The company that operates twin oil pipelines in a Great Lakes waterway says it knew three years ago that protective coating had been damaged but didn't inform regulatory agencies.
Enbridge Inc. says four gaps were opened in enamel coating on one section of Line 5 in Michigan's Straits of Mackinac as a support anchor was being installed in 2014. The coating gap is one of several that have exposed bare metal on parts of the pipelines.
Company spokesman Ryan Duffy says the gaps are being repaired and haven't compromised the pipelines' safety.
But state officials are criticizing Enbridge's failure to disclose the damage earlier.
Michigan Agency for Energy Director Valerie Brader says her office's trust in Enbridge "has been seriously eroded."
The Straits of Mackinac links Lakes Huron and Michigan.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette issued the following statement regarding the new information:
“Trust and transparency are critical in any relationship. This latest revelation by Enbridge means that the faith and trust Michigan has placed in Enbridge has reached an even lower level. Enbridge needs to do more than apologize, Enbridge owes the citizens of Michigan a full and complete explanation of why they failed to truthfully report the status of the pipeline.”
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