Major Breaking News: Brandon Township steps up again!

We just returned from the Brandon Township board of trustees meeting where the smart, principled, courageous trustees passed a resolution stating that they would take whatever legal steps necessary to require Enbridge to seek local consent as required by the Michigan Constitution and the state HIghway Act. With this resolution, they not only join the MTA in support of the POLAR lawsuit, they go a step further in resolving to take legal action to enforce the law. This is precisely the sort of bold position we’ve been waiting for some government entity to take; it effectively solves the “standing” conundrum we have previously discussed.

Brandon Township has once again taken remarkable and inspirational action on behalf of their township and, in our estimation, on behalf of the citizens of the state of Michigan. As we’ve said before: this is what leadership looks like.

We’ll have more details on this action and the next steps as they become available and as time allows. In the meantime, for tonight at least, we’re actually feeling hopeful.

Note on construction vigilance- and a teaser

Note on construction vigilance- and a teaser

Oh boy. There’s so much happening right now, so much to write about, that we’re feeling a little overwhelmed. We’re not even halfway through our series on our conversation with VP Mark Sitek. And we need to measure Jennifer Smith’s account of what happened in Marshall against the facts presented by the NTSB. And there’s the mystery of wall pipeline thicknesses in Lake County, Indiana to be investigated. And we still want to say some more about the MTA amicus filing in the POLAR lawsuit. And we took a quick peek at Enbridge’s 2012 Corporate Social Responsibility Report, parts of which made our eyes bug out and steam blast from our ears. And we’ve got more construction pictures and videos to post. And there are other small and large matters to address swirling around in our heads.

Most immediately, there’s our personal tale of today’s disheartening, anger-inducing construction line list violations by Enbridge– a simple, easily avoidable offense we saw coming months ago and tried to address during our negotiations. At that time, Enbridge wouldn’t take those concerns seriously; they just brushed them off and dismissed them and flat-out refused us our request. And now exactly what we were afraid of (though it may seem a small thing to some) has come to pass, just as we thought it would.

We’ll bring you that story as soon as we’re able. In the meantime, if you can: be vigilant about what construction crews are doing on your property. Watch them if you can. Take pictures. Remind your ROW agent about what Enbridge has agreed to. We’re hearing that violations similar to what happened on our property today are happening all over.

More on the pipeline wall thickness matter in Indiana

More on the pipeline wall thickness matter in Indiana

Last week, we noted a curious situation with regard to some seemingly conflicting remarks from Lake County, Indiana officials and Enbridge spokespersons about pipeline wall thicknesses in Lake County. The questions that remain ambiguous are: (1) whether Enbridge is increasing wall thicknesses as a result of discussions with local officials (something they rejected as absurd up here in Michigan) and (2) what, precisely, that thickness will be.

The comments of Enbridge spokesperson Jennifer Smith in a new article in the Times of Northwest Indiana only further deepen the mystery:   (more…)

Delays in Indiana

Delays in Indiana

There’s a VERY interesting story today out of the News Dispatch in Michigan City, Indiana. Among other things, we’re wondering why Enbridge didn’t think the securing of permits prior to construction was as important in Michigan as it apparently is Indiana (although we’re certainly glad they now think it’s important).

Also, our friend Nathan Pavlovic of Save the Dunes tells it like it is in the article, while Enbridge’s Jennifer Smith– who is quickly establishing herself as one of the least reliable sources of information we’ve encountered yet– tells it like it is not. Evidently she has yet to read the NTSB report on Marshall. Frankly, we’re shocked by her characterization of what happened there. When we have more time, we will explain– in clear, specific detail– why.