Michigan House approves Enbridge pipeline replacement in Great Lakes

The Enbridge Line 5 underwater pipeline replacement is a step closer to becoming a reality after Michigan House approved the pill Tuesday.

Enbridge would pay for the tunnel which will house the new pipe

In this June 8, 2017 file photo, fresh nuts, bolts and fittings are ready to be added to the east leg of the pipeline near St. Ignace, Mich., as Canadian oil transport company Enbridge prepares to test the east and west sides of the Line 5 pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac. (Dale G Young/The Detroit News via AP)

Legislation that would facilitate the replacement of the underwater portion of Enbridge's Line 5 is one step closer to Gov. Rick Snyder's desk.

The Michigan Republican-led House approved the bill 74-34 Tuesday. The measure could be passed by Senate later in the day.

It would require a state authority to quickly OK the Snyder administration's deal with Enbridge for the construction and operation of the utility tunnel that would house the new pipeline segment in the Straits of Mackinac. 

Enbridge would pay for the tunnel.

Supporters of the replacement say the tunnel would help protect the lakes from a potential spill.

Opponents want Line 5 shut down for up to 10 years while the tunnel and replacement segment are being built.