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Michigan officials want proof oil pipelines under Great Lakes are in good shape

MACKINAC ISLAND, MI (WTAQ) - State officials in Michigan are looking for proof that two crude oil pipelines buried under the Great Lakes are in good condition and maintained properly.  

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and Environmental Quality Director Dan Wyant wrote Enbridge Energy Tuesday.  

The AP obtained the letter, which asked the oil pipeline operator for extensive documentation and answers to a long series of questions.

The 61-year-old pipelines run under the Straits of Mackinac, between Lakes Michigan and Huron. The officials said any failure of those pipelines would cause "catastrophic" effects.  

Enbridge said it had not received the letter as of Tuesday night.

In the past, the company said the pipelines are safe, and they're inspected on a regular basis. One of the lines runs through northern Wisconsin on its way to the water link between Upper and Lower Michigan.  

The firm says only light crude flows under the Mackinac Straits. There's been mounting criticism of the Mackinac pipelines, in the wake of a ruptured Enbridge pipeline in 2010 that spilled 843,000 gallons of crude into the Kalamazoo River in Lower Michigan.  

A smaller spill occurred in an Enbridge line in Adams County in 2012.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)