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MLive/Grand Rapids Press: Great Lakes would be 'high consequence' area under pipeline bill

A U.S. Senate committee has approved a bill that would boost scrutiny and review of submerged pipelines by adding the Great Lakes to a "high consequence" categorical area of federal crude oil pipeline regulation that requires higher safety standards.

On Dec. 9, the commerce, science and transportation committee passed by voice vote a reauthorization bill for the Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) that included provisions targeted at the controversial Enbridge Inc. Line 5 pipelineunder the Straits of Mackinac.

Provision were attached to the PHMSA bill by Sen. Gary Peters, a Michigan Democrat on the committee who, along with Democratic U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, introduced separate legislation in September to ban crude oil tanker shipping on the Great Lakes.