Regulators want details on Great Lakes tunnel plan

TRAVERSE CITY (AP) — Enbridge’s application for an oil pipeline tunnel beneath a Great Lakes channel can’t be processed without more information, including an analysis of alternatives to the project, state regulators say.

The Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy requested additional details from the Canadian company this week. Enbridge wants to run the pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac, which connects Lakes Huron and Michigan.

It would replace twin pipelines that cross the bottom of the straits.

The department said state law requires a “complete assessment” of feasible or prudent alternatives to the tunnel project. Enbridge’s application mentions two options but doesn’t analyze them, it said.

The department also sought plans for dealing with protected wetlands and plants.

Spokesman Scott Dean said it’s routine to request more information during permit application reviews. Public hearings and tribal consultations will be scheduled, he said.