10.01.15

Grand Haven Tribune: EDITORIAL: Pipeline act on the right track

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The “Pipeline Improvement and Preventing Spills Act” calls for a ban on shipping of crude oil by vessel on the Great Lakes.

Currently, no crude oil is transported by vessel on the Great Lakes. However, passage of this legislation would write that prohibition into law.

Additionally, the bill calls for a “comprehensive, top-to-bottom review of hazardous pipelines in the region,” and would assess the “current status of oil spill response and cleanup plans.” It would also require ice cover to be considered in worst-case scenario response plans.

“One can only imagine what a disaster it would be for a similar oil spill to occur in the Great Lakes, the world’s largest system of fresh surface water,” Peters said. “This commonsense legislation will help us prevent an oil spill in the Great Lakes, whether it’s a tanker accident or a pipeline leak in the Straits of Mackinac, so that we can protect and preserve this ecological treasure for generations to come.”

Experts have described the Straits of Mackinac as the worst-possible place for an oil spill in the Great Lakes. Shifting currents would likely spread the oil quickly, contaminating the coastline and the waterways throughout Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.

We back this legislation, and hope beyond hope that efforts taken today will help avoid an environmental tragedy sometime in the future.


By:  Grand Haven Tribune Editorial Board
Source: Grand Haven Tribune