MACKINAW CITY, Mich. (AP) — Enbridge Inc. said Monday that it retrieved a 45-foot steel rod that was resting against an underwater oil pipeline where lakes Michigan and Huron converge.
The debris had been at the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac since September, when aborehole collapsedduring geotechnical work in advance of the construction of a tunnel to surround the Line 5 pipes. Enbridge deployed a remote-operated vehicle to remove the rod on Saturday night, said spokesman Ryan Duffy.
“Favorable weather conditions at the Straits in recent weeks prevented the water from icing over, providing Enbridge a window of opportunity to complete this work,” he said.
The rod had moved from its original position near the pipeline and was found resting on the west leg. It never posed a safety or environmental risk to Line 5, the water or ship traffic, Duffy said.
Enbridge Energy had been collecting rock and soil samples, which it finished Sept. 12 thePetosky News-Reviewreported. But the company did not report the incident to Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy until Nov. 19, according to documents obtained by the newspaper.
The collapse also caused a long piece of drill rod to become lodged beneath the lake bed, and a piece of the equipment to fall on top of the lake bed.
The tunnel would enclose the Straits of Mackinac’s portion of the 66-year-old pipeline, which is also known as Enbridge Line 5. It runs from Superior, Wisconsin to Sarnia, Ontario.
Ryan Duffy, Enbridge spokesman, said the two-months span between the date of the incident and the report were spent determining the best way forward.
PIPELINE PROJECT SPOTLIGHT
Phillips 66, Bridger Pipeline
Project includes construction of an oil pipeline from the Bakken and Rockies production areas to Corpus Christi, TX