company is planning to replace segments of a crude petroleum pipeline between Griffith, Indiana and Marysville, Mich. The planned replacement to be completed by the end of 2012 consists of 75 miles of pipeline (Line 6B) that transports crude oil to various refineries in the region. There are also now plans to replace the remaining 210 miles of Line 6B in 2012 and 2013.

"They are starting this summer," said Thurman. "They are going to add new pipeline segments, which will require them to acquire new or widen right of ways in some areas to ensure sufficient room between the pipeline and adjacent natural gas pipeline. Enbridge has been negotiating with landowners in regards to widening easements. They can make quite a mess during installation process, they have to remove trees."

The pipeline will affect some property owners on Reese and Allen roads, as well as M-15. Enbridge also has a pump station on Cook's Trail. The first phase of the construction will end at the pump station, and will be a little more than 3 miles long in Brandon. The second phase of project, is an additional 3 miles here for the pipeline that runs east and west.

Residents and township officials were first notified last September of the initial plan. The 50-mile segment between Ortonville and St. Clair, Mich. has been proposed to be replaced with 30-inch diameter pipe. The letter continues by saying the existing Line 6B segments will be properly purged and safely deactivated. The project also calls for installation or modification of certain station facilities, such as pumps and tanks, at various locations. The project will reduce the amount of future maintenance activity that would be required as well as meet the growing demand for additional pipeline capacity along this route.

For more information on the project or citizens' meeting, call the supervisor's office at 248-627-4918.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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