Source: Sherman Publications

Enbridge pipeline phase two set to begin

by Susan Bromley

April 24, 2013

Brandon Twp.- Officials from both the township and Enbridge Energy are preparing for the second phase of the Line 6B petroleum pipeline replacement project.

A meeting for residents who wish to gain a better understanding of their rights regarding use of their property by a public utility is planned for 6:30 p.m., May 9, at the township offices, 395 Mill St. Kimberly Savage, attorney at law, will address concerns, in particular for residents who have Enbridge easements.

Township Supervisor Kathy Thurman said an informal meeting to be held at a restaurant is also being planned with an Enbridge representative to speak with residents and answer questions about the pipeline work.

“I am just hoping that the residents who have any utility easements going across their property will be able to get answers to all of their questions,” said Thurman. “I believe Enbridge would like to begin work later this summer if they can get all their contracts finished with each property owner.”

Enbridge, announced plans in late 2011 to replace the Line 6B petroleum pipeline, a project that spans 210 miles in total, from Griffith, Ind. to Sarnia, Ont. The project involves installing all new pipeline alongside the existing pipeline (which will be deactivated and capped). Construction began last year on the first phase of the project, which included 3 miles of pipeline in Groveland Township and 3 miles in Brandon Township.

However, Enbridge met resistance in Brandon when the multi-billion dollar company failed to obtain proper permits and violated township ordinances. Enbridge was responsible for one of the largest oil spills in U.S. history, the 2010 Marshall, Mich. disaster in which 1 million gallons of crude oil spilled into the Kalamazoo River from a ruptured pipeline. For most of 2012, township officials challenged Enbridge plans after their requests for higher safety standards went unheeded and even approved court action before the company finally met legal requirements in December.

The phase one work has not been completed, presumably due to weather although the frost laws were lifted April 15. Jason Manshum, a representative for Enbridge, did not immediately return a call for comment regarding construction in both phase one, and phase two, which will include a pump station on Cook Trail and pipeline that runs to the intersection of Baldwin and Granger roads.

“The pump station is certainly a concern in that it needs to meet our ordinances and requirements,” said Thurman. “We are concerned with how the pump station is monitored. (Phase two) has to go smoother than phase one. We really did a lot of work on phase one, anticipating that negotiations for phase two will go smoother.”

Thurman said the township will not sign an Enbridge contract for work on phase two of the project until officials have all permits and a site plan from the company.