"TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Wednesday it would conduct an extensive review of Enbridge Energy’s plan to build an oil pipeline tunnel beneath a Great Lakes channel in Michigan, which could significantly delay the project.
The tunnel would house a replacement for a portion of Enbridge’s Line 5 that crosses the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac, a roughly 4-mile-long (6.4-kilometers-long) waterway connecting Lake Huron and Lake Michigan.
Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy has issued a permit for the $500 million tunnel, but approval from the Army Corps also is needed. The federal agency would consider potential effects on the straits and adjacent wetlands.
The Corps could have settled for a narrowly tailored examination of needs and purposes for the tunnel before making its ruling. But it opted for an environmental impact statement, which involves a more comprehensive study, including consideration of reasonable alternatives."