Seven ways to protect Michigan’s water

Trust is earned, and while we have a long way to go, we remain committed to doing what it takes to rebuild trust and uphold our pledge to protect our Great Lakes while safely meeting Michigan’s energy needs.

We have been listening to the concerns of the people of Michigan about protecting water, and in November 2017, Enbridge formally entered into an agreement with the State of Michigan. This agreement includes seven key actions that we are undertaking to move toward a long-term solution for the future of Line 5.

Guy Jarvis, President of Enbridge’s Liquids Pipelines group, talks in late 2017
about Enbridge’s formal Line 5 agreement with the State of Michigan.



In June 2018, we submitted a report to the State of Michigan that evaluated ways to replace the dual pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac. This report was developed in partnership with teams of engineering, construction and environmental consultants—and subject-matter experts from the State participated fully in all aspects of the study, reviewing and verifying the data. The report determined that two alternatives are technically feasible:

aAn open-cut installation on the bottom of the lake bed, with a new pipeline placed in a secondary containment system;

bPlacing a new pipeline in a tunnel to be bored under the Straits.

Pipe in tunnel
Option c: Trenched pipe


We now temporarily shut down Line 5 operations when adverse weather conditions create sustained waves higher than eight feet in the Straits.

Wave shutdown graphic
Anchor graphic


We have evaluated additional technologies and strategies to mitigate potential anchor strikes from shipping vessels to Line 5 in the Straits. We presented the findings in a report to the State of Michigan in June 2018—with identified measures including enhanced marine shipping communications in the Straits, and possibly constructing a protective cover of gravel and rock over the existing dual pipelines.


We have evaluated additional potential technologies to provide leak detection and coating integrity assessment on the underwater portion of Line 5 in the Straits, and presented these findings in two separate reports—one focusing on pipe coating, one on leak detection—to the State of Michigan in June 2018.

Underwater pipeline Inspection illustration
Map of pipeline in relation to the great lakes


We studied safety enhancements on Line 5 water crossings outside the Straits of Mackinac, and presented these findings in a report to the State of Michigan in June 2018


We will replace the Line 5 St. Clair River crossing segment, between Marysville, MI and Froomfield, ON, as soon as we receive the necessary federal and state approvals. The new pipe will be installed underneath the river bed using a horizontal direction drilling technique.

Illustration of underwater pipeline


We have increased coordination with the State of Michigan regarding the operations, maintenance and future of Line 5, and we have promoted greater transparency between Enbridge and the State of Michigan. State representatives have full access to our data and our studies, and are collaborating with us every step of the way.

Illustration of Enbridge building and government building