01.29.18

Peters to Serve as Ranking Member on Surface Transportation Subcommittee

Peters Appointed as Top Democrat on Subcommittee That Oversees Port, Pipeline, Freight and Rail Infrastructure

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) today announced that he will serve as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security. The Subcommittee is responsible for oversight of federal agencies critical to Michigan’s infrastructure and transportation systems, as well as the Great Lakes. The Subcommittee has jurisdiction over the Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, the Federal Railroad Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and surface transportation security programs within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

“Michigan is an international hub for trade, transportation and logistics, and our state relies on a safe and efficient transportation system to move goods and people,” said Senator Peters. “I look forward to tackling the challenges facing the nation’s surface transportation systems, including the need to upgrade our ports and maritime channels, secure strong funding for roads, rails, broadband, and water systems in any future infrastructure plan, and ensure the United States remains the world-leader in transportation innovation.”

The Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is the federal agency tasked with overseeing pipeline safety throughout our nation’s extensive pipeline system, including the Great Lakes. This position builds on Peters’ work to protect the Great Lakes from a catastrophic pipeline break in the Great Lakes, particularly in the Straits of Mackinac. Last year, Peters helped pass bipartisan legislation reauthorizing PHMSA, which included provisions designating the Great Lakes an unusually sensitive area, subjecting the Great Lakes basin to higher standards for safe operation, and improving oil spill response plans to address ice cover.

The Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC) helps facilitate safe and effective commerce along the St. Lawrence River, which is a key global outlet for the Great Lakes shipping industry. In 2016, over 35 million tons of cargo, including bulk and grain, was shipped through the St. Lawrence Seaway, and it is estimated that cargo shipments along this route generate $34.6 billion in economic activity and 227,000 jobs in Canada and the United States. Many Michigan shipping ports, particularly the Port of Monroe on Lake Eric, rely on the St. Lawrence Seaway system to ship and receive goods and raw material across the world.