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State extends deadline for bids on pipeline study

The barge in the middle of the Straits of Mackinac.
Mark Brush
Michigan Radio

The state of Michigan is extending the deadline for bids to study an oil and gas pipeline that runs along the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac. The pipeline is known as Enbridge Line 5. 

The study will include a risk analysis of the 60-year-old pipeline, and alternatives to shipping oil and gas beneath the Straits of Mackinac.

“The key is, how do we reduce that risk?" said James Clift of the Michigan Environmental Council. "How do we protect the lakes?”

Environmental groups have questioned the safety of the line and the wisdom of moving oil underwater in the Great Lakes. Enbridge says the line is safe, and a better alternative to trucks or ships moving oil and gas around the region. 

A state task force will use the findings to make recommendations later this year on the future of Line 5. Clift says they could also be used compel the company to adopt safety procedures that aren’t being used right now. 

Companies have until April 18 to submit bids for the project. 

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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