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Peters, Stabenow Introduce Bill to Protect Great Lakes From Oil Spills, Improve Pipeline Safety

Michigan State Senators introduce new Bill to protect the Great Lakes.

U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow (MI) introduced Wednesday the Pipeline Improvement and Preventing Spills Act to ban shipping of crude oil by vessel on the Great Lakes and require a comprehensive, top-to-bottom review of hazardous pipelines in the region. This legislation would also assess the current status of oil spill response and cleanup plans, require ice cover be part of worst-case scenarios in response plans, increase public information about pipelines for local communities, and require the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to consider new criteria for identifying areas at high risk for a pipeline spill. Peters serves on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, which is expected to consider pipeline safety legislation this fall, and Senator Stabenow is Chair of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force.

Agencies join in oil recovery exercise

The Canadian company Enbridge held an emergency response exercise in the Straits of Mackinac Thursday, testing the company’s readiness in the event of a break in Line 5, the pipeline which runs under the Straits that has continually pumped light crude oil and natural gas liquids since its construction in 1953. The exercise involved nearly 500 specialists from local, state, and federal agencies, which included the U.S. Coast Guard, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and local emergency and law enforcement. Raven Security, of Southfield, Mich., was also on scene at all individual sites during the exercise providing crowd and vehicle control and monitoring of the overall operation.

Enbridge Conducts Oil Spill Exercise in Straits of Mackinac

Enbridge held a functional oil response exercise in the Straits of Mackinac on September 24th.  Boats, boom and personnel were on the water and the shoreline to simulate response efforts to a factious 4500 barrel oil release from pipeline 5.  

See Video:

Enbridge drill on Straits of Mackinac

 Last Thursday, Enbridge conducted a spill response excercise on the Straits of Mackinac.  Click here to see video footage from the local news.

5 million gallon oil plume beneath Pearl Harbor

September 21, 2015

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - For decades, leaks from Pearl Harbor's fuel tanks and other sources have been collecting beneath the ground near the naval base's Halawa gate.
Hawaii News Now has obtained records issued by the Navy that indicate that the subsurface oil plume there now contains more than 5 million gallons of fuel.
That's roughly half the volume of Alaska's Exxon Valdez spill in 1989 and nearly 200 times the size of last year's leak at the Navy's Red Hill underground fuel facility.
"This is the most egregious, the most harmful environmental issue there is," said environmental activist Carroll Cox.
"Oil should not be in the ground, diesel should not be in the ground because they are contaminants."
The plume lies under a maze of utility lines, making access extremely difficult. Estimates for the clean up costs run in the tens of millions of dollars.