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Michigan Court Orders Temporary Shutdown Of Enbridge's Line 5 Pipeline

Enbridge Inc. (ENB.TO,ENB) said that a Michigan Circuit Court issued a temporary restraining order requiring the company to shut down Line 5 through the Straits of Mackinac within 24 hours until a hearing on the State's request for preliminary injunction can be held June 30, 2020 and a ruling made on the preliminary injunction.

Enbridge said it is disappointed in the court's ruling as it believes that Line 5 is safe. however, the west leg of Line 5 has been shut down.

The company noted that the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration or PHMSA has regulatory oversight of the pipeline's operations and fitness for service.

Enbridge will provide the court with the information it has requested relating to PHMSA's approach to assessing the current situation with Line 5, including restart planning for the west leg.

Enbridge noted that inspections have determined that the west segment of Line 5 crossing the Straits is safe for operations and which PHMSA did not object to restarting. It had shut down the east segment of the pipeline pending a review of a disturbance that was discovered on one of the screw anchors and an assessment of the east leg's fitness for service.

Enbridge warned that an extended shutdown of Line 5 would threaten fuel supplies in Michigan and Ohio resulting in critical gasoline supply shortages and gasoline price increases for consumers in Michigan and the surrounding region.

Earlier this week, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel had filed motions for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction related to Enbridge's disclosure late last week of significant damage to an anchor support on the east leg of the Line 5 oil pipeline.

Line 5 lies open on the floor of the Straits of Mackinac pumping nearly 23 million gallons of oil each day through two aging pipelines in the heart of the Great Lakes.

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