A local youth organization is imploring Energy Transfer Partners to put children’s safety first and move the Rover Pipeline.

The Ann Arbor YMCA owns and operates Camp Birkett, located at Silver Lake. Weekdays throughout the summer, 20 camp counselors care for over 100 children ages 5 through 12. The YMCA’s leadership only recently became aware of the ET Rover pipeline’s new route which cuts closer to the lake than originally proposed. The 42-inch, 1400psi high-pressure natural gas pipeline is currently on route to pass across all three access drives to the lake. In the case of a disaster, this could potentially cut off not only the Y, but 90 residences, the Pinckney Recreation Area, Crooked Lake Campground, and the Post 46 Hunting and Fishing Club.

Ann Arbor YMCA President and CEO Toni Kayumi said they were all very surprised to learn their evacuations routes could become inaccessible. She said they did not receive their fundamental notice as required by law from FERC or ET Partners letting them know the pipeline would be 300 feet from the northeast corner of their property. The pipeline would also be 400 feet from Dexter Town Hall Road. The Ann Arbor YMCA has filed a public comment on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s website. Kayumi said that Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters have also contacted ET Partners and FERC on behalf of them to express their concern.

In FERC’s Final Environmental Impact Statement from July 2016, the Commission recommended the pipeline run along the ITC powerline corridor instead of where it’s currently being built. This would not entrap to camp or others affected. Kayumi stated that they hope FERC and ET take into consideration the safety of the children and move the pipeline back to where it is supposed to be.

A representative of ET Partners told WHMI by email that the pipeline route under construction was approved by FERC after it was surveyed and carefully vetted and planned for more than 2 years. (MK)