"Federal Appellate Panel Sends Michigan Pipeline Challenge To State Court"

"Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s lawsuit seeking to shut down part of a petroleum pipeline that runs beneath the Straits of Mackinac belongs in state court, a federal appellate panel ruled Monday.

The pipeline’s operator, Enbridge Inc., moved the case from state court to federal court more than two years past the deadline for changing jurisdictions. A three-judge panel from the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found Enbridge clearly missed the deadline and ordered the case remanded to state court.

Nessel filed the lawsuit in June 2019 seeking to void a 1953 easement that enables Enbridge to operate a 4.5-mile (6.4-kilometer) section of Line 5 beneath the straits, which link Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.

Concerns over the section rupturing and causing a catastrophic spill have been growing since 2017, when Enbridge engineers revealed they had known about gaps in the section’s protective coating since 2014. A boat anchor damaged the section in 2018, intensifying fears of a spill."

Todd Richmond reports for the Associated Press June 17, 2024.

Source: AP, 06/18/2024