Environment & Science
6:24 am
Fri June 27, 2014

New task force to review pipeline safety in Michigan

A new government task force has been created to review the safety of Michigan's pipelines.

Credit Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

DEQ Director Dan Wyant and Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette will co-chair.

Formal oversight for interstate gas and oil pipelines comes from the federal government, but states are not required to do their own management.

Carl Weimer is executive director of the Pipeline Safety Trust. He said Michigan needs state oversight of its increasing number of pipelines.

"We think that anytime that a state steps up and takes a look at pipeline safety and tries to get a sense of whether they need to try to enact some greater authority to protect people in their states, that’s a good thing," Weimer said. 

The task force will also address better spill response planning and how to issue permits for pipeline upgrades and replacement.

Pipelines can leak or fail, like the one that burst and spilled a million gallons of crude oil into the Kalamazoo River in 2010. They can even ignite and cause large explosions.

– Reem Nasr, Michigan Radio Newsroom