Saturday, December 22, 2018

Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority approves agreement to build multi-use tunnel, remove pipelines from bottom of Straits

A view of the Mackinac Bridge, crossing the Straits of Mackinac. Enbridge's 65-year-old Line 5 pipeline, which lies under the Straits, is destined to be replaced by a multi-use utility tunnel, according to a Dec. 19, 2018, agreement between the State of Michigan and Enbridge. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

From: Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Bulletin

ST. IGNACE, Mich. -- The Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority (MSCA) approved on Dec. 19, 2018, an agreement with Enbridge Energy Limited Partnership to build a multi-use utility tunnel beneath the Straits of Mackinac. The tunnel will house a replacement segment for the Line 5 pipeline that sits on the bottom of the Straits and other utilities.

In addition, the authority, which held its inaugural meeting in St. Ignace, approved the transfer of a property right that will allow Enbridge to construct the tunnel in bedrock beneath the Straits.

Gov. Rick Snyder and leaders of the departments of Natural Resources and Environmental Quality signed a separate agreement with Enbridge on Dec. 19. This Third Agreement carries forward provisions of two previous agreements with the company -- one in November 2017 and one in October 2018. The Third Agreement requires Enbridge to undertake an enhanced inspection and stewardship regimen. The agreement also includes interpretations of the 1953 easement for the dual pipelines on the bottom of the Straits, as well as ongoing financial assurance requirements for the pipelines.

The Line 5 pipelines would be removed from the bottom of the Straits once the tunnel is complete. The construction could take 7-10 years.

Visit the Michigan Petroleum Pipelines Web site to download these Dec. 19 agreements.

Click here to read the rest of this bulletin from the Michigan DNR.

See also the Dec. 20, 2018, updated article on mlive.com: "Gov. Snyder finalizes Line 5 tunnel deal."

See the recent post from Enbridge here.

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