A recently established state panel in Michigan could give final approval to a proposed oil pipeline tunnel beneath a crucial section of the Great Lakes.

The Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority is scheduled to meet for the first time Wednesday, Dec.19, in St. Ignace.

The three-member panel is expected to consider recent agreements between Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration and Enbridge Inc. The Canadian company wants to drill a tunnel through bedrock under the straits area connecting Lake Huron and Lake Michigan.

The tunnel would hold a new section of Enbridge’s Line 5, which carries oil and natural gas between Superior, Wisconsin, and Sarnia, Canada.

It would replace a more than 4-mile dual segment of pipe that runs along the lakebed.

Environmental groups oppose the tunnel and want Line 5 shut down.

Source: The Associated Press