Construction is now underway by Enbridge for the drilling and placement of a new petroleum pipeline underneath the St. Clair River. According to Enbridge, the preliminary work on the line replacement is happening now, with drilling planned to start March 1, weather permitting. Construction is expected to take four months.
Due to the ongoing construction, there will be significant noise with the Horizontal Directional Drill, but noise mitigation structures are planned. The St. Clair River line is part of “Line 5” and goes between Marysville and Froomfield, Ontario. The line will carry petroleum products from western Ontario to Eastern Ontario. It is the same line that is under the Mackinaw Bridge and has been the object of years of litigation and environmental protest.
The new St. Clair River section of the pipeline is expected to be around 30 feet below the river. The current pipeline is four feet under the river. The 645-mile-long Line 5 will carry about 22.6 million gallons per day, and according to Michigan Oil and Gas Association, it provides much of the petroleum products needed to heat and run homes and businesses throughout Michigan.
Michigan’s Attorney General has tried to shut down Line 5 citing it as an unacceptable environmental risk to the Great Lakes, but the Line 5 agreement has been upheld by courts and regulatory agencies in both the United States and Canada.
Reporting for WGRT, Karly Hurley.