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Company plans reinforcement of damaged Great Lakes oil pipes

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Photos of Enbridge Line 5 - from DEQ

MACKINAW CITY, Mich. (AP) — The company that operates twin oil pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac says it’s considering ways to reinforce them in spots believed to have been struck by a tugboat anchor this month.

Enbridge Inc. said Friday a remotely operated vehicle and human divers have inspected the Line 5 pipes at the bottom of the waterway that connects Lakes Huron and Michigan. One had two dents. The other had a single dent and a scratch in its enamel outer coating.

Spokesman Ryan Duffy says neither had metal loss or other structural damage that could have produced a leak.

Duffy says Enbridge is looking at a number of methods for strengthening the affected places, including some type of “sleeve” covering.

The suspected April 1 anchor strike also severed two underwater electric cables.

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