New Michigan panel to consider Great Lakes pipeline tunnel

Getty Images

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — A recently established state panel could give final approval to a proposed oil pipeline tunnel beneath a crucial section of the Great Lakes.

The Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority is scheduled to meet for the first time Wednesday in St. Ignace, Michigan.

The three-member panel is expected to consider recent agreements between Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration and Enbridge Inc. The Canadian company wants to drill a tunnel through bedrock under the straits area connecting Lakes Huron and Michigan.

The tunnel would carry a new section of Enbridge’s Line 5, which carries oil and natural gas liquids between Superior, Wisconsin, and Sarnia, Ontario.

It would replace a more than 4-mile-long (6.4-kilometer-long) dual segment of pipe that runs along the lakebed.

Environmental groups oppose the tunnel and want Line 5 shut down.