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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers accepts public comments while federal review of Line 5 tunnel project advances

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EGLE

A federal review of the Great Lakes Tunnel project is moving forward.

The tunnel would encase a new section of Line 5 underneath the Straits of Mackinac, and replace the 69-year-old pipes that currently run along the lakebed.

Over a year ago, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced it would prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed tunnel. That's a strict review used for projects that could affect the quality of the human environment.

Now it's published a Notice of Intent which begins the "scoping process." That's when the agency collaborates with the public to define the range of issues and potential alternatives that will be addressed.

Proponents say the tunnel project eliminates the risk of an oil spill in the Straits of Mackinac.

Environmentalists and Tribal Nations say the tunnel poses risks of its own: specifically to fisheries, water quality, and potentially underwater archaeological sites.

The corps will accept public comments for 60 days, from now through October 14th. Information on submitting comments can be found at Line5TunnelEIS.com.