Public Voices Concerns and Support for Proposed Line 5 Pipeline Tunnel
Despite Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordering the shutdown of Line 5, Enbridge has continued it’s operation and are still in talks to build a tunnel for the pipeline.
Even with all of the legal battles, the Canadian company is committed to making sure the project is completed. “We’re really focused on moving it forward because it does make a safe pipeline even safer,” said Ryan Duffy, spokesperson for Enbridge.
Some of the public including Michigan tribes have long wanted to shutdown the pipeline because of the possibility of a leak in the Straits of Mackinac, but Enbridge maintains the risk is extremely minimal, especially with a tunnel.
“You’d have it 60 to 250 feet below the lakebed. Big concrete walls,” said Duffy. “You’d eliminate the chance of ever having any sort of anchor issues and you reduce the chance of release of any kind of product in the water to just about zero.”
At Wednesday’s meeting, members of the Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority questioned the safety of the pipeline.
“It’s important to hear from the tribes,” said Michael Nystrom, chair of the Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority. “They’re very passionate about this and their voice must be heard and we look forward to working with them on it.”
One tribal member spoke up during the meeting, condemning the actions of the Authority as well as Enbridge. “Honor the treaties,” he said. “That’s the foundation of what’s being overrun right now by all the people that don’t know what they’re talking about.”
Others were in favor of Line 5 and the tunnel project. “Building this tunnel is a big thing and it’s about time Michigan moved forward and started doing big things again,” said another speaker.
According to Enbridge, they’ve already spent more than $100 million dollars on the tunnel project.