Straits of Mackinac

Straits of Mackinac (Source: U.S. Coast Guard District 9)

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is requiring large vessel operators to verify they're not dragging their anchors on the bottomlands when passing through the Straits of Mackinac.

Whitmer instructed the state Department of Natural Resources on Wednesday to file an emergency rule imposing the requirement for ships in the waterway linking Lakes Huron and Michigan.

It's similar to an order that former Gov. Rick Snyder issued last year after a tugboat anchor ruptured two electric cables and dented twin oil pipelines stretched across the lakebed.

Whitmer's move came as U.S. Sen. Gary Peters' office released underwater video taken last year showing what appears to be damage to Enbridge's Line 5 oil pipes from the anchor strike.

Whitmer has delayed action on a deal reached by Snyder and Enbridge last fall to replace the Line 5 pipes with another that would run through a tunnel beneath the lake bottomlands.

Copyright 2019 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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