In June, Enbridge Energy, which owns Line 5, reported four spots that required additional support because of erosion.
The Department of Environmental Quality approved supports for those four spots, but delayed action on 18 others that Enbridge requested.
Environmental groups said they’re hopeful this means the government is getting serious about a line shutdown.
But Michael Barnes, a spokesperson for Enbridge, said that’s not how he sees it.
“We think that we’re all working towards the same thing and that’s to protect the straits and keep energy flowing into Michigan.”
Officials with the DEQ said they will delay a decision on the 18 additional supports until two studies on the risks of the pipeline and alternative ways for transporting the oil are completed. Results of those studies are expected early next year.