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Michigan, Enbridge say Line 5 mediation efforts likely to wrap up by end of August

WASHINGTON — The two sides in the ongoing dispute over the Line 5 pipeline say they expect their mediation efforts to conclude before the end of August. 

A court-approved mediator says in court documents he will meet again Aug. 11 with officials from the state of Michigan and Enbridge Inc., the pipeline’s Calgary-based owner.

The documents, filed late last week in Federal Court in Michigan, offer no added clues as to the state of the dispute, which has been raging since November.

That’s when Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, citing the risk of a spill in the Straits of Mackinac, where the line crosses the Great Lakes, abruptly revoked the easement that had allowed it to operate since 1953.

Enbridge insists the pipeline is safe and has already received the state’s approval for a $500-million effort to dig a tunnel beneath the straits that would house the line’s twin pipes and protect them from anchor strikes.

The company has made it clear it has no intention of shutting down the pipeline voluntarily.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 15, 2021. 

The Canadian Press