Michigan Agency Approves Permit For Oil Pipeline Tunnel

State Gave Enbridge $500M For Construction Project

Pipelines used to carry crude oil
 In this June 29, 2018 file photo, pipeline used to carry crude oil is shown at the Superior terminal of Enbridge Energy in Superior, Wis. Jim Mone/AP Photo 

Michigan’s environmental agency is approving construction of an underground tunnel to house a replacement for a controversial oil pipeline in the Great Lakes.

State officials have awarded permits to Enbridge for the $500 million tunnel project. The company is resisting Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s order to shut down Enbridge’s Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac, which connects Lake Huron and Lake Michigan.

State officials say the tunnel is a separate issue from the fight over the existing line. They say Enbridge’s application for the project satisfied legal requirements.

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Another agency will decide whether to approve a new pipe to run through the tunnel, which is scheduled for completion in 2024. Federal approval also is needed.