PHMSA Files Appeal in Enbridge Line 5 Pipeline Case

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration filed an appeal with the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, Ohio. The administration is appealing to rewrite a federal judge’s decision on an oil spill plan for the Straits of Mackinac in Michigan.

U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith in Detroit had ruled that the documents were incomplete and had criticized the agency for approving the plans. He said PHMSA had failed to conduct environmental reviews and it must take another look at the plans prepared for Enbridge’s Line 5.

The judge called for an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement in defense of the decisions and also ordered the agency to provide more information about its reasons for approving the plans.

Although the plans were filed by Enbridge in 2015 and 2017, the ruling came in connection with a lawsuit filed by the National Wildlife Federation. Line 5 carries 23 million gallons of oil and liquids per day through Michigan on its way from Superior, Wisconsin, to Sarnia, Ontario.