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Coast Guard Reviewing Request To Ban Anchoring In The Straits Of Mackinac

The U.S. Coast Guard is reviewing a request by environmental groups, to ban the use of anchors in the Straits of Mackinac, after reports that one of Canadian Oil Company Enbridge’s own vessels, may have damaged a support anchor on the Line 5 Pipeline.

This from Michigan Advance.

The letter to Captain Anthony Jones stated that “Anything short of prohibiting anchoring in the Straits of Mackinac except in emergencies poses an unacceptable risk to navigation and submerged pipelines.”

Commander Mike Hjerstedt, Head of the Prevention Department in Sault Ste. Marie responded, saying the letter was “well received.” 

Ryan Duffy, Spokesman for Enbridge, responded via email saying, Enbridge has put measures into place, preventing anchor strikes along the east and west legs of Line 5, and that the incident in question were more likely caused by a dragging cable, rather than an anchor.

The letter was also sent to Governor Whitmer and Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters.

There are already federal guidelines prohibiting the use of anchors in certain areas after line 5 suffered damage after an anchor strike in 2018.

Those aren’t good enough for the environmental groups, who have asked for a temporary ban, except in cases of an emergency.

Anchoring can be allowed, if approved by the Captain of the Port of Sault Ste. Marie, or a designated representative.

The letter also asked that the temporary anchor ban should continue until the potential anchoring or other related damage to Enbridge’s Line 5 pipelines has been removed as a threat to navigation and the Great Lakes.” 

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