Michigan agency issues permits for Great Lakes Tunnel Project

February 3, 2021 By    

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) completed its review and issued permits for Enbridge’s Great Lakes Tunnel Project, which will relocate the portion of the Line 5 pipeline that runs along the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac.

“These approvals bring us a step closer to building the Great Lakes Tunnel,” says Vern Yu, Enbridge executive vice president and president of liquid pipelines. “Line 5, encased in a tunnel below the lakebed, is the best way to safeguard the precious waters of the Great Lakes and ensures that low cost, safe and reliable energy keeps flowing to Michigan, neighboring states and Canada’s two largest provinces.”

The permits, related to parts of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, the Clean Water Act and the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, are an important milestone for the tunnel project and are part of the process to authorize its construction, Enbridge notes. Permits from the Michigan Public Service Commission and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers are still required.

The Great Lakes Tunnel will encase a replacement section of Line 5 well below the lakebed, eliminating the risk of an anchor strike and virtually eliminating the potential of any release from Line 5 into the Straits, the company says.

EGLE approved the permits for the Great Lakes Tunnel Project following a review of Enbridge’s April 2020 application and after obtaining public input through multiple public meetings, hearings, informational sessions and webinars.

While pursuing the tunnel project, Enbridge has faced attempts by the state of Michigan to shut down Line 5.

Featured photo: Enbridge

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About the Author:

Brian Richesson is the editor in chief of LP Gas Magazine. Contact him at brichesson@northcoastmedia.net or 216-706-3748.

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