Webinar scheduled on permit process for oil pipeline tunnel

Michigan
This June 2020 photo, shot from a television screen provided by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy shows damage to anchor support EP-17-1 on the east leg of the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline within the Straits of Mackinac in Michigan. Enbridge who provided the photos to the state of Michigan, last week said an anchor support on the east leg of the pipeline, right, had shifted. A Michigan judge Wednesday, July 1, 2020, allowed Enbridge to resume pumping oil through the pipeline, nearly a week after shutting it down because of damage to the support. Enbridge's Line 5 moves crude oil and liquids used in propane from Superior, Wisconsin, to Sarnia, Ontario, passing through parts of Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas. (Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy via AP)

This June 2020 photo, shot from a television screen provided by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy shows damage to anchor support EP-17-1 on the east leg of the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline within the Straits of Mackinac in Michigan. Enbridge who provided the photos to the state of Michigan, last week said an anchor support on the east leg of the pipeline, right, had shifted. A Michigan judge Wednesday, July 1, 2020, allowed Enbridge to resume pumping oil through the pipeline, nearly a week after shutting it down because of damage to the support. Enbridge’s Line 5 moves crude oil and liquids used in propane from Superior, Wisconsin, to Sarnia, Ontario, passing through parts of Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas. (Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy via AP)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A webinar is scheduled to help keep the public informed about the application permitting process for Enbridge Energy’s Line 5 tunnel project.

The webinar will start at 6 p.m. Thursday, according to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE).

Enbridge has proposed building a utility tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac. The tunnel would relocate the portion of the Line 5 oil and natural gas liquids pipeline that currently rests on the bottom of the straits.

EGLE staff, including permitting specialists from the department’s Water Resources Division, will provide an overview of the process for the permit applications submitted by Enbridge related to the proposed project, outline the upcoming public participation and comment period for proposed permits, and share the current timeline for an expected decision on the permit applications.

“This is a complicated permitting process for a high-profile project, and the aim is to be as transparent as possible about the process,” said Teresa Seidel, director of EGLE’s Water Resources Division. “Our goal for this meeting is to educate the public on what to expect in the coming months so they can make their voices heard during the upcoming public participation period.”

EGLE is the regulatory agency responsible for environmental permitting for the tunnel project.

Enbridge is a Canadian company based in Calgary, Alberta. Line 5 carries oil and liquids used in propane between Superior, Wisconsin, and Sarnia, Ontario.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has called repeatedly for the shutdown of Line 5, saying the 4-mile-long underwater segment is vulnerable to a rupture that could do catastrophic harm to the straits.

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