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Posted 10/19/2016

Release no. 101619-01

Lynn Rose

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District Regulatory Office issued a nationwide permit verification to Enbridge Pipelines, LLC, on October 18, 2016, which authorizes maintenance to the Line 5 submerged pipeline crossing of the Straits of Mackinac.  

The permitted maintenance work involves installation of four anchor structures which would be drilled into the lakebed to provide support for the pipeline.  Enbridge proposed the work to comply with their easement with the State of Michigan.  During the permit review process, the Corps considered comments by several public organizations and the tribes.  Prior to reaching a decision, the Corps conducted government-to-government consultation with five Native American tribes, per their request.  The Corps’ scope of review was limited to the impacts of the anchor structures and their installation on the aquatic environment and factors of the public interest. The Corps issued the nationwide permit verification based on its finding that the proposed anchor structures would have no more than minimal impacts. 

The Corps reviewed the proposed anchor installation for potential authorization under Nationwide Permit 3 – Maintenance.  Nationwide permits are a type of general permit issued at the national level, and which authorizes categories of projects that have been determined to have minimal individual and cumulative impacts.  Nationwide Permit 3 authorizes maintenance projects, such as the Enbridge project, that meet certain criteria.  Nationwide permit terms and conditions can be found at our regulatory office webpage: http://www.lre.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory-Program-and-Permits

The Department of the Army Regulatory Program is one of the oldest in the federal government. Our mission is to provide strong protection of our Nation’s aquatic environment.  We accomplish this through: coordination with agencies and the public; fair, reasonable, and timely decisions; accurate and timely jurisdiction determinations; monitoring, compliance and enforcement of permit laws, regulations and policies.