The Army Corps of Engineers is beginning to work on the Environmental Impact Statement for a potential tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac.
The tunnel has been proposed, and would be paid for, by Enbridge. It would house the company’s Line 5 pipeline, and other utilities that are currently located on the floor of the straits.
A Notice of Intent outlining the initial comment period was published in the Federal Register yesterday. Over the next 60 days, the Corps wants to hear from individuals and groups about what issues the Environmental Impact Statement should address.
Submissions will be accepted via mail, through the project website or at in-person or virtual public meetings.
Officials emphasized that the process is not a vote as to whether or not the project should proceed. It applies only to the proposed tunnel, and not to the pipeline in general. Comments should help identify specific areas for in-depth review.
The EIS will be prepared by Maryland-based Potomac-Hudson Engineering. The cost will be covered by Enbridge, but the contractor was selected by the Corps of Engineers. It’s expected that the draft report will take more than a year to complete.
A website specific to the tunnel project has been set up, with information and comment sections. Access it here.