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Some environmental groups are hissing over what's been called a "pinhole" leak discovered last week in the same pipeline that travels beneath the Straits of Mackinac.
The leak was reported on Dec. 8 and resulted in an "undetermined amount of natural gas liquid" that "vaporized in the atmosphere," according to the joint statement released by Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Director Dan Wyant and Attorney General Bill Schuette. It took place just north of Manistique near the Indian River.
Although Wyant and Schuette said there was "no contamination requiring remediation" as a result of the leak, several environmental groups weighed in today and compared the incident to Enbridge's big oil spill in the Kalamazoo River back in 2010.
"In Michigan, where the largest inland oil spill ever occurred when Enbridge Line 6B contaminated Marshall and the Kalamazoo River, we know that industry assurances that these pipelines are perfectly safe are meaningless without rigorous, scientific review of the environmental effects," said David Holtz, chair of the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter, in a statement.
"This small leak is a wake-up call that demands immediate action by our federal and state land management and environmental agencies to publicly disclose the full extent of potential environmental threats posed by this pipeline," he said.
The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) also chimed in on the "pinhole leak" and made a reference to the oil spill on the Kalamazoo River.
"Even after all the attention over the past two years to Enbridge's system of pipelines crisscrossing the Great Lakes, Enbridge and the government couldn't prevent the leak in this pipeline, which carries up to 23 million gallons a day of oil through the Straits of Mackinac," said Andy Buchsbaum, vice president for conservation action for the National Wildlife Federation, in a statement.
"It demonstrates that eventually, all pipelines leak -- the question is when and how much. Knowing that sooner or later Line 5 will leak again, it's simply unacceptable for a portion of that pipeline to be lying on the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac," he said.
For the full article, see "Enviros Fume About 'Pinhole Leak' In Enbridge Pipeline", Inside MIRS Today, December 16, 2014.
MIRSNews.com is available via the MSU Library electronic resources page. Access is restricted to the MSU community and other subscribers.
For another article, see Keith Matheny, "'Pinhole' leak in U.P. gas pipeline raises fears", Detroit Free Press, December 17, 2014.
The rising concerns and complaints expressed on both sides of the Detroit River about a proposed underground nuclear waste repository in Ontario — less than a mile from the shores of Lake Huron — appear to be falling on deaf ears.
The public's perceptions of risk from nuclear facilities can be discounted because they are "not in line with facts" and are fueled by "pop culture and myths," according to the head of Canada's nuclear safety regulatory agency.
For the full article, see Keith Matheny, "Safety chief: No reason to fear nuke dump by Lake Huron", Detroit Free Press, December 14, 2014.
Work on Kalamazoo River cleanup delayed until 2017
December 13, 2014
Hearing planned on mine's water discharge permit
December 13, 2014
Upper Great Lakes water levels are up. Here's why.
December 11, 2014
Scientists oppose bill to keep DNR from considering biodiversity
December 9, 2014
Could another polar vortex lead to energy shortages?
By Julie Grant
Dec 9, 2014
Pilot and architect looks at "Detroit by Air" and sees hope
By Mark Brush
Dec 8, 2014
Scientists say the longest period on record of abnormally low Great Lakes water levels has ended, but it’s uncertain whether the recovery is temporary or the beginning of a new long-term trend.
The slump began in the late 1990s. It continued for 15 years, culminating early last year when Lake Michigan and Lake Huron set low-water records. Since then, levels have sharply rebounded.
In September, the levels of all five of the Great Lakes were above average for the first time since the drop-off began, said Drew Gronewold of the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor.
Between January 2013 and this November, Lake Superior rose 2.3 feet, while Lakes Michigan and Huron rose 3.2 feet.
For the full article, see John Flesher, "Great Lakes water level slump over, future unclear", Detroit News, December 10, 2014.
A 5-acre former chemical burning pit is the latest focus in the decades-long cleanup of Velsicol Chemical's toxic legacy in St. Louis, Mich.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has established a new Superfund site at the burn pit, now part of a golf course in the city of about 7,500 residents.
The site is across the Pine River from the old Velsicol site, where more than $100 million has been spent cleaning up contaminated river sediments and yards in nearby neighborhoods over the past 30 years.
The burn pit site features soil contaminated with 1, 2 dicholoroethane and benzene — both toxins — but no threat to human health exists at present, according to EPA officials.
The proposed $23-million cleanup will use a process to heat the tar-like pollutants in the soil, then capture and properly dispose of the liquid and vapor pollutants that result through a vacuum system.
Groundwater also is contaminated from the pollutants under and near the site, and is heading toward the Pine River, but is still far from it, said Donald Bruce, remedial section chief for the EPA's Region 5 that includes Michigan.
"We hope to address the groundwater contamination more fully after we complete this initial phase," he said.
For the full article, see Keith Matheny, "EPA creates Superfund site in Michigan; cleanup is $23M", Detroit Free Press, December 8, 2014.
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