Chatfield House approve plan forming new oversight panel for Line 5 tunnel

first_img11Dec Chatfield, House approve plan forming new oversight panel for Line 5 tunnel Categories: Chatfield News,News State Rep. Lee Chatfield speaks in support of Senate Bill 1197 today before the Michigan House of Representatives.State Rep. Lee Chatfield said a plan approved today in the Michigan House with bipartisan support will protect the Great Lakes by providing the proper oversight for the new underground infrastructure corridor in the Straits of Mackinac.Chatfield, of Levering, said the plan creates a new, independent authority – not the Mackinac Bridge Authority – to provide oversight and take ownership of the new multi-use utility tunnel in the Straits. The new body will be called the Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority.“This is the best solution we need to protect our beautiful Great Lakes and ensure Northern Michigan families continue to have the resources they need to heat their homes,” Chatfield said.  “This has been discussed for years, and doing nothing is not an option. It’s time to move forward.”Chatfield said Enbridge, not taxpayers, will pay for 100 percent of design, construction, operation and maintenance of the tunnel. Once the company reaches an agreement with the newly created Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority, the authority would own the tunnel and provide proper oversight, including a public, transparent process for ongoing operation of the tunnel.“When you consider that Enbridge has agreed to pay for the underground corridor at full cost, this is a no-brainer for the people of Michigan,” Chatfield said.Chatfield said he pushed to create an entity separate from the Mackinac Bridge Authority to oversee the tunnel after weighing feedback from Northern Michigan residents, as well as members of the bridge authority.“By creating an independent authority to oversee the tunnel project, we ensure the bridge authority can continue doing an outstanding job maintaining one of Michigan’s truest gems, the Mackinac Bridge,” Chatfield said. “That was extremely important to me, as well as the residents of Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.”The legislation, Senate Bill 1197, is expected to move to the governor for consideration later today.###last_img read more