LANSING – Enbridge Energy is one step closer to building a tunnel to transport petroleum beneath the Straits of Mackinac, after Michigan environmental regulators approved key permits for the Line 5 project.

The decision by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy comes months after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered the pipeline to shut down this May, underscoring the complicated road ahead for both Enbridge and its detractors in Michigan.

In an announcement Friday, state officials acknowledged wide-ranging public concerns about the tunnel, but said state law limited their nine-month review to a narrow question: Will the tunnel project comply with Michigan’s environmental laws ?

To find out, click on