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Tunnel schedule delayed after huge public response to Enbridge Line 5 project

More than 17,000 comments means draft report won't be published until spring of 2025
Public meeting on Line 5 tunnel. Photo supplied

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, has revised the schedule for releasing a draft report after public scoping for Enbridge Line 5 Tunnel permit application review generated more than 17,000 comments.

The Detroit District had originally planned to publish the draft environmental impact statement in late 2023 but is now projecting a spring 2025 publication. Additional details on the schedule and the steps in the process are available here. The public scoping period ended Oct. 14, 2022.

Enbridge Energy is seeking authorization to cross the Straits of Mackinac and impact adjacent wetlands for construction of the Line 5 Tunnel. The Detroit District is responsible for evaluating the permit application.

“We greatly appreciate the meaningful input received throughout scoping and will use this information to shape studies and continuing consultations throughout development of our draft environmental impact statement” said Detroit District Commander Lt. Col. Brett Boyle in a news release.

Enbridge Energy is proposing to construct a tunnel under the bed of the Straits of Mackinac between Point LaBarbe, St. Ignace and McGulpin Point, Mackinaw City, Michigan (Line 5 tunnel). Enbridge’s Line 5 tunnel would house a new 30-inch pipeline for light crude oil and liquid natural gas, replacing the existing dual submerged pipelines crossing the Straits of Mackinac, which have been in operation since 1953.

Discharges and activities associated with construction of Enbridge’s Line 5 tunnel require a permit under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act in accordance with federal regulations and policies.