Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram Visit the TPC Store
Search the site



Safway Services

Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

Enbridge Sues Tug Firm Over Line 5 Damage

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

More items for Program/Project Management
More items from North America

Comment | More

Enbridge Energy, operator of the Line 5 liquids pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac in Michigan, filed suit last week in a federal court against VanEnkevort Tug and Barge, the company whose vessel allegedly caused April’s anchor strike that damaged the pipeline and nearby electric cables.

The Canadian oil and gas company’s suit is reportedly the third filed in relation to the incident, following action by the state of Michigan and American Transmission Company, whose cable was damaged.

U.S. Coast Guard

Line 5, under the Straits of Mackinac, suffered damage in the alleged anchor strike April 1.

Enbridge claims in the suit that on April 1, the Clyde S. VanEnkevort, a pusher tug owned by VanEnkevort that operates in conjunction with the barge Erie Trader, “deployed and/or dragged” one of its anchors for “many miles” in the Straits, striking and denting the twin pipelines of Line 5 in the process. Dropping anchor is prohibited in the vicinity of the pipelines and transmission cables.

The suit claims the vessel was “negligently operated” and that VanEnkevort failed to take necessary precautions to avoid hitting Line 5. The potential for damage to both the pipelines and the transmission cables below the Straits is “a well-known matter of significant concern,” Enbridge says in its complaint.

Enbridge is suing for the cost of repairs to Line 5, costs of investigating and inspecting the pipelines in the wake of the alleged strike, and “other damages, costs and fees deemed allowable by the Court.”

Line 5 was shut down temporarily after the April 1 incident was discovered by ATC, the transmission-cable operator; at first the pipeline was not believe to have been affected, but days later Enbridge announced that it had suffered dents.

Line 5 Controversy

Enbridge has been under increasing fire over the past year from citizens, activists and lawmakers in Michigan who are concerned about the condition of the 65-year-old Line 5 and the risk of environmental damage to the Great Lakes should a release occur. In November, Gov. Rick Snyder publicly called on Enbridge to be more transparent about the line after a series of revelations regarding coating damage on the pipes under the Straits.

An agreement with the state requires Enbridge to shut down operation of the pipeline if waves reach more than 8 feet.

Enbridge recently completed an assessment, also required by the state agreement, in which it analyzed the viability of certain methods of replacing Line 5; it concluded that either a tunnel under the bed of the Straits or an open cut with secondary containment would be a possible strategy for the replacement of the aging pipeline.

The agreement does not actually require the shutdown or replacement of the line.

Enbridge has held that Line 5, which has never leaked, is in good condition and can continue to operate safely. The pipeline passed a hydrostatic pressure test a year ago.


Tagged categories: Ethics; Infrastructure; Lawsuits; Oil and Gas; Pipelines

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

SABRE Autonomous Solutions
The ALPHA1 provides a consistent finish day-in
day-out; job to job.

Industrial Vacuum Equipment Corp.
Hurricane Vacuums
& Dust Collectors
Vacuum and dust collector hose, filters and related accessories.

SAFE Systems, Inc.
Portable Dust Collectors for Tough Environments
Trailer and skid-mounted models in numerous sizes, powered by electric and/or diesel. Sloped roofs, multiple dust inlets, high static, dampered fans. Lockable power & drive compartments.

Novatek Corporation
Dustless Coatings Removal
Novatek Corporation, Dustless Coatings Removal Strip, clean and profile all dust free! Comply with new lead standards. Contact today: (866) 563-7800

Jotun Paints Inc.
Jotun Jotachar 1709
Mesh-free passive fire protection epoxy designed to protect against hydrocarbon pool fire scenarios for up to four hours as defined in the ANSI/UL1709 standard.

HoldTight Solutions Inc.
Full Surface Protection for Up to One Year
HT 365 is a preservation, single component, anti-corrosive coating, a water displacing agent, a lubricant, and a penetrating fluid. It creates an imperceptible thin-film coating that offers excellent salt contaminant and humidity protection. Contact your HoldTight® representative or visit for more information.

Innovation without Boundaries
Preferred Applicator for Performance Coatings: Whitford, Dow Corning, Dupont, Sandstrom, Carboline, NIC, PPG, and more. Innovators behind Blackstone and Graphene coatings.

Blastox/The TDJ Group, Inc.
Blastox® - One Step Lead Abatement
Sandblast additive delivered to jobsite pre-blended to eliminate hazardous abrasive wastes. Why mix, meter or apply at the job-site? Blast with ease and
Let your painters paint!

Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America
Performance Amine 1,3-BAC
A highly reactive cycloaliphatic diamine offering superior performance. Reasonable cost and curing efficacy makes it suitable for all types of epoxy resin applications.

CS Unitec
Dust Control Surface Prep Industrial Tools for Steel and Concrete
Scarifying • Grinding Scabbling • Descaling Dust collection for safer working conditions. Low-vibration for less worker fatigue. Trelawny™ power tools from CS Unitec. Learn more…


Technology Publishing Co., 1501 Reedsdale Street, Suite 2008, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL

The Technology Publishing Network

Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About   |   Privacy Policy   |   Terms & Conditions   |   Support   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us