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Mackinac Island challenges state permits for the Line 5 pipeline

Todd Van Hoosear

Mackinac Island is challenging state permit approvals for the Line 5 pipeline.

The permits for additional supports along the pipeline were approved last year.

Ross Hammersley represents the Island. He said the latest permits would add additional supports to the pipeline, raising it up above the lakebed - where it shouldn’t be under the initial agreement.

“The pipeline now is elevated in the water column and we and engineers that we’ve talked to are worried about the strength of those currents and the effect of those currents on the pipeline as it is now.”

Hammersley said a spill from Line 5 would be catastrophic to the island.

“Their municipal water supply is drawn from the waters of the straits of Mackinac and that is what motivated them to file the case.”

Hammersley said this permit challenge could join a second permit challenge already underway lead by the Straits of Mackinac Alliance.

Officials with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality said they could not comment on pending litigation.