Residents on Michigan lake fear pipeline will endanger lives

(AP Photo)

DEXTER, MI (AP) — Homeowners on a lake 12 miles northwest of Ann Arbor are concerned a large natural gas pipeline set to be placed in the ground will put lives in danger.

Energy Transfer Partners is building the 713-mile Rover gas pipeline through West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan, MLive reported. It’s planned to go around the east side of Silver Lake, a popular summer destination for visitors of the Pinckney State Recreation Area’s beach and a nearby summer camp for children.

Some worry the pipeline will put homes and the camp in a blast zone if there’s an explosion and that it won’t leave an evacuation route since it cuts under nearby access roads. They’re also concerned about the environmental impacts, including threats to Ann Arbor’s drinking water supply.

Several residents and the president of the Ann Arbor YMCA spoke out about their concerns at this week’s Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners meeting.

“I do not want the Hell Creek and Portage River wetlands and wildlife areas to be destroyed,” said Alison Beatty, an Ann Arbor resident who grew up on Silver Lake. “That’s only 12 miles upstream from Ann Arbor. I do not want anything to leak into that river and leak into our water system as well.”

Energy Transfer Partners spokeswoman Alexis Daniel said the Rover pipeline route was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission after it was surveyed and carefully vetted and planned for more than two years.

“Safety is our top priority,” she said. “Safety of the environment, safety of our employees and the communities in which we cross.”

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