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“We will continue to engage with the State of Michigan and the Whitmer administration,” Ian Cameron, press secretary to federal Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan, said in an emailed statement.
Cameron, however, did not say whether or not Ottawa has engaged in direct conversations with U.S. federal government officials in Washington, D.C., on the file.
Whitmer’s office did not respond to a request for comment on the letters written by, and meetings with, Canadian officials.
For its part, Enbridge has filed a federal complaint against Michigan in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, but the courts have yet to determine a hearing date for the case.
“We have no intention of shutting down pipelines based on these unspecified allegations (from the state),” the company said in an emailed statement. “We will not shut-in Line 5 unless ordered by a court or our regulator the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which we view as highly unlikely.”
Enbridge plans to replace the existing Line 5 pipeline, which runs along the bottom of the Straits, with a new line through a tunnel bored beneath the lake bed, which the company said would greatly reduce the risk of a spill.
Still, the Calgary-based pipeline giant continues to face opposition even in replacing existing pipelines. Over the weekend, the company faced protests in Minnesota where it is replacing its Line 3 pipeline after a long regulatory delay caused by court challenges.