The Great Lakes region would become a 'high consequence area' for oil spills, under a bill before the U.S. Senate.
Sen. Gary Peters, who introduced the legislation, says the designation will make the Straits of Mackinac safer from a potential spill.
"It's going to increase the inspections," Peters told IPR News Radio in an interview. "It increases the reporting. It increases the standards that companies have to meet for those pipelines."
Environmental groups say a 60-year old oil pipeline crossing the Straits is high risk. Enbridge, the company that runs the pipe, says it’s safe.
Sen. Peters attached this legislation to a larger bill which reauthorizes the agency that inspects pipelines.
The legislation cleared the Senate Commerce Committee last week, and will soon come before the full U.S. Senate.