MARYSVILLE, Mich. (WWJ/AP) – A natural gas distribution company is preparing to replace a pipeline that runs underneath an eastern Michigan river.

The Times Herald reports that Enbridge Energy’s Line 5 pipeline cuts through Marysville and the St. Clair River.

Enbridge senior manager Paul Meneghini says the company is working to secure the proper state and federal permits. The line crosses the U.S.-Canadian border so the company must also acquire Canadian permits.

Meneghini says construction likely won’t start until the end of next year. The work is expected to take about two months to complete.

Activists and officials across the state have been calling for the line’s decommission amid concerns of its condition. The current pipeline was laid in 1953.

In 2016, Enbridge Energy Partners were ordered to pay a $61 million penalty for the costliest inland oil spill in U.S. history under an agreement with federal officials.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice announced the settlement over a 2010 pipeline rupture near Marshall, Michigan, that released an estimated 843,000 gallons of crude oil. A nearly 40-mile stretch of the Kalamazoo River was polluted as shoreline residents fled their homes.

Meneghini says the company has seen nothing to spark concern about the line’s integrity.

© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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