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Protesters target Line 5 safety valve, Enbridge temporarily shut down pipeline

Lester Graham
Michigan Radio

Enbridge said it temporarily shut down part of its Line 5 pipeline Tuesday after protesters tampered with its safety valve equipment near Vassar, Michigan.

Chanting "Stop Line 5,” the protesters streamed live video on Facebook as one of their group's members used a wrench to twist a pipeline control valve. They said Line 5 poses an immediate threat to the environment.

An Enbridge spokesman countered that the protesters' actions put themselves, first responders and local property owners' safety at risk.

“We take this very seriously and will support the prosecution of all those involved,” said Ryan Duffy, an Enbridge spokesman.

Duffy says Enbridge is “still determining” whether the protesters damaged any equipment.

Line 5 has been the subject of numerous protests in recent years over fears of a potential oil spill in the Straits of Mackinac.

The fight over Line 5 has grown to include Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) who’s worked to shut down the oil pipeline and the Canadian government, that's fighting to keep the oil flowing.

Editor's Note: Enbridge is one of Michigan Radio's corporate sponsors.

Copyright 2021 Michigan Radio

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting. During his two and a half decades in broadcasting, Steve has won numerous awards, including accolades from the Associated Press and Radio and Television News Directors Association. Away from the broadcast booth, Steve is an avid reader and movie fanatic. Q&A