Enbridge pipeline concerns one of Mackinac Policy Conference's big topics

Don't let the Straights of Mackinac become the next Flint - that's the rallying cry from protesters who want an aging pipeline up north shut down.

Don't let the Straights of Mackinac become the next Flint - that's the rallying cry from protesters who want an aging pipeline shut down.

Concerned citizens, environmentalists, engineers and politicians marched 16,000 petition signatures to the governor's mansion about the Line 5 oil pipelines are preparing to march 16,000 petition signatures to the Governor at the Mackinac Policy Conference.

Along with the signatures, 13 counties, 14 cities and villages, and 16 townships in Michigan have passed resolutions asking Gov. Rick Snyder to take action on Line 5.

"To date, we have heard nothing either from the governor or the attorney general," said Joanne Cromley, Straits Area Concerned Citizens for Peace. "We are now calling for action and for them to do something so they do not 'Flint' the straits.

Line 5 is a pair of 63-year old Enbridge pipelines which run alongside the Mackinac Bridge through the straits of Mackinac, a section of water with a treacherous current.  University of Michigan studies show that it would be the worst place for an oil spill in the Great Lakes, contaminating drinking water, costing tourism and jobs, and harming wildlife.

Several engineers say the pipes are past their expiration date, and data shows there has been degradation.

Enbridge says the line is properly maintained and monitored telling FOX 2:

"We have a response plan, which reflects input from the U.S. Coast Guard and Environmental Protection Agency, and has been reviewed by Enbridge's federal regulator - the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

"Local emergency first responders and third party spill response organizations are trained on that plan and are on standby should there ever be a need to call on them."

Enbridge also has shut-off facilities located on both sides of the bridge. FOX 2 has asked to be given a tour, but have been denied access.

"Who is telling us this is safe," said Lon Johnson, a congressional candidate. "Who is telling us that this is ok? It is the same people responsible for the largest oil spill in our nation's history."

Eight of Michigan's indigenous nations have also passed resolutions, claiming the line is in violation of their treaty.

"The governor of the state of Michigan has been derelict in his responsibility to manage the resource along with the tribes," said Aaron Payment, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe, Chippewa Indians. "We have brought this issue to his attention the last few years, and he has done nothing."

FOX 2 has connected with Gov. Rick Snyder at the Mackinac Policy conference and he has agreed to answer a few of our questions on Line 5. We will bring you that interview Thursday night at 6.

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