Graham Sustainability Institute

Mackinac Straits Worst Case Oil Spill Factsheet

March 2016

Research scientist David Schwab simulated 840 hypothetical spill cases. In the most comprehensive study of Line 5 oil spill impacts publicly available, Schwab presents three potential levels of oil discharge — measured in barrels (bbl), each containing 42 US gallons of oil — including 5,000 bbl, 10,000 bbl and 25,000 bbl in the report. Schwab simulated 840 hypothetical spill cases. More than 700 miles of shoreline in Lakes Michigan and Huron and their islands are potentially vulnerable to an oil release in the Straits. This summary provides an overview of the key findings, based on the full report, Statistical Analysis of Straits of Mackinac Line 5: Worst Case Spill Scenarios (March 2016).