Enbridge Line 5 Resolution to Come Back Before County Board

May 3, 2017

An opponent of Enbridge Energy's Line 5 pipeline at the Kalamazoo County Commission meeting Wednesday night
Credit Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

This post has been updated.

A Kalamazoo County resolution on a controversial oil pipeline that was withdrawn two weeks ago will get a vote after all. The resolution calls for Enbridge Energy to shut down its line 5 pipe, which runs through the Straits of Mackinac, to avoid the risk of a spill.

When Commissioner Mike Quinn brought the resolution, only four commissioners said they would support it, so Quinn took it off the table. But Quinn says he’s talked to board members since then and expects more support in two weeks.

Supporters of the resolution packed a county meeting Wednesday night, speaking for more than an hour and a half. Mike Savina noted that Enbridge failed to respond for hours to the Line 6B rupture that caused the 2010 Kalamazoo River oil spill.

“I’m surprised Kalamazoo’s not the first one to pass a resolution opposing line 5 considering our history,” he said.

Stephanie Mabie is with the nonprofit group Kent County Water Conservation. She noted that the Great Lakes are the world’s largest body of freshwater.

"We have to protect our most precious finite water resource. It’s irresponsible to put that at risk for a temporary energy resource so I ask that you go forward with the resolution," she said.

The commission says it will discuss the resolution at its Committee of the Whole meeting the afternoon of May 16 and will take a vote later that night at the regular meeting.