The state of Michigan has scrapped a risk study on Enbridge’s Line 5 and fired the contractor just a week before a first draft of the report was to be released.
The state Department of Environmental Quality said a conflict of interest on the part of one of the researchers called the independence of the study into question. The DEQ’s Melody Kindraka says the researcher was working simultaneously on the Line 5 study and a project for Enbridge. The study was supposed to analyze the risks posed by the oil and gas pipeline that runs beneath the Straits of Mackinac. She says it’s not clear how this will effect decisions on the future of Line 5.
“We will have to re-assess our plans moving forward," said Kindraka. She says another study on alternatives to Line 5 will be released next week. Environmental groups say the state should not wait to shut down Line 5 because of the threat it poses to the Great Lakes.