The battles over the pipeline under the straits of Mackinac—and the tunnel to replace it—continue. Recent developments include two members of the Great Lakes Islands Alliance rejecting proposals from Enbridge to install high resolution cameras to monitor ship traffic in the straits. The rejections were based on zoning issues. Also, the administrative law judge in the Michigan Public Service Commission permitting case for the tunnel has ruled that some testimony by two tribal leaders on the impact of the tunnel won’t be considered in reaching a decision. Enbridge had objected to the testimony—which concerned the importance of the straits waters to the tribes– because they say it didn’t concern issues in the case. While excluding that testimony, the judge ruled that testimony from an expert that an explosion in the tunnel was possible would be considered in his decision. Meantime, opponents of the tunnel plan say recent Enbridge disclosures show the tunnel would be unused in just 13 years because that’s when Enbridge will shut down other parts of the pipeline. They say failure to disclose those plans and instead telling the state the tunnel would be used for 99 years is bad faith on the company’s part.
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This report has been updated to indicate that it was an MPSC administrative law judge making the ruling rather than an Army Corps judge. This report first appeared on wvbi.net.