As part of its extensive and ongoing pipeline integrity program, Enbridge is undertaking an expanded maintenance and rehabilitation effort along portions of its Line 6B pipeline. Line 6B originates in Griffith, Ind. and crosses southeastern Michigan. Enbridge plans to replace approximately 75-miles of Line 6B—10 miles in Indiana and 65 miles in Michigan—including:
Two five-mile sections of new 36-inch diameter immediately east of Enbridge's Griffith and LaPorte pumping stations in Indiana.
Three five-mile segments of 36-inch diameter pipe east of the Niles, Mendon and Marshall pumping stations in Michigan.
A 50-mile segment of 30-inch pipe between Stockbridge and Ortonville, MI.
These segments are being replaced to avoid the need to complete a number of repairs on the pipe in these sections anticipated over the next several years. Enbridge will continue to make site-specific repairs as needed in the remaining sections of Line 6B, although fewer are anticipated in upcoming years. Together, the maintenance and rehabilitation program for Line 6B will assure continued safe and secure deliveries of crude oil to serve refineries in Michigan and throughout the region. Once the replacement sections are installed and tied-in to the existing Line 6B pipeline, the existing segment will be left in place, purged and filled with nitrogen as prescribed by federal regulations for inactive pipeline.
Regulatory Oversight and Planning
A comprehensive set of national standards, federal laws and regulations governing the design, construction, operation and maintenance of liquids pipelines like Line 6B have been developed over many decades. The agency exclusively responsible for regulating interstate crude oil pipeline safety is the Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) of the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Pipeline Safety and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, as designated in the Pipeline Safety Act. States provide construction guidance; for example, see those of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission Pipeline Construction Guidelines. In Michigan, Enbridge will submit the required Applications to the Michigan Public Service Commission before constructing the planned replacement segments. In addition, depending on the location of the replacement segment, other federal, state and local environmental or construction permits will be obtained as needed.
Click below to view copies of applications or materials that are required to be made available to the public:
Pending receipt of required environmental permits and regulatory approvals, Enbridge expects to begin construction in spring 2012. Construction on any single property usually is completed within eight to 10 weeks. While Enbridge believes construction will be complete by the end of 2012, restoration work on these projects will continue through 2013.
Completion of this Line 6B 2012 Project will result in fewer integrity digs and repairs along the replacement segments in the future. This causes fewer disturbances to landowners and local communities, along with providing short-term construction jobs and other local economic benefits. Line 6B represents critical energy infrastructure because it supplies much needed crude oil to regional refineries in Michigan, Ohio and eastern Canada. These refineries require the safe and efficient delivery of crude oil in order to provide local consumers and industry with petroleum-based products such as gasoline, jet fuel and heating oil, among others.
For more information, visit the Line 6B Maintenance and Rehabilitation Program FAQ section.