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State lawmakers call for more oversight of pipelines

Nov 28, 2014

LANSING (AP) - Democratic lawmakers are proposing increased state oversight of Michigan's oil and gas pipelines.

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

  The four-bill package announced this week would require the state Department of Environmental Quality to regularly inspect pipelines under the Great Lakes and mandate that pipeline operators submit emergency response plans to state regulators.

  Rep. Jeff Irwin of Ann Arbor says he's thankful aging lines beneath the Straits of Mackinac haven't leaked. But he says more oversight is needed to "ensure Michigan's economy and natural resources are protected."

  The bills would require pipelines to notify Michigan of any warnings or citations from the federal government related to pipeline operations.

  A task force is reviewing Michigan's network of oil pipelines, starting with Line 5 under the straits separating the state's two peninsulas where Lakes Huron and Michigan converge.