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BigRedDog

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We've discussed this topic somewhat in the Summerfield Township Karst area thread...

maybe time to give it it's own thread.

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STRAITS OF MACKINAC — Shepler's Mackinac Island Ferry service boats run on oil and they've done so for more than 70 years. But they won't run at all if tourism dries up because the island is engulfed in an oil spill.

That risk has led Chris Shepler, owner of the popular ferry business, to publicly call for a shutdown, or decommissioning, of the Enbridge Inc. twin Line 5 oil pipelines that traverse the straits' bottom just west of the Mackinac Bridge.

"We've got to err on the side of caution," Shepler said. "Nothing lasts forever."

That shutdown argument is gaining steam. Calls for either decommissioning, replacing or regulating the controversial Line 5 pipeline segment under the straits have grown more frequent since environmental groups began raising fears a few years ago about an ecological and economic disaster if the 62-year-old line were to rupture, dispersing oil into Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.


Much more at:

http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2015/08/why_the_state_wont_shut_down_t.html#incart_related_stories

Here's the link to the report mentioned in the above article.  If you go to page 40 it gets right into the info on the pipeline across the straits.  Some good pictures and maps!

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/deq/M_Petroleum_Pipeline_Report_2015-10_reducedsize_494297_7.pdf
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BigRedDog

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Re: Why Michigan won't shut down the Mackinac straits oil pipeline
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2015, 10:36:55 AM »

This appears to be where the pipeline splits into two segments.  Sitting literally on the Straits of Mackinaw!

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Mackinaw+City,+MI/@45.8403379,-84.7533503,510m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x4d358b3940a9ad83:0xeac771ab20cc7a7a!6m1!1e1


It's not quite as obvious on the south side but this is the only place I see that looks right.  Sure looks like it's set up to take the two lines and put them back into one!

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Mackinaw+City,+MI/@45.7860473,-84.7747072,179m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x4d358b3940a9ad83:0xeac771ab20cc7a7a!6m1!1e1
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BigRedDog

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Re: Why Michigan won't shut down the Mackinac straits oil pipeline
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2015, 08:59:54 AM »

Here's a related article about shipping oil in tankers on the Great Lakes.  The idea has been scrapped...   'for now'!!!

http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2015/08/refinery_drops_plans_to_ship_h.html#incart_story_package
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BigRedDog

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Re: Why Michigan won't shut down the Mackinac straits oil pipeline
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2015, 10:06:58 AM »

Interesting...

rather than working on the pipeline to actually improve safety instead they're spending the money on improving their public image.

http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2015/09/enbridge_pr_campaign_line_5.html#incart_river


Seems like it's time to replace those pipes that are 67 years old with welded joints that are 67 years old...

Why not put the welded iron pipe inside a larger plastic pipe that would actually capture any leakage in the event the iron pipe or a weld were to leak.  They could easily maintain a few pounds of air pressure on the interior of the plastic pipe.
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SidecarFlip

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Re: Why Michigan won't shut down the Mackinac straits oil pipeline
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2015, 01:15:00 AM »

Here's my suggestion.  Why not build a new pipeline and run it under the lower superstructure of the Mackinaw bridge, tying into the existing line on the Mackinaw City side and the St. Ignace side...

If you ran a new line using the bridge, it would be above ground, easily inspectable and....  The State could receive revenue from Enbridge for allowing the use of the bridge...

Seems to me to be a viable solution....  and the least expensive too.  There are already communications lines on the lower superstructure, why not a pipeline?
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arpydave

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Re: Why Michigan won't shut down the Mackinac straits oil pipeline
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2015, 06:26:06 AM »

That idea has some merit SCF but I'm not sure it's practical.

The thermal temperature changes from season to season would stress the pipes and you're talking viscous fluids instead of data/electrons. Add to that bridge sway in the winds and you're asking for trouble.
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BigRedDog

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Re: Why Michigan won't shut down the Mackinac straits oil pipeline
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2015, 08:09:37 AM »

Here's my suggestion.  Why not build a new pipeline and run it under the lower superstructure of the Mackinaw bridge, tying into the existing line on the Mackinaw City side and the St. Ignace side...

If you ran a new line using the bridge, it would be above ground, easily inspectable and....  The State could receive revenue from Enbridge for allowing the use of the bridge...

Seems to me to be a viable solution....  and the least expensive too.  There are already communications lines on the lower superstructure, why not a pipeline?

That idea has some merit SCF but I'm not sure it's practical.

The thermal temperature changes from season to season would stress the pipes and you're talking viscous fluids instead of data/electrons. Add to that bridge sway in the winds and you're asking for trouble.

I still wonder why they can't build a pipeline inside a pipeline (I'm sure 'cost' is the big factor, but they've learned cleaning up a spill isn't cheap either) at least in the 'highly sensitive' areas ??? ??? ???

I'm guess with the more modern technology they could figure out how to 'hang' it from the bridge and overcome the obstacles arpydave brings up.  They only have a five mile run to deal with those issues.  They built a pipeline clear across Alaska that was completely above ground.

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SidecarFlip

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Re: Why Michigan won't shut down the Mackinac straits oil pipeline
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2015, 05:05:38 PM »

Temperature swings impacting expansion and contraction are easily dealt with, with 'U' shaped pipe sections (like you see in refinneries) and chemical plants.  The 'U' flexes with changes in expansion and contraction without impacting the line and in commercial pipe runs, the pipe is set in hangers with rollers to allow movement...  Ir's all real comonnon pipe construction stuff.

It's extremely doable and allows the state to monitor the pipeline closely....

I bet if the bridge was there when the line was laid, it would be on the superstructure of the bridge, right now.

There are many spans currently carrying pipelines.

According to the article/paper BRD posted (and I read in it's entirety, Lakehead (the predecessor of Enbridge) looked at 2 routes, one down through Wisconsin and Ilinois and across the lower peninsula of Michigan, but chose the shorter route which took it across the straits (before the bridge was built).

To me, elevating the line seems to me to be the safest alternative and the easiest to monitor plus added revenue (from rent) to the state.  Nothing has to move, Enbridge can keep it's south terminus intact and the north one as well.  They would have to lay pipe to the bridge on both ends but not a long distance.

My feeling is, at some point Line 5 will fail, not if, when....  Considering Enbridge's pizz poor record (on the Kalamazoo River), if I was Schittee, I'd be pushing the the bridge crossing.

Considering the bridge is continuously painted, t he line would be painted as well....

Everything is a plus IMO.

If you read the article and look at the pictures (of thr submerged line), it will scare you.....
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SidecarFlip

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Re: Why Michigan won't shut down the Mackinac straits oil pipeline
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2015, 05:19:29 PM »

I falsely assumed that the line carried product north to Canada.  It don't.  It carries product from Canada, through Superior, Wisconsin to Sarnia, Ontario via Michigan.... and only light crude and volitale liquids.  550,000 barrels a day....thats a helluva lot of product.

The big polluter (in a spill) is Dilbit which is tar sands bitumen mixed with volitale liquids for easier transmission....  What polluted the Kazoo river.

Either wat, in the article, the Coast Guard freely admits it's techinically incapable of dealing with a spill in the strats....

Line 5 is 67 years old.  Time to replace or decomission and scrap.

IMO, we are dealing with Russian Roulette, at some point in the future, all hell is gonna break loose.
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BigRedDog

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Re: Why Michigan won't shut down the Mackinac straits oil pipeline
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2015, 08:21:34 AM »

Quote
If you read the article and look at the pictures (of thr submerged line), it will scare you.....

First there's the simple fact of the 'age' of the pipeline itself.  I'm sure they're running lots of tests and keeping an extra close eye on that section.  But when you factor in the way they handled the spill in Kalamazoo it still is not very comforting.

What has always scared me and the Coast Guard had it listed as one of their top concerns when they were discussing the recent training operation is what happens if one of the many, many freighters navigating the straits has to drop their anchor and it drags into one of the pipes.  The article scf mentions shows the pipes pretty much laid right on top of the lake bed and then some dirt piled up over them.

Even if they were actually buried several feet in the lake bed an anchor from a freighter could still catch it. 

Does it hold or does it break ??? ??? ???

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SidecarFlip

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Re: Why Michigan won't shut down the Mackinac straits oil pipeline
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2015, 11:17:26 AM »

Personally, I have no faith in Enbridge concerning Line 5 or any other pipeline for that matter.  They demonstrated that to me with the Kalamazoo River debacle.....

I'm not sure the State of Michigan has much to say about how the line is monitored or maintained.  It's Inertstate Commerce after all.

Never considered the 'dropping anchor' scenario.  That would be downright ugly.

It did state in the paper I read that Lakehead discussed how difficult it was laying the line on the lakefloor, especially the '250 foot deep canyon' part.  It went on to state that the line was laid using the best methods available......  That was 67 years ago.  'Best methods' then and best methods today are two entirely different things.

I still maintain that the best case scenario is an elevated line on the Mackinaw bridge, but then, that would cost Enbridge money and we all know that Enbridge is a 'For Profit' company.  No point in spending money to safeguard the enviroment when what is already in place works fine.....'till it busts that is....  and it will eventually, thats a given.  When is a crapshoot, if is a certainty.

Sort of like Summerfield Township and the injection well.  Trendwell has access to high pressure injection of their waste but it 'costs them money' to truck it to Moscow, Michigan.  Tremdwell is in business to make money, not spend it unnecessarily, even though it protects the enviroment by not injecting in a Karst strata.

We all need petroleum products to run our vehicles, heat our homes and live normal lives, but, at what cost....
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BigRedDog

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Re: Why Michigan won't shut down the Mackinac straits oil pipeline
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2015, 08:21:17 AM »

Personally, I have no faith in Enbridge concerning Line 5 or any other pipeline for that matter.  They demonstrated that to me with the Kalamazoo River debacle.....

I'm not sure the State of Michigan has much to say about how the line is monitored or maintained.  It's Inertstate Commerce after all.

Never considered the 'dropping anchor' scenario.  That would be downright ugly.

It did state in the paper I read that Lakehead discussed how difficult it was laying the line on the lakefloor, especially the '250 foot deep canyon' part.  It went on to state that the line was laid using the best methods available......  That was 67 years ago.  'Best methods' then and best methods today are two entirely different things.

I still maintain that the best case scenario is an elevated line on the Mackinaw bridge, but then, that would cost Enbridge money and we all know that Enbridge is a 'For Profit' company.  No point in spending money to safeguard the enviroment when what is already in place works fine.....'till it busts that is....  and it will eventually, thats a given.  When is a crapshoot, if is a certainty.

Sort of like Summerfield Township and the injection well.  Trendwell has access to high pressure injection of their waste but it 'costs them money' to truck it to Moscow, Michigan.  Tremdwell is in business to make money, not spend it unnecessarily, even though it protects the enviroment by not injecting in a Karst strata.

We all need petroleum products to run our vehicles, heat our homes and live normal lives, but, at what cost....

I don't know if we're even benefiting from any of their oil.  The pipeline starts in Canada and ends in Canada...  it just takes a 'shortcut' through Michigan!  At least when it does start leaking it will foul Canadian waters too!
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