WASHINGTON D.C. — Bipartisan legislation to protect Michigan’s waterways was passed last week by The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.
The SAFE PIPES Act, sponsored by Michigan Senator Gary Peters, would improve pipeline safety and oversight through 2019. This legislation designates the Great Lakes as a ‘high consequence area’, meaning the waterways are subject to higher safety standards and provisions.
Peters feels confident that this legislation will eventually make it to President Obama’s desk.
“Democrats and republicans all came together to pass this bill,” said Peters. “When something passes unanimously in committee, it’s usually a pretty smooth path when it gets to the full floor, which I’m hoping to have happen in January, February at the latest.”
“Line 5, not just across the Straits of Mackinac, but as it traverses the entire length of the Upper Peninsula, that pipeline will now be subjected to the highest scrutiny and regulatory oversight,” Peters added.
The last major oil spill in Michigan, in the Kalamazoo River, took nearly five years and more than a billion dollars to clean up.