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Review of Enbridge Line 5 tunnel application extended to January 2021


Dec. 2, 2020


Enbridge agrees to extend EGLE review period for NPDES, bottomlands and wetlands permit applications

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) announced today that its review of Enbridge Energy’s permit applications to build a utility tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac and relocate the Line 5 oil pipeline has been extended until January 2021.

Enbridge has agreed to extend the timeline for EGLE’s review of the proposed project’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Wastewater Permit (NPDES), bottomlands and wetlands permit applications so EGLE can more thoroughly consider the large volume of public comments, technical information, and recommendations from the State Historic Preservation Office. EGLE had previously expected to reach a decision on the applications during the first week of December 2020.

Under Michigan law, EGLE is the regulatory agency responsible for environmental permitting for the tunnel project, while the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) has siting authority for pipelines that carry crude oil and petroleum products. Enbridge has sought authority from the MPSC to relocate a segment of Line 5 to a proposed tunnel and that matter is the subject of a contested case hearing that is expected to be ruled on in the summer of 2021.

As part of the effort to keep the public informed, EGLE has also partnered with the MPSC and MDOT’s Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority on the state’s Line 5 in Michigan website.

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