Michigan Republican lawmaker seeks faster environmental approval for Line 5 tunnel ⋆ Michigan Advance



state representative dave Submitted by Prestin (R-Cedar River). letter Thursday to the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) He called for an expedited review of the Line 5 Great Lakes Tunnel Project (GTLP) so construction can begin.

USACE had previously scheduled publication for late 2023. An environmental impact study (EIS) was conducted for the project; pushed it back Until spring 2026.

“Constructing a tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac is the best solution to protect the Great Lakes while ensuring a continuous supply of critical energy products to residents up and down Michigan, and communities across the country. ,” Prestin wrote in the letter. signed by 34 Other Republicans too. “Propane plays an essential role in sustaining rural areas, which often lack the energy and wastewater infrastructure found in more urbanized areas.”

Report: Market could adapt to Line 5 closure without stockouts or price increases

Line 5 stretches from Superior, Wisconsin to Sarnia, Ontario and includes two pipelines that cross the lakebed of the Straits of Mackinac. It transports up to 540,000 barrels of crude oil and natural gas liquids per day.

The tunnel project, proposed in response to concerns about pipeline safety in the Straits of Mackinac, would relocate the pipeline to a concrete-lined tunnel embedded in the bedrock beneath the lake.

Canadian pipeline company Enbridge Based on this, we applied for permission from the USACE in April 2020. River and Port Law 1899 and Clean water law. This project requires federal approval because it involves the discharge of dredged or fill material into U.S. waters, construction of structures and/or work that could impact navigable waters.

Enbridge already has permission Department of the Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) and Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC), USACE approval remains as the last required step before construction begins.

In a letter also sent to Michigan’s congressional delegation, Prestin said the MPSC’s 2023-24 Winter energy assessmentit is estimated that around 800,000 people rely on propane for heating, which makes it urgent for the process to be completed, he said.

“These approvals highlight the need for pipelines to deliver fuel to this region, leveraging the best available technology while ensuring compliance with Michigan law and environmental regulations. “Ensuring safe and reliable transportation of fuel throughout the Great Lakes region,” Prestin wrote. “in interview MPSC Chairman Dan Scripps discussed the approval, confirming what supporters of the tunnel project have been saying for some time. He said: “Tunnels are an effective means of protecting the lake while providing essential energy, and the alternative poses a significantly greater threat to the environment.”

Mr. Prestin also noted that the USACE stated: Limiting the scope of environmental reviews It applies only to the 4-mile portion of the Line 5 pipeline that crosses the Channel, but it is not considered. These include the impact of Line 5 products on climate change and how the proposed tunnel project fits into broader pipeline infrastructure.

“Furthermore, the Corps stated that it has ‘no authority over the operation of Line 5 and that the continued operation of Line 5 is beyond the scope of this analysis.’” Given this information, approval of the project is unlikely. I don’t think so,” Prestin said.

Contact Person-Prestin-Great Lakes-Tunnel-Project-Letter

But tribal and environmental groups believe the problem is far from inevitable.

MPSC approval is currently underway appealed The Bay Mills Indian Community, the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians, and the Potawatomi have strongly opposed the project, along with several businesses and environmental groups. The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Tribe participated.

One of those groups, Don’t Mix Oil and Water, sent its own letter to the group on Wednesday. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has expressed concern that Enbridge’s plan to lay off 650 employees will negatively impact the safety of the Line 5 oil pipeline.

“If the safety and integrity of these pipelines are compromised through layoffs, it could have a significant impact on the economy and environment across the Great Lakes region, and on Native American communities in Michigan and Wisconsin,” the letter states. is stated.

Enbridge spokesman Ryan Duffy said: michigan advance it is”“The difficult but necessary decision to reduce our workforce” that “impacts our ability to safely operate our assets and facilities or ensure the safety of the communities in which we operate.” isn’t it.

Prestin said the tunnel project had withstood “intense scrutiny” at every step so far, and urged the USACE to move forward toward completion.

“We strongly encourage you to consider expediting the project through the EIS process to account for the delays,” he said.

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