Michigan orders more information from Enbridge on Canada’s Line 5 tunnel request

By Nia Williams

(Reuters) – Michigan state regulators on Thursday ordered Canada’s Enbridge Inc to file additional safety and engineering information for its Line 5 pipeline tunnel project, outlining the current request of Enbridge as “defective”.

Enbridge plans to build a tunnel under the Strait of Mackinac in the Great Lakes to relocate its existing 540,000 barrel per day Line 5 pipeline.

“The Michigan Public Service Commission today ordered the reopening of the case in Enbridge Energy LP’s application … finding that the case is deficient on critical engineering and safety issues, and further evidence is needed. for the Commission to complete its analysis,” the regulators said in a statement.

The decision is a setback for Enbridge, which proposed building the $750 million tunnel to address concerns that Line 5 could spill into the Great Lakes.

A four-mile (6.4 km) section of the aging pipeline runs underwater through the Strait of Mackinac and environmentalists are worried about the risk of an oil leak.

Last year, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered Calgary-based Enbridge to shut down Line 5, which carries crude and refined products from Superior, Wisconsin, to Sarnia, Ontario, via Michigan.

Enbridge ignored that order and the two sides are embroiled in a legal battle over the fate of the pipeline.

(Reporting by Nia Williams; Editing by Grant McCool)

Lynn A. Saleh