Straits of Mackinac

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Rick Snyder has approved six-month ban on ships dropping anchor in the Straits of Mackinac. It’s a response to a mishap in April that caused a mineral oil spill and damage to Enbridge Line 5. 

There are advisories on maritime maps that say ships shouldn’t drop anchor in the straits, where there’s a risk posed by the Enbridge fuel line and other infrastructure. But it’s not a regulation. In April, a ship dragged an anchor across the bottom of the straits and ruptured a utility line and dented Line 5.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A coolant spill in the Straits of Mackinac did not harm the Great Lakes.

That’s according to the Coast Guard and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

In April, electric cables leaked about 600 gallons of synthetic coolant into the Straits of Mackinac. The cables are owned by the American Transmission Company.

Experts gave a presentation about the spill cleanup and analysis to the state’s Pipeline Safety Advisory Board Monday. They said the spill was “minor” and caused no significant environmental impact.

MACKINAW CITY, MI (AP)--   Officials say crews have finished capping and sealing two electric cables that were severed by a suspected boat anchor strike in the Straits of Mackinac. 

A team of investigators led by the U.S. Coast Guard said Monday the cables owned by American Transmission Co. were returned to the bottom of the Straits.

The company is working with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality on a plan to remove them.

Straits cables to be capped

Apr 26, 2018
U.S. Coast Guard

MACKINAW CITY, MI (MPRN)--   The Coast Guard is developing a plan to cap two ruptured cables that leaked roughly 600 gallons of dielectric fluid into the Straits of Mackinac.

Coast Guard officials say an investigation into the break is ongoing but Attorney General Bill Schuette filed suit last week against a tug and barge company for dragging an anchor across the lines.

A remotely operated vehicle was sent to the straits to survey the lines and found they were completely severed.

LANSING, MI--   Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has filed a civil suit against an Escanaba company for breaking utility cables in the Straits of Mackinac. 

Schuette says he was able to determine a ship owned by VanEnkevort Tug & Barge passed through the straits at the time the American Transmission Company lines were damaged and the Line 5 pipeline was dented.

The ship allegedly dragged an anchor across the lakebed and hit the submerged lines.

Schuette says tugboat caused straits damage

Apr 19, 2018

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Attorney General Bill Schuette announced Tuesday that he’s filing a lawsuit against a shipping company allegedly responsible for the break of two power lines beneath the Straits of Mackinac.

In a written press release the AG says Escanaba-based VanEnkevort Tug & Barge, Inc. dragged an anchor across the bottom of the straits, causing dents in the Line 5 pipeline and rupturing two power lines owned by American Transmission Company.

Andrea Bitely is a spokesperson for the AG. She says the company could face a $25,000 fine.

MACKINAW CITY, MI (MPRN)--   An electrical cable that leaked hundreds of gallons of mineral oils into the Straits of Mackinac will be inspected – as soon as the weather clears up. 

Unified Command is a team of local, state and federal officials that responded to the spill reported earlier this month. The owner of the cable line, American Transmission Company is also on the team.

The plan is to send a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) under the water to inspect the line.

MACKINAW CITY, MI (AP)--   Oil is flowing again through side-by-side pipelines beneath the Straits of Mackinac.

Enbridge announced Monday afternoon it has restarted its Line 5, which was shut down over the weekend. The company blamed a power outage. Sens. Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan had pushed for a temporary shutdown because of high winds and heavy currents in the Straits of Mackinac.

Line 5 carries 23 million gallons of oil daily between Superior, Wisconsin, and Sarnia, Ontario.

ST. IGNACE, MI--   Enbridge suspended operation of its Line 5 oil pipeline Sunday due to severe weather.

US Senator Gary Peters pressed the company to take the action after lake swells in the Straits of Mackinac topped 12 feet. Under an agreement with Governor Snyder, Enbridge reportedly said it would shut down the line if waves exceeded 8 feet.

Last week Enbridge said three dents were discovered in Line 5. Officials wonder if they were caused by whatever damaged an American Transmission Company utility line and dumped 600 gallons of dielectric fluid into the water.

Anchor could be to blame for Straits leak

Apr 12, 2018

MACKINAW CITY, MI--   Authorities are trying to determine whether an anchor strike may be responsible for synthetic fluid leaking into the Straits of Mackinac. 

An electric transmission line could have sustained damage from a ship’s anchor, causing the leak. A report also says the controversial Enbridge Line 5 pipeline under the Straits shows signs it may have been hit several times by an anchor.

The news prompted Governor Rick Snyder to urge Enbridge to accelerate replacement of older pipelines, including the 65-year-old Line 5.