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EGLE to host informational webinar to help public track Line 5 tunnel application permitting process

The informational webinar will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 6.
Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) logo on WLUC created image.
Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) logo on WLUC created image.(WLUC)
Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 6:00 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (Press Release) - The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) Thursday announced that it will host an informational webinar at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 6,  to help keep the public informed about the Enbridge Energy Line 5 tunnel permit application process, and several upcoming meetings about the proposed project to build a utility tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac designed to relocate the portion of the Line 5 oil and natural gas liquids pipeline that currently rests on the bottom of the Straits.

EGLE staff, including permitting specialists from EGLE’s Water Resources Division, will provide an overview of the permitting process for the permit applications submitted by Enbridge related to the proposed Line 5 tunnel project, outline the upcoming public participation and comment period for proposed permits, and share the current timeline for an expected decision on the permit applications. EGLE staff also will take questions from the public on the permitting process.

The webinar is not part of the official public comment period and EGLE staff will not be taking comments on the merits of the permit applications or the proposed tunnel.

To attend the online public information meeting, register online.

Pre-registration is not required to attend the meeting. Individuals interested in participating also can click the registration link at the start of the event.

To attend by phone, dial 312-626-6799 and use access code 932 1332 6501#.

“This is a complicated permitting process for a high-profile project, and the aim is to be as transparent as possible about the process,” said Teresa Seidel, director of EGLE’s Water Resources Division. “Our goal for this meeting is to educate the public on what to expect in the coming months so they can make their voices heard during the upcoming public participation period.”

As part of the effort to keep the public informed, EGLE has partnered with the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) and Michigan Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority (MSCA) on the state’s  Line 5 in Michigan website.

In addition to providing an overview of the regulatory permitting process that the proposed project must follow, the website also includes technical and permitting documents, timelines, maps and other resources to help the public better understand the tunnel proposal and the unique roles various state entities play in the permitting process.

Under Michigan law, EGLE is the regulatory agency responsible for environmental permitting for the tunnel project, while the MPSC has siting authority for pipelines that carry crude oil and petroleum products. Housed within MDOT, the MSCA is responsible for overseeing construction and operation of the proposed tunnel. MSCA would own the tunnel after its construction and provide independent oversight throughout its life.

In addition to the website, EGLE has also established a dedicated permit application email account related to the proposed tunnel project, EGLE-Enbridge-Comments@Michigan.gov to provide the public with a simplified means of commenting on the proposed project. Those interested in monitoring or commenting on the MPSC proceeding involving the pipeline replacement project can sign up for MPSC email updates through the website.

Copyright 2020 WLUC. All rights reserved.

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