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Enbridge completes rock sampling for Michigan oil pipeline tunnel in Straits of Mackinac

Associated Press

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FILE - This July 19, 2002, file photo, shows the Mackinac Bridge that spans the Straits of Mackinac from Mackinaw City, Mich. Enbridge Inc. said Monday, June, 17, 2019, it’s moving ahead with collection of rock and soil samples in the Straits of Mackinac while preparing for a court battle with Michigan’s governor over a planned oil pipeline tunnel there. The Canadian company, which has been drilling into the ground on the south side of the channel linking Lakes Huron and Michigan, said it will begin boring into the lakebed this week from a barge in shallow water. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Enbridge says it has completed sediment and rock sampling in preparation for building a Michigan oil pipeline tunnel that some state leaders and environmentalists hope to block.

The Canadian company said Thursday its crews took core samples from 27 locations in the Straits of Mackinac area, where Lakes Huron and Michigan meet.

Project manager Amber Pastoor said geologists will study the samples. Results will be used to design the tunnel and a machine to drill through bedrock beneath the lake floor.

Enbridge negotiated an agreement with former Republican Gov. Rick Snyder to run an oil pipe through the tunnel and shut down its twin Line 5 pipes that traverse the lake bottom.

His Democratic successor, Gretchen Whitmer, opposes the deal. Attorney General Dana Nessel is appealing a court ruling that upheld legislation authorizing the agreement.

Nessel also has filed a lawsuit to decommission Line 5.