Schuette says tugboat caused straits damage

Apr 19, 2018

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Attorney General Bill Schuette announced Tuesday that he’s filing a lawsuit against a shipping company allegedly responsible for the break of two power lines beneath the Straits of Mackinac.

Attorney General Bill Schuette

In a written press release the AG says Escanaba-based VanEnkevort Tug & Barge, Inc. dragged an anchor across the bottom of the straits, causing dents in the Line 5 pipeline and rupturing two power lines owned by American Transmission Company.

Andrea Bitely is a spokesperson for the AG. She says the company could face a $25,000 fine.

“There’s also court costs and cleanup costs that can be tacked onto that,” she says.

A spokesperson for the Coast Guard said their investigation was ongoing and they could not confirm the identity of the vessel.

A spokesperson for VanEnkevort confirmed they are working with the Coast Guard. They say their boat was “among several vessels which transited the area.”