Straits risk management


A large vessel from the United Kingdom has set up shop in the Straits of Mackinac to collect geological samples from the lakebed and bedrock for Enbridge Energy’s proposed utility tunnel to house a replacement section of Line 5, the crude oil and liquid natural gas pipeline that crosses Michigan. You have surely seen it if you have crossed the Straits. The Highland Eagle, manned by 38 crew-members from across the globe, arrived in the Straits west of the Mackinac Bridge on July 4 and is supposed to complete its work by the end of this month. Steve Williams of Houston is the Line 5 tunnel project director for Fugro, the company that is leading the geotechnical survey aboard the Highland Eagle, which travels all over the world for geotechnical investigations. Amber Pastoor is the Enbridge tunnel project manager. I am not sure what that means so I did some research. Let’s meet her. She has a bachelor of commerce degree; a master’s degree in journalism and an executive master’s in business administration. Here are the most frequent LinkedIn referenes of her strengths in her LinkedIn account: 12 communications, 10 stakeholder, 3 stakeholders, 2 mitigation, 5 regulatory, and 12 pertaining to risk. Interestingly there are no references to geology, civil engineering, construction management, engineering, geologic engineering, mining engineering, mechanical engineering, or anything even remotely connected. And, yet, Enbridge chose her for their tunnel project manager?. Am I the only one who finds this absurd? Having her as project manager just makes me wonder how Enbridge can assure us that they have qualified and competent people at any level.

I don’t feel comfortable with any aspect of this tunnel concept and it needs to be shut down and put to rest especially in light of Enbridge’s 1,276 oil spills amounting to 9.4 million gallons since 1994. They have the money to build a new line across northern Canada to Sarnia. Lots of propane companies already in the U.P. will be pleased and more than willing to increase their profit margin. You can take that to the bank.

Gerry Niedermaier



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