The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality announced Monday that it issued permits to energy company Enbridge Inc. to install four additional supports on sections of its Line 5 oil pipelines located underneath the Straits of Mackinac.
After completing a routine inspection in the summer, officials required Enbridge to install additional supports to Line 5 after finding several sections that were not properly supported according to an easement granted in the 1950s.
The easement requires that the pipelines be supported by either the lakebed or anchored by no more than 75-foot increments along the lines. During an inspection, officials found unsupported sections that were longer than 75 feet, which can happen do to the movement of the lakebed over time.
The company asked to install anchors in up to 22 locations along the line to keep the lines properly supported. The state deferred a permitting decision on these additional supports.