November 25, 2020
Governor Moves To Revoke Line 5 Easement But Leaves Line 5 Open Until May 2021
Governor Gretchen Whitmer notified Enbridge that the1953 easement allowing it to operate dual Line 5 pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac is being revoked and terminated. The notice requires Enbridge to cease operations of Line 5, but allows Line 5 to remain operational until May 12, 2021. The Governor and Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) had Attorney General Nessel file a lawsuit in support of this matter.   
 
Governor Whitmer and Attorney General Nessel noted the state is revoking the Line 5 easement for violation of the public trust doctrine, believing Line 5 poses an unreasonable risk to the Great Lakes, and the termination is also "based on persistent and incurable violations of the easement's terms and conditions."   
 
In speaking with the administration, the MPGA confirmed that this legal challenge to revoke the current Line 5 easement and the application for the Tunnel to house the new Line 5, are separate actions. They are not comingled. In speaking with MPGA legal counsel for the Tunnel application, that is consistent with the MPGA message and legal stance for the Tunnel. The existing line should not complicate nor be considered part of the application for the Tunnel. 
 
While the Enbridge legal team was understandably occupied late last week when this latest lawsuit was filed, the MPGA hopes to meet with the Enbridge team soon. In the meantime, Enbridge has provided the following information:   
 
Enbridge remains confident that Line 5 continues to operate safely and that there is no credible basis for terminating the 1953 Easement allowing the Dual Line 5 Pipelines to cross the Straits of Mackinac. Enbridge is reviewing the lawsuit. “This notice and the report from Michigan Department of Natural Resources are a distraction from the fundamental facts,” said Vern Yu, Executive Vice President and President, Liquids Pipelines. “Line 5 remains safe, as envisioned by the 1953 Easement, and as recently validated by our federal safety regulator.   
 
We will continue to focus on the safe operation of the dual Line 5 pipelines at the Straits of Mackinac, ensuring the Great Lakes are protected while also reliably delivering the energy that helps to fuel Michigan’s and the region’s economy,” Yu continued. 
 
In developing its report, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) chose to conduct its assessment of Easement compliance in a non-public manner. The DNR rejected Enbridge’s offer to allow technical experts to discuss any questions or clarifications related to its review. This failure to engage reflects a lack of understanding or worse, a continued failure to meet the State’s commitments under the 2018 Second Agreement between the State of Michigan and Enbridge, which contemplates periodic meetings on pipeline issues to avoid just this kind of situation.  
 
With the latest actions by the Governor and Attorney General based on historical Line 5 compliance, Enbridge finally will have an opportunity to review the DNR’s analysis and provide a thorough response through the legal process.      
 
Line 5 is an essential source of energy for not only Michigan but for the entire region including Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Ontario, and Quebec. Any disruption would have devastating consequences.  
 
Our focus remains on protecting the Great Lakes, the environment and all the people who use these waters while delivering energy that people rely on daily. Enbridge's Line 5 has served Michiganders safely without incident at the Straits crossing for more than 65 years, over nine different State Administrations. We remain committed to advancing The Great Lakes Tunnel that will contain a new section of pipeline to replace the Dual Pipelines. Enbridge is currently seeking permit approval for the tunnel project and replacement pipeline which, upon completion, will make a safe Straits crossing even safer. 
DOT Cylinder Requalification Final Rule Takes Effect November 30 
NPGA reports that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) of the Department of Transportation (DOT) has approved NPGA’s petition on the requalification of DOT-specification cylinders by hydrostatic testing, also known as the volumetric expansion testing method. This action, announced by PHMSA in an October 30, 2020 final rule, returns the requalification period to 12 years. 
 
NPGA had previously identified an oversight by PHMSA as part of the agency’s development of a 2016 rule that changed 49 CFR 180.209(e), which reduced the initial requalification period for DOT-specification cylinders following volumetric expansion testing from 12 years to 10 years and increased the timeframe for requalification following a proof pressure test from 7 years to 10 years. Nowhere, in either the 2015 proposed rule or 2016 final rule, did PHMSA provide any rationale or substantiation for the changes or address them in any form. This oversight resulted in a significant, negative impact on the propane industry. 
 
NPGA aggressively pursued resolution of this issue with PHMSA and engaged the support of members of Congress as well as prepared legal measures in order to secure a correction to this substantive, yet unjustified change. With PHMSA’s acceptance and final approval of NPGA’s petition, we estimate the regulatory savings to the propane industry to be more than $100 million per year.   
 
The table below depicts the previous changes in the requalification periods for volumetric expansion and proof pressure testing and reflects the final changes published by PHMSA resulting from NPGA’s petition.
2021 Membership Dues
It is time again for dues renewals. The IPGA 2021 membership dues mailing will be sent next week. Look for it in your mailbox soon. 
 
This year, we are pleased to report that you can now pay your dues online! Simply click below to pay your dues quickly, easily, and securely. 
NPGF Scholarship Application Open Now!
The National Propane Gas Foundation (NPGF) Scholarship Fund was established in 1993 by a committed group of energized volunteers. Its purpose is to foster educational opportunities for the children of National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) or state association member companies along with PERC employee children by offering scholarships to colleges or vocational/technical/trade schools. Application deadline is February 15, 2021. Learn more…
Still Time to Take Advantage of Customer Appliance Rebates 
The remaining balance of funds is $32,900.
ALL applications must include the following:
  • Completed rebate form, signed by both the Customer and Professional Propane Dealer.
  • Copy of paid receipt for purchased appliance
ALL Rebates will be issued in the amount listed below for only NEW propane appliances (dual fuel units are not eligible):
  • $300 – Furnace
  • $200 – Water heater
Thanksgiving Hours
As a reminder, the IPGA headquarters is closed to comply with the latest COVID safety regulations. The best way to reach our staff is via email as they are working remotely. However, as always, IPGA remains committed to returning all phone and email messages by the end of the next business day.

Additionally, please note that the IPGA remote offices will be closed Thursday, November 26 and Friday, November 27 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. The staff at IPGA would like to extend our wishes for a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday to you and your family.
President's Council Members
Member Benefit Programs
The information contained herein is provided as a service by the Indiana Propane Gas Association (IPGA) for the purpose of education, communication, and information and IPGA accepts no liability relative to the contents, accuracy or use of these services. Nothing in this publication is intended to be construed as legal advice. The user is strictly cautioned to seek legal assistance when attempting to determine any legal rights, responsibilities and procedures with respect to business affairs, coding, or other legal aspects of operating a propane company. IPGA disclaims any and all liability for injury and/or other damages which result to a user from the material offered or discussed herein.