Michigan lawmaker visits oil spill site

June 13, 2012 at 7:46 AM
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MARSHALL, Mich., June 13 (UPI) -- Residents along planned sections of a replacement oil pipeline can be assured that it will be safe, a Michigan lawmaker said.

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, visited an excavation site where Canadian pipeline company Enbridge is to replace parts of the Line 6B pipeline in southern Michigan.

Line 6B, part of the Lakehead pipeline system, burst in 2010 and dumped roughly 25,000 barrels of oil into area waterways.

Upton sponsored new pipeline safety regulation with Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., that outlines stiffer penalties and quicker response times for spills.

"People along the route will know that it's safe," he was quoted by The Kalamazoo (Mich.) Gazette as saying.

The National Transportation Safety Board found Enbridge didn't recognize the pipeline had ruptured until 17 hours later because operators in Canada said they believed they were receiving false alarms from the pipeline's system.

Enbridge aims to replace hundreds of miles of the pipeline under a $268 million plan that would upgrade the pipeline's safety features and increase its volume to 500,000 barrels of oil per day.

Crews are cleaning up oil from the spill. Only 3 miles of contaminated waterways have been reopened since the spill.

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