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Line 5 shutdown won't prompt changes groups hoped for

"Mackinac Bridge (Mackinac City, Michigan)" by cmh2315fl is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

The Governor’s notice to shut down Line 5 by May will not prompt some of the changes that environmental groups hoped for.

The decision to shut down the existing pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac won’t alter how the state reviews a plan to replace Line 5 and build a tunnel beneath the lakebed.

That’s according to a ruling from a Michigan judge this week.

He said the shutdown notice can’t be used to reexamine, “the public need for Line 5, or any aspect of its operation and safety.”

It also doesn’t change the scope of the environmental review of the project — including the impacts of burning fossil fuels.

The decision comes as a state agency decides whether Enbridge should be allowed to build a tunnel to house a new section of Line 5.

Traverse City non-profit, For the Love of Water, say they plan to appeal the judge’s decision.