east leg of the pipeline near St. Ignace as Enbridge prepares to test the east and west sides of the Line 5 pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac in Mackinaw City, Mich. Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, establishing a panel to oversee a hotly disputed tunnel that will house an oil pipeline beneath the waterway linking Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. Snyder acted Wednesday, a day after the Republican-dominated Michigan Legislature gave the bill final approval. (Dale G Young/Detroit News via AP, File)
The Latest on a Michigan panel's consideration of a proposal to allow construction of an oil pipeline tunnel beneath the waterway linking Lakes Huron and Michigan (all times local):
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A plan to build an oil pipeline tunnel beneath a channel linking Lakes Huron and Michigan has won final approval.
One week after it was established, a Michigan panel approved an agreement between outgoing Republican Gov. Rick Snyder's administration and the Canadian pipeline company Enbridge. It calls for drilling the 4-mile (6.4 kilometer) tunnel through bedrock under the Straits of Mackinac.
The new pipeline segment will replace twin pipes along the lake bed. They are part of Enbridge's Line 5. The pipeline carries oil and natural gas liquids between Superior, Wisconsin, and Sarnia, Ontario.
The unanimous approval from the three-member Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority accomplishes Snyder's goal of sealing the deal before leaving office this month. His successor, Democrat Gretchen Whitmer, has criticized the tunnel plan.
A recently established state panel in Michigan could give final approval to a proposed oil pipeline tunnel beneath a crucial section of the Great Lakes.
The Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority is scheduled to meet for the first time Wednesday in St. Ignace.
The three-member panel is expected to consider recent agreements between Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's administration and Enbridge Inc. The Canadian company wants to drill a tunnel through bedrock under the straits area connecting Lake Huron and Lake Michigan.
The tunnel would hold a new section of Enbridge's Line 5, which carries oil and natural gas liquids between Superior, Wisconsin, and Sarnia, Ontario.
It would replace a more than 4-mile-long (6.4-kilometer-long) dual segment of pipe that runs along the lakebed.
Environmental groups oppose the tunnel and want Line 5 shut down.