A new report says not enough is being done to protect the Great Lakes from oil spills from pipelines.
The National Wildlife Federation looked at federal and state laws after the spill by Enbridge Energy, which dumped a million gallons of heavy crude into the Kalamazoo River nearly two years ago.
The report concludes that federal safety testing applies to less than half of hazardous liquid pipeline miles and it recommends that states get more involved in keeping pipelines away from sensitive environmental areas.
A couple of states in the Great Lakes region require reporting of spills. Michigan law says companies such as Enbridge don’t have to report spills from pipelines. More than 250 pipeline accidents spilled nearly four-million gallons of hazardous liquids in the region over the last five years, according to the report.
The Wildlife Federation is particularly concerned about Enbridge’s 60-year-old pipeline that carries half-a-million barrels of oil a day beneath the waters of the Straits of Mackinac.