Great Lakes Michigan Jobs Coalition Urges Army Corps of Engineers to End the Delays - Back the Great Lakes Tunnel

Lansing, Mich – Michigan workers, job creators, and industry leaders today strongly urged United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to work with the company operating Line 5 and give the approval needed for construction of the Great Lakes Tunnel.

The USACE today announced its decision to delay by years critical steps in the permitting process, extending the amount of time before it permits Enbridge to move a portion of the safe Line 5 pipeline out of the Great Lakes into a state-of-the-art Tunnel deep below the lakebed. State experts have concluded that the Tunnel makes a safe pipeline safer, will protect the Great Lakes, and reduces the risk of an oil spill into the Great Lakes to “virtually zero.”

The Great Lakes Tunnel energy infrastructure project was approved by the Michigan legislature and signed by the governor in 2018. Construction of the Tunnel is a matter of public law.

“Michigan voters, small businesses and leaders across the political spectrum support the Great Lakes Tunnel and want it built quickly,” said Brian Calley, president and CEO of the Small Business Association of Michigan. “The lack of urgency by the Army Corps of Engineers is a disservice to all Michiganders. Every month the project is delayed pushes this important economic and environmental investment down the line.” 

Line 5 delivers up to 23 million gallons per day of the fuel Michigan and surrounding states use to gas up their cars, power their equipment at work, and create jobs. 

“The Great Lakes Tunnel isn’t just a building project, it’s a lifeline for the Great Lakes and Michigan workers,” said Caroline Liethen, Director of Environmental and Regulatory Policy for the Michigan Manufacturers Association. “Delays from permitters are standing in the way of environmental protection and conservation.”

Said Geno Alessandrini, Business Manager for the Michigan Laborers District Council: “Our members love the Great Lakes, and they love their jobs. The Great Lakes Tunnel would protect both. Instead of throwing up roadblocks, we’re asking the Army Corps to get these permits done.”

Leading Michigan voices from labor, business and industry created the Great Lakes Michigan Jobs coalition to support construction of the Great Lakes Tunnel. They work together, encouraging state and federal agencies currently reviewing permit applications – and all Michiganders — to embrace the Tunnel project, and the lakes and jobs it protects. 
Broad majorities of Democrats, Republicans and Independents support construction of the Tunnel, believe it’s the best solution for Line 5, and want regulators to move forward immediately with permitting for the project, according to survey results.

Said Amanda Fisher, State Director of the National Federation of Independent Business in Michigan: “Michigan’s small and independent businesses understand how important permitting is, and they know how disappointing it is when agencies deliver delays. We depend on Line 5 and we’re counting on the Great Lakes Tunnel. This project matters. It’s important. It’s time permitters understand that, too.”

To learn more about the coalition and the Great Lakes Tunnel project, visit

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