Enbridge reaches deal with Michigan on underwater Great Lakes pipeline

CALGARY — Enbridge Inc. says it has reached a deal with the State of Michigan on the aging Line 5 pipelines that run along the bottom of a channel between Lakes Huron and Michigan.The twin pipelines were laid in 1953 and have raised increasing concerns about the potential impacts on the Great Lakes if the 540,000-barrel-a-day pipeline were to leak.The Calgary-based energy company says the deal with the state includes completing an evaluation by June 2018 on three options to eventually replace the 7 kilometre stretch of underwater pipeline, as well as immediate safety measures to reduce the risk of a leak.The replacement options include placing a new pipeline in a tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac, installing a new pipeline below the lakebed using advanced drilling techniques, and digging a trench on the bottom of the Great Lakes and then installing the pipeline within a secondary enclosure in the trench.Opponents of the pipeline have called for its complete shutdown, with concerns on the condition of the pipeline increasing after Enbridge’s admissions in recent months that gaps had formed in its protective coating.The company says the pipeline remains in good shape and is fit for service, and that it already operates it at less than 25 per cent of maximum pressure capacity for enhanced safety. read more

Two UN Special Rapporteurs to visit Sri Lanka in April

The Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers acts on information submitted to her attention concerning alleged violations relating to the independence and impartiality of the judiciary and the independence of the legal profession by sending allegation letters and urgent appeals to concerned Governments to clarify and/or bring these cases to their attention. Two UN Special Rapporteurs are to visit Sri Lanka in April after the new Government agreed on the proposed dates.The Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers Mónica Pinto and the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment Juan Méndez will visit Sri Lanka from 29 April 2016 to 7 May 2016. The mandate of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment covers all countries, irrespective of whether a State has ratified the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. (Colombo Gazette) read more