Senate Bills Seek Tougher Great Lakes Pipeline Standards

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DETROIT (AP) — Legislation proposed in the U.S. Senate would toughen liability standards for oil pipelines crossing the Great Lakes.

The measure is part of a package introduced Wednesday by Sens. Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan. They say the bills are intended to boost safety of pipelines in and near the lakes. That includes Line 5 operated by Enbridge and running beneath the Straits of Mackinac.

Pipelines that cross portions of the lakes are classified as “onshore,” so they’re held to less stringent liability standards than offshore lines. The bill would change that, requiring operators to cover all oil spill cleanup costs.

Other measures would strengthen federal authority to shut down pipelines because of unsafe conditions, require additional review of spill response plans and increase public access to pipeline information.

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