2018-02-01 / News

New Bill Would Strengthen Safety Requirements for Pipelines

New legislation introduced Friday, January 12, would require stronger safety measures and more frequent reporting for pipelines that cross the Great Lakes. The legislation was introduced by U.S. Congressman Mike Bishop, who represents Michigan’s Eighth Congressional District. H.R. 4787 the “Great Lakes Oil Spill Prevention Act” is intended to increase liability on pipeline operators in the event of pipeline rupture.

“One of the largest threats facing our Great Lakes is an oil spill, and it is imperative we have safeguards in place to minimize the risk,” Mr. Bishop said in a statement, “which is why I introduced the Great Lakes Oil Spill Prevention Act to ensure Michiganders have timely, accurate, and transparent information about pipeline safety risks and to hold pipeline operators accountable.”

The legislation requires pipeline operators to provide to the public and legislature more reports about the condition of pipelines. It also improves pipeline safety and structural standards and increases testing and reporting requirements.

The legislation also limits the operation of pipeline materials under the Great Lakes to 50 years.

The legislation is supported by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, a bi-national commission of members from the United States and Canada tasked with protecting fisheries and natural resources in the Great Lakes. The commission’s executive secretary Robert Lambe said the legislation would hold pipeline operators accountable and liable for potential damage inflicted by an oil spill.

“Legislation, like that introduced by Congressman Bishop,” Mr. Lambe said in a statement, “recognizes that we must protect the Great Lakes from shoddy pipelines that could rupture and cause significant damage to human health, fisheries, habitat, and drinking water.”

After it was introduced, H.R. 4787 was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

The full text of the bill is available at: https://mikebishop.house.gov/uploadedfiles/h.r._ 4787_ bill_ text.pdf

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