LANSING (WWJ/AP) – A report on possible alternatives to the Line 5 pipeline below the Straits of Mackinac is complete — and now all will have a chance to weigh in.

State officials on Monday released a final analysis of options for the future of the controversial oil pipeline that runs beneath the channel linking Lakes Huron and Michigan.

The 379-page report by the Canadian consulting firm Dynamic Risk lists six alternatives.  [Read it here]. Among them is continued operation of Enbridge Inc.’s Line 5, which runs from Superior, Wisconsin, through northern Michigan to Sarnia, Ontario. The segment that crosses the Straits of Mackinac is divided into two lines.

Among other options are building new pipelines that would bypass the straits or be buried in tunnels; moving Line 5’s oil through other pipeline networks; or transporting the oil by rail, tanker truck or barge.

The report makes no endorsement but analyzes the various alternatives’ potential risks and costs.

Comments will be taken by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for the next 30 days, with public meetings scheduled.

Below are details of the three public feedback sessions have been set for early December. No formal presentation will be made at the sessions but representatives from the State will be present to hear comments:

• Wednesday, Dec. 6, in Taylor, beginning at 6 p.m., at the Heinz C. Prechter Educational and Performing Arts Center, Wayne County Community College District, Downriver Campus, 21000 Northline Road.
• Tuesday, Dec. 12, in St. Ignace, beginning at 6 p.m., at the Little Bear Arena & Community Center, 275 Marquette St.
• Wednesday, Dec. 13, in Traverse City, beginning at 6 p.m., West Bay Beach Holiday Inn Resort, Leelanau Banquet Rooms, 615 E. Front St.

Officials say three sessions are open to the public and all locations are handicap accessible. Speakers will be allowed three minutes to make comments on a first-come, first-served basis. Yielding time to another speaker will not be allowed. Speakers are asked to make comments at only one public session, to give everyone a chance to offer their thoughts.

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