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Environmental groups are attacking an agreement between Michigan and Canadian oil transport company Enbridge, Inc. that set a timeline to determine the future of a controversial pipeline running across a channel where Lakes Huron and Michigan come together.
The 645-mile pipeline, Line 5, lies at the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac, a five-mile-long environmentally sensitive stretch of water that serves as a center piece in Michigan's tourist industry. It cuts through the state as it runs from western to eastern Canada, bringing 23 million gallons of oil and liquid natural gas across the straits between Michigan's Upper and Lower peninsulas—an area noted for its choppy waters, unpredictable currents and subzero temperatures.