Legislation to impose additional reporting and safety standards for Great Lakes pipelines has been introduced by Congressman Mike Bishop.

The Great Lakes Oil Spill Prevention Act would also increase liability on pipeline operators in the case of a pipeline rupture. The Rochester Hills Republican, who is seeking re-election to a third term, said that, one of the largest threats facing the Great Lakes is an oil spill, and that it was “imperative” safeguards be put in place to minimize the risk. He says, if passed and signed into law, the bill would provide “timely, accurate and transparent information about pipeline safety risks and to hold pipeline operators accountable,” specifically increasing reporting requirements while establishing a clear timeline that operators must follow for pipeline maintenance.

It would also levy fines for delayed action while increasing the financial liability of pipeline operators in the case of a disaster. The legislation is supported by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. Robert Lambe, the Commission’s executive secretary, said it “recognizes that we must protect the Great Lakes from shoddy pipelines that could rupture and cause significant damage to human health, fisheries, habitat, and drinking water.” (JK)