LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, the Michigan Agency for Energy, Department of Environmental Quality, and Department of Natural Resources today announced that Det Norske Veritas (U.S.A.), Inc. and Dynamic Risk Assessment Systems, Inc. were selected to conduct the independent risk analysis and alternatives analysis, respectively, for the Enbridge Line 5 pipelines under the Straits of Mackinac.
“Our Great Lakes are the crown jewels of Michigan and we have a duty preserve them for generations to come,” said Schuette. “We are now taking the next step forward to formally define the environmental and financial risks we face.”
The risk analysis will focus on identifying the current risks of the Line 5 pipelines and the alternatives analysis will comprehensively evaluate the current pipelines and the alternatives to them. Both analyses will help the State of Michigan make decisions about the future of the pipelines.
Enbridge, the owner of the pipelines, has agreed to pay $3,581,294 into an escrow account to fund the studies. Enbridge offered no opinion on the companies independently selected by the State to perform the studies. The State, not Enbridge, will oversee the studies.
Independent Risk Analysis
Det Norkse Veritas (U.S.A.), Inc., is a organization that develops standards and provides technical expertise in the maritime and energy industries. It has extensive experience in assessing and mitigating risks of oil and gas pipelines, including offshore pipelines. Information about the company is available at https://www.dnvgl.com/.
Independent Alternatives Analysis
Dynamic Risk Assessment Systems, Inc. is a pipeline engineering and consulting firm. Together with its four sub-contractors, it has extensive experience in pipeline engineering, integrity management, risk analysis, and impact analysis. Information about the company is available at https://dynamicrisk.net/.
Request for Proposal Process and Pipeline Safety Advisory Board
Seven proposals were submitted, 3 for the alternatives analysis and 4 for the risk analysis. An inter-agency technical review team reviewed each of the proposals and made recommendations based upon the bidders’ demonstrated qualifications, experience, and ability to perform the work in a timely and cost-effective way, after reviewing actual or apparent conflicts of interests. The State selected the contractors based upon those recommendations and after considering comments and advice from members of the Pipeline Safety Advisory Board.
The following State of Michigan officials are members of the Pipeline Safety Advisory Board and agreed to the selection of the companies as well as signed off on the agreement with Enbridge to fund the studies:
Michigan Agency for Energy: Valerie Brader
Department of Environmental Quality: Keith Creagh
Department of Natural Resources: Bill Moritz
Department of Attorney General: Bill Schuette
Michigan Petroleum Pipeline Taskforce
Schuette served as co-chair of the Michigan Petroleum Pipeline Task Force, which released recommendations in 2015 for an independent review and risk analysis of the pipelines that run underneath the waters of the Mackinac Straits. Implementing the recommendations of the task force continues as the State of Michigan, with advice from the Michigan Pipeline Safety Advisory Board works toward ensuring the safety, upkeep and transparency of issues related to Michigan’s network of pipelines.
Enbridge sent ABC 10 a response to today’s release from AG Schuette:
“Enbridge appreciates the work the Michigan Pipeline Safety Advisory board has done to select the contractors who will provide an independent analysis of Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac. We’re pleased that the Board selected independent companies that understand energy infrastructure, and the important role pipelines play in delivering energy as well as protecting the environment.
We expect this analysis will help build trust and confidence among Michigan residents in our continued safe and reliable operations of Line 5 in the Straits. Delivering energy reliably and protecting the people and the environment of the Great Lakes is our number one mission.
We continuously monitor and inspect Line 5 and, while it’s not perfect, we know through our very rigorous inspection process that the line is in very good condition. We believe this additional analysis will reach the same conclusion.”