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Enbridge ‘disappointed’ in delay on Line 5 tunnel project

A pipeline marker for Line 5 stands in front of the northern side of the Straits of Mackinac. In the background, the Mackinac Bridge is obscured by clouds.
Teresa Homsi

Enbridge Energy said it’s disappointed that the timeline for its tunnel in the Straits of Mackinac has been pushed back. The Army Corps of Engineers is extending its environmental review for the proposed Line 5 tunnel.

The Canadian company's plans call for a tunnel tp be drilled under the lakebed in the Straits of Mackinac, and a new 4-mile segment of Line 5 would be installed inside.

The project can’t move forward without a federal permit, and the process to approve that permit is now being pushed back.

In a statement, Enbridge said the company supports a thorough review of the project but is “disappointed” with the new timeline for a "project of this scope."

The company said the project only covers four miles, requires no construction in the waters of the Straits and impacts less than a quarter acre of wetlands.

The Army Corps initially planned to publish a draft environmental impact statement or EIS this fall, but now said it’ll be released in the spring of 2025.

The Army Corps said the new timelineallows for more “thorough analysis” in their environmental review.

The review will account for more than 17,000 comments submitted during public comment last fall and examine the potential effects of the tunnel on water quality, cultural resources, treaty rights, public health and climate change.

Now, a decision to grant the federal permit necessary for the project is expected to be announced in early 2026. That's more than a year later than originally expected.

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