Enbridge Energy has been granted its request for a permit to install 48 new anchor supports on Line 5, which runs under the Straits of Mackinac.
The company says the new supports are a proactive measure meant to ensure the pipeline is supported every 75 feet along the lakebed in the future.
At a public hearing earlier this year, environmental groups testified against the request. They say so many supports make the pipeline an entirely new structure. They want the pipeline shut down. But Governor Snyder agreed to a deal with Enbridge for the construction of a tunnel and new section of pipeline under the Straits.
Enbridge says anchor supports are a key part of its maintenance program for the current pipeline, and further increase overall safety.
Editor's note: Enbridge is one of Michigan Radio's corporate sponsors.