Coalition Files Petition For Changes to Tar Sands Oil Pipelines

By KBJR News 1

March 27, 2013 Updated Oct 21, 2013 at 12:41 PM CDT

(NNCNOW.com)-- A coalition of several groups is demanding change in the way the government regulates the transportation of tar sands oil.

Headed by the National Wildlife Federation, the 55-page document outlines what they say, is necessary action to preserve environmental standards.

"Essentially [the petition] ask for two things: one is to strengthen the existing rules, especially safety concerns about these pipelines," said Andrew Slade with the Minnesota Environmental Partnership. "[the] second, until the new safety concerns are addressed, don't permit new pipelines or expansions."

The petition also urges stronger spill response plans, and different safety requirements than those for conventional oil.

In Superior, Enbridge Energy constructs the pipelines in question and their response to this petition is that they don't want to comment in detail, since the petition is targeted toward the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

Enbridge representatives did say that stopping any future projects is unnecessary, and the process of shipping oil through pipelines isn't anything new, and the company has been in the oil transportation businesses for some time.

"We want to be sure that all protections, all safety precautions are taken before these lines are allowed to expand," said Gary Botzek with the Minnesota Conservation Federation.

But for the petitioners, this is all about safety and preserving the environment for future generations.

Written for the web by Zach Vavricka