Windsor

Michigan approves permits for Enbridge tunnel under Great Lakes

Michigan's environmental agency is approving construction of an underground tunnel to house a replacement for a controversial oil pipeline in the Great Lakes.

Another agency will decide whether to approve a pipeline that would run through the tunnel

In this 2017, file photo, fresh nuts, bolts and fittings are ready to be added to the east leg of the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline in Michigan. (Dale G. Young/Detroit News via The Associated Press)

Michigan's environmental agency is approving construction of an underground tunnel to house a replacement for a controversial oil pipeline in the Great Lakes.

State officials have awarded permits to Enbridge for the $500-million tunnel project. The company is resisting Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's order to shut down Enbridge's Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac, which connects Lake Huron and Lake Michigan.

State officials say the tunnel is a separate issue from the fight over the existing line. They say Enbridge's application for the project satisfied legal requirements.

Another agency will decide whether to approve a new pipe to run through the tunnel, which is scheduled for completion in 2024.

Federal approval also is needed.

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