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Health, Science and Environment

Public comment period for Line 5 tunnel plan closes at midnight on Tuesday

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Doug Kerr
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https://flic.kr/p/f8UfrE

The public comment period for the controversial plan to create a tunnel beneath the Straits of Mackinac to house the Line 5 pipeline closes at midnight Tuesday.

Environmental groups say the public comment period has been too short, claiming it’s part of an intentionally rushed process to get the plan approved.

Liz Kirkwood is with the Environmental Group, For the Love of Water.

“This is a fast-tracked effort to give Enbridge what they want and not to address the imminent and ongoing risks and hazards that line 5 currently poses to the Great Lakes.”

Kirkwood said there are significant legal and constitutional questions raised by the plan.

“This law says it’s for a public purpose and yet it’s very clear not only from this law but from all of the agreements that this is for a private purpose: for Enbridge.”

Kirkwood said the legislation already seems to anticipate legal action against the tunnel plan and the authority by requiring that the attorney general either represents the authority in court or covers the cost of legal representation.

Ed Golder is with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. He said the timeline is based on the legislation that created an authority to oversee the proposed tunnel.

“That legislation requires the authority to enter into an agreement with Enbridge to construct a tunnel by the end of the year. That has to happen to fulfill this new law and that’s really what’s driving the timeline at this point.”

Golder said the tunnel could be complete as early as 2024 if there aren’t any legal delays.

You can find a link to public comment on the plan here:

https://mipetroleumpipelines.com/document/proposed-straits-utility-corridor