Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Prestin encourages Army Corps to expedite Line 5 permitting
RELEASE|February 8, 2024
Contact: David Prestin

State Rep. Dave Prestin, joined by 34 other state legislators, sent a letter today to the Army Corps of Engineers urging them to expedite their review of the Enbridge Line 5 Great Lakes Tunnel Project (GTLP) so construction can begin. The Corps is working through an environmental impact study of the project, which it says may not be completed until 2026.

“A tunnel beneath the Straits of Mackinac is the optimal solution to safeguard the Great Lakes while ensuring vital energy products are continuously provided to residents in Upper and Lower Michigan, as well as communities nationwide,” wrote Prestin, R-Cedar River. “Propane plays an indispensable role in sustaining rural communities, which often lack the energy and sewer infrastructure present in more urbanized areas.”

The 2023-24 Winter Energy Appraisal, released by the Michigan Public Service Commission, estimated around 800,000 people rely on propane for heating.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy approved the GTLP more than two years ago. The Michigan Public Service Commission sanctioned Enbridge’s rerouting of the pipeline late last year.

“These approvals underscore the necessity of the pipeline to provide fuel to the region, ensuring compliance with Michigan’s laws and environmental regulations while leveraging the best available technology to guarantee the safe and reliable transportation of fuels across the Great Lakes region,” Prestin wrote. “In an interview discussing the approval, MPSC Chairman Dan Scripps corroborated what proponents of the tunnel project have asserted for some time: the tunnel represents an effective means of safeguarding our lakes while delivering essential energy, with its alternatives posing a considerably greater threat to the environment.”

Approval by the Corps is the final hurdle before construction can begin on the GTLP. The project will be especially significant for skilled laborers. Organized labor groups supporting the project include the Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council, the Michigan Laborer’s District Council, and the United Steel Workers.

“Throughout its development, the GLTP has withstood rigorous scrutiny at every stage, substantiating its necessity, environmental soundness, and its standing as the optimal solution for preserving our Great Lakes and delivering essential energy resources,” Prestin wrote. “In light of the delays, we urge you to consider expediting the project through the EIS process.”

The full letter can be viewed here.


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