US requires higher safety standards for more pipelines

Dec 16, 2021, 2:16 AM | Updated: Dec 20, 2021, 9:56 am
FILE - An above ground section of Enbridge's Line 5 at the Mackinaw City, Mich., pump station is ph...

FILE - An above ground section of Enbridge's Line 5 at the Mackinaw City, Mich., pump station is photographed in October 2016. A new federal regulation requires higher safety standards for pipelines carrying oil and other hazardous liquids through the Great Lakes region, marine coastal waters and beaches, officials said Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021. (AP Photo/John Flesher, File)

(AP Photo/John Flesher, File)

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A new federal regulation requires higher safety standards for pipelines carrying oil and other hazardous liquids through the Great Lakes region, marine coastal waters and beaches, officials said Thursday.

The rule issued by the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration designates those locations as “high consequence” zones where pipeline operators must step up inspections, repairs and other measures to avoid spills.

The agency estimated that 2,905 additional miles (4,675 kilometers) of hazardous liquid pipelines will be covered under the new rule, primarily in states along the Gulf of Mexico.

“The Great Lakes and our coastal waters are natural treasures that deserve our most stringent protections,” said Tristan Brown, the agency’s deputy administrator. “This rule strengthens and expands pipeline safety efforts.”

Congress ordered the pipeline safety agency last year to include the Great Lakes, coastal beaches and coastal waters among “unusually sensitive areas” meriting extra attention.

“We know a pipeline spill in the Great Lakes would be catastrophic,” said Sen. Gary Peters, a Michigan Democrat who sponsored the provision.

The natural gas and oil industry “is committed to the safe and environmentally responsible operation of U.S. energy infrastructure, and pipelines remain one of the safest ways to deliver affordable, reliable energy,” said Robin Rorick, a vice president of the American Petroleum Institute, a trade association. “As our industry works to protect the environment and communities where we live and work, this rule provides the opportunity to further that commitment.”

Large oil releases would severely damage shoreline and underwater environments, fisheries, human health and coastal community economies, the regulation says.

The 53-page document acknowledges there’s no way to know how many disasters the new requirements will prevent. But it offers several previous examples of damaging spills in the designated areas.

Among them: last month’s release from an oil pipeline in Southern California and a 2010 spill of about 840,000 gallons (3.2 million liters) of crude near Marshall, Michigan, which contaminated nearly 40 miles (64 kilometers) of the Kalamazoo River.

It also notes a 2018 anchor strike that dented Enbridge Energy’s Line 5 in Michigan’s Straits of Mackinac connecting Lake Huron and Lake Michigan, although it didn’t cause an oil leak.

The new rule requires operators to include any pipeline that could affect the designated environments in their safety management programs.

Those procedures include in-line inspections, pressure tests and other methods to measure pipeline integrity, as well as analyses of significant threats such as corrosion.

Environmentalists praised the measure but said they would continue pushing to shut down Enbridge’s Line 5, which moves oil between Superior, Wisconsin, and Sarnia, Ontario.

“The aging pipelines in our basin are a risk to our water and way of life,” said Beth Wallace, Great Lakes campaign manager for the National Wildlife Federation.

Enbridge said its integrity management program for Line 5 already meets the new requirements.

“Our goal is to protect the waters of the Great Lakes while safely and reliably delivering affordable energy to Michigan and the region daily,” spokesman Ryan Duffy said.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

The Amazon logo is pictured on Sept. 6, 2012, in Santa Monica, Calif. Amazon filed a lawsuit on Mon...
Haleluya Hadero, Associated Press

Amazon sues Washington’s labor agency over alleged hazards

Amazon has sued Washington state’s labor agency following disputes with regulators over citations and fines imposed on the company for worker safety issues.
18 hours ago
Associated Press

Colorado baker fighting ruling over gender transition cake

DENVER (AP) — The Colorado baker who won a partial Supreme Court victory after refusing on religious grounds to make a gay couple’s wedding cake a decade ago is challenging a separate ruling he violated the state’s anti-discrimination law by refusing to make a cake celebrating a gender transition. A lawyer for Jack Phillips on […]
18 hours ago
Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon, at podium stands by a photo on display of TV producer ...
Associated Press

‘Scrubs’ producer Eric Weinberg charged with sex assaults

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Eric Weinberg, an executive producer and writer for the hit TV show “Scrubs” and many others, has been charged with sexually assaulting five women that he lured to photo shoots and there could be many more victims, Los Angeles County prosecutors announced Wednesday. Weinberg, 62, was arrested Tuesday, nearly a week […]
18 hours ago
The United Nations Security Council meets to discuss a ballistic missile test by North Korea, Wedne...
Associated Press

UN Security Council splits, again, over North Korea missiles

Debate over how to handle a North Korean ballistic missile launch over Japanese territory split an already deeply fractured U.N. Security Council on Wednesday, with Russia and China insisting that U.S.-led military exercises in the region had provoked North Korea into acting. Wednesday’s session ended with no agreement on next steps, despite warnings from the […]
18 hours ago
Foreign Minister of Mexico Marcelo Ebrard addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General ...
Associated Press

Mexico pledges to bring 2nd lawsuit against gun dealers

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The Mexican government plans to bring another lawsuit against U.S. companies it claims are responsible for the flow of illegal weapons into Mexico, Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said Wednesday. Ebrard suggested the new lawsuit could target gun shops or dealers in U.S. border states like Arizona who sell guns to […]
18 hours ago
Foreign Minister of Mexico Marcelo Ebrard addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General ...
Associated Press

Mexico pledges to bring 2nd lawsuit against gun dealers

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The Mexican government plans to bring another lawsuit against U.S. companies it claims are responsible for the flow of illegal weapons into Mexico, Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said Wednesday. Ebrard suggested the new lawsuit could target gun shops or dealers in U.S. border states like Arizona who sell guns to […]
18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
US requires higher safety standards for more pipelines