Oil protest planned at Mackinac Bridge

July 12, 2013 at 7:04 AM

ANN ARBOR, Mich., July 12 (UPI) -- Environmental activists announced plans to stage a rally at the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan to press for more action against the tar sands industry.

The Michigan chapters of the National Wildlife Federation and 350.org are calling on Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to do more on pipeline regulations. They are organizing a protest at the north end of the bridge Sunday.

Beth Wallace, the state coordinator for NWF, said Canadian pipeline company Enbridge has not done enough to ensure the Great Lakes and its tributaries are protected against oil spills.

"If a spill were to happen at the Straits (of Mackinac) then the potential economic and environmental impacts could devastate our state and Enbridge's business," she said Thursday. "We need our regulators and lawmakers to wake up and require stronger standards and regulations for the tar sands industry."

An Enbridge pipeline, Line 6b, ruptured in 2010 and released about 20,000 barrels of oil into southern Michigan waters near Kalamazoo. The pipeline was carrying Canadian tar sands oil, which sinks and mixes with river sediment. Parts of the overall pipeline system are spread across the state.

Enbridge in a statement said it "promised the people of Marshall and Battle Creek that we would make the Kalamazoo River cleaner than before the spill, and we remain firm in our commitment."

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