09/25/2019- Menominee County Commissioners are backing a proposal for a new pipeline tunnel in the Straits of Mackinac. Tuesday, the County Board unanimously approved a resolution in support of the Enbridge Line 5 tunnel, which would bring light crude and natural gas liquids to the Upper Peninsula. Commissioner Steve Gromala says, while he recognizes there are some environmental concerns and hurdles to clear regarding the project, the proposal is a far better alternative than the current system where the pipes are laying on the bottom of the waterway and susceptible to damage from the anchors of nearby vessels.
Issues raised by several concerned parties about the impact of a breach of the over 60-year-old Line 5 into the Straits of Mackinac led to the State of Michigan and Enbridge negotiating the agreement for the 5-year, $500-million project to construct the tunnel 100 feet below bedrock. Enbridge says it can safely operate the current pipeline while it pursues replacing the section of Line 5 under the Straits with a new section inside the tunnel, but activists are calling for it to be shut down immediately.