EGLE Posts Line 5 Tunnel Application Submittal Webinar

View the recording of the August 6, 2020 Virtual Meeting Here.

Overall Information about Line 5 – Michigan.gov/Line5

MiWaters – resource/database providing information on various water related actions, including information about both permit actions.

Specific Information on the NPDES Permit Application

Specific Information on the Resource Permit Application

Additional Informational Sessions and Public Hearings are being scheduled. The meetings will be posted in MiWaters and on the EGLE Calendar.

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New MI Safe Start Website Shows Activities Allowed or Restricted in Regions Across the State

To date there have been more than 160 coronavirus Executive Orders in Michigan – many of which have been rescinded, altered or prolonged since they first went into effect. The new online webpage shows a chart of activities and notes if the activity can resume or not in each Michigan region.

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Michigan sees Record Turnout in August Primary

Last Tuesday's Primary saw a record turnout for an August Primary Election with 2.5 million voters, up from the previous 2.2 million in the Aug. 2018 Primary Election. Of this years ballots cast, about two-thirds of voters used an absentee ballot, (1.6 million) another record. 

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says the state anticipates record voter turnout in the upcoming Presidential Election in November.

According to Benson, the state expects at least 2.4 million people will vote by mail in the November election. Of the 7.7 million registered voters in Michigan, about 5 million are expected to participate in the upcoming election, officials said.

Click Here for a Map of 2016-2020 Voter Turnout % Change Across Michigan (Mlive).

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MPSC to hold public hearing on Enbridge’s request for siting authority to replace, relocate Line 5 in Straits of Mackinac

MPSC to hold public hearing on Enbridge’s request for siting authority to replace, relocate Line 5 in Straits of Mackinac 

The Michigan Public Service Commission will hold an electronic public hearing on Aug. 24 to take input on Enbridge Energy LP’s request for siting authority of its plans to relocate a segment of the Line 5 pipeline to a tunnel beneath the Straits of Mackinac. Members of the public wishing to make comments are urged to register in advance because of the high number of people expected to participate.  

The hearing will take place from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 24. The meeting will take place virtually with public participation by telephone, consistent with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order 2020-154 permitting electronic meetings to preserve the public’s health and safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The MPSC in June established a full hearing process on Enbridge Energy’s proposed relocation of  approximately four miles of the Line 5 pipeline, the 645-mile interstate pipeline that spans both Michigan peninsulas to transport light crude oil, natural gas liquids and propane. Enbridge proposes replacing two 20-inch pipelines that now rest on the lakebed with a single 30-inch pipeline that would be housed in a proposed utility tunnel 60 to 250 feet beneath the lakebed. The proposed pipeline would involve a new easement and a 99-year lease of public trust property.

The hearing is open to the public, and all members of the public may participate by using the following Microsoft Teams hearing link, https://bit.ly/2P7RVJG, or by calling 248-509-0316 and entering the conference ID number, 998 713 012, followed by #, when prompted. Please note, those wishing to make comments during the hearing may only do so by calling into the hearing using the phone number and conference ID identified above. 

The MPSC launched a dedicated webpage, www.michigan.gov/MPSCLine5, to enable the public to monitor Enbridge’s siting application and related requests. Background resources on the MPSC’s siting authority under Act 16 and opportunities for the public to participate are available. 

Those who wish to comment during the Aug. 24 public hearing are strongly encouraged to pre-register by 3 p.m. (Eastern time) on Monday, Aug. 24, 2020. Members of the public may pre-register by using the registration form at www.surveymonkey.com/r/MPSCLine5PublicHearing or by calling 800-292-9555.  

Participants who have pre-registered will be called on first to provide comments during the public hearing. Those unable to pre-register will have the opportunity to be queued up for comments during the hearing. 

Additional information about the hearing is available here. The MPSC case file on Enbridge Energy’s application is Case No. U-20763, and filings are publicly available in the MPSC’s E-Docket system

Public comments and a transcript of the hearing will be filed in the docket. Comments also can be mailed to the Executive Secretary, Michigan Public Service Commission, 7109 W. Saginaw Hwy., Lansing MI 48917, or emailed to mpscedockets@michigan.gov. Please include the case number (U-20763) in your correspondence.  

Members of the public who are speech or hearing impaired may participate by calling 711 and using the Michigan Relay service. More information about this service may be found here. Those who need any additional accommodations may contact the Commission’s Executive Secretary at 517-284-8090. 

   

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Gov. Whitmer Extends Emergency Declaration Through September 4, 2020

On Friday, August 7, 2020 Governor Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-165 to extend the emergency and disaster declaration until September 4, 2020 at 11:59pm. 

“We are in a crucial time in our fight against COVID-19, and we must do everything we can to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and the brave men and women on the front lines of this crisis from a second wave,” said Governor Whitmer. “Today, I signed new emergency and disaster declarations using independent sources of statutory authority to continue saving lives. I will continue to use every tool at my disposal to protect Michiganders from the spread of this virus. I want to remind everyone in Michigan to wear a mask, practice safe physical distancing, and do everything in your power to fight COVID-19.” 

Additionally, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-166 to reinstate protections for Michigan workers as the state continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Under the Executive Order, the governor prohibits employers from discharging, disciplining, or retaliating against employees who make the responsible choice to stay home when they or their close contacts are sick. Employers must treat employees who stay home when they are sick as if he or she were taking medical leave. Any and all Michiganders who test positive for COVID-19 or who display one or more of the principal symptoms, such as a fever, sore throat, a new uncontrolled cough that causes difficulty breathing, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, severe headache, and new loss of taste or smell should stay home. Individuals must remain home until 24 hours have passed since the resolution of fever without medication or 10 days have passed since their symptoms first appeared or were tested positive. 

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U.S. Senate Passes Pipeline Safety Act Re-authorization

On Thursday, August 6, 2020, The U.S. Senate passed the Pipeline Safety Act re-authorization, S. 2299 (116).

The bill titled, ‘‘protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2020’’ or the ‘‘PIPES Act of 2020’’, would reauthorize PHMSA pipeline safety programs through 2023. The bill passed out of the Senate Commerce Committee last year but had stalled until Thursday’s passing in the Senate by unanimous consent.  The House has yet to pass its version of the re-authorization measure, H.R. 5120 (116).

MOGA will provide additional information and analysis as soon as it becomes available.

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Governor Whitmer Amends MI Safe Start Order to Limit Indoor Gatherings

On Wednesday, July 29, 2020 Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-160 and Executive Order 2020-161, amending Michigan’s Safe Start Order and issuing revised workplace safeguards. Under the Safe Start Order, starting July 31, 2020, statewide indoor gatherings will be limited to 10 people and bars will be closed for indoor service across the state, including in Regions 6 and 8.   

To view Executive Order 2020-160 and Executive Order 2020-161, click the links below: 

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MI Chem Council to Host Regulatory Drone Webinar

Catalyst Series Webinar - What Facility Operators Should Know About Drone Technologies and Regulations

Thursday August 6, 2020. 12:00 PM-1:00 PM EDT

Cost:$35

Register Here

According to the FAA, there are more than 1.5 million unmanned aerial vehicles (or drones) registered in the U.S., and with growth exceeding previous projections, that number could triple over the next four years. As the prevalence and complexity of drone technologies increases, operators of commercial and industrial facilities are presented with many new questions and challenges, including:

  • How are drones being used in new ways?
  • How might drones impact my facility’s security?
  • How are regulatory agencies like OSHA and Michigan’s EGLE using drones for compliance purposes?

It is important to note there are a number of recent changes in federal and state laws and regulations that govern drone operations. Facility operators should be familiar with these provisions, and the rights and recourses available to them. In Michigan, these include heightened protections for “key facilities” that include chemical plants, refineries, electric and gas utilities, water treatment facilities, petroleum terminals, railroads, ports, or trucking terminals, pulp and paper manufacturers, and telecommunication facilities. Attendees will come away with valuable information that is generally-applicable for sites across the U.S., as well as specific information about Michigan’s unique laws and circumstances.

Presented and Sponsored by:


Contact: John Dulmes at 517-372-8898 or John@MichiganChemistry.com

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EGLE to host informational webinar on Line 5 tunnel application permitting process on August 6th

EGLE staff will provide an overview of the permitting process for the permit applications submitted by Enbridge related to the proposed Line 5 Tunnel project. The purpose of the meeting is to explain what has been received in the applications, discuss public participation and comment and the timeline for permit decisions.

Pre-registration is not required to attend the meeting. Individuals interested in participating can click on the registration link (https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_82fA6MIZT_ijcWzlm_LpVg) at the start of the event (6:00 p.m.).

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Great Lakes Michigan Jobs Praises End of State Challenge to Constitutionality of Bipartisan Great Lakes Tunnel Law

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                     Contact: Nick De Leeuw, Resch Strategies
July 30, 2020                                                                                               nick@reschstrategies.com, 517-575-9564

 

Great Lakes Michigan Jobs Coalition Praises End of State Challenge to Constitutionality of Bipartisan Great Lakes Tunnel Law
Building the Great Lakes Tunnel will Make a Safe Pipeline Safer, Protect the Great Lakes and Michigan Jobs

Lansing, Mich – The Great Lakes Michigan Jobs coalition provided the following statements, after the state of Michigan chose not to appeal numerous rulings by the court in support of the Great Lakes Tunnel, a project approved by a bipartisan majority of state lawmakers and signed into law in 2018.

The Great Lakes Tunnel project was backed again by Republicans and Democrats in the House this summer, who overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan resolution of support for the critical energy infrastructure project.  The Tunnel is a $500 million private investment in the state’s energy future, and will make a safe pipeline safer by moving a portion of Line 5 out of the water in the Straits of Mackinac and moving it inside a state-of-the-art concrete Tunnel deep below the lakebed.  A study commissioned by the State of Michigan found the project would make the risk of a spill from Line 5 in the Straits virtually zero.

A three-judge panel unanimously upheld the constitutionality of the law that established the Tunnel project, but Attorney General Dana Nessel had pledged to appeal their decision.  Ultimately, the state declined to file an appeal to stop the common-sense project.

“The state’s decision to end its challenge to the Great Lakes Tunnel law is great news for Michigan workers, businesses, and our environment,” said John Walsh, President of the Michigan Manufacturers Association and a member-spokesman for Great Lakes Michigan Jobs.  “Building the tunnel is the right solution for Michigan. It creates and protects Michigan jobs and makes a safe pipeline even safer – all at no expense to taxpayers.”

Said Geno Alessandrini, Business Manager for the Michigan Laborers Union, a member-spokesman for Great Lakes Michigan Jobs: “Michigan workers are counting on the Great Lakes Tunnel.  Building the Tunnel is something Republicans and Democrats can agree on, and a project the courts have repeatedly upheld.  We’re pleased the state’s challenge to the project’s constitutionality is behind us, and Michigan Laborers are eager to move forward with construction.”

Great Lakes Michigan Jobs is made up of diverse organizations, including: 

  • Lake Superior Community Partnership
  • Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council
  • Michigan Chamber of Commerce
  • Michigan Chemistry Council
  • Michigan Laborers Union
  • Michigan Manufacturers Association
  • Michigan Oil and Gas Association
  • Michigan Petroleum Association
  • Michigan Propane Gas Association
  • Midland Business Alliance
  • National Federation of Independent Business Michigan
  • Operating Engineers 324
  • Small Business Association of Michigan
  • American Petroleum Institute

To learn more about the coalition, the Great Lakes Tunnel project, or to join the coalition, visit GreatLakesMichiganJobs.com.

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Michigan Petroleum Directory Now Available!