Commission plans study of Great Lakes oil shipment

1-year study of environmental, economic implications planned

Representatives of U.S. states and Canadian provinces surrounding the Great Lakes are calling for a closer look at plans to step up transportation of crude oil in the region.

During its annual meeting Monday in Milwaukee, the Great Lakes Commission instructed its staff to conduct a 1-year study of the environmental and economic implications of plans to move more oil over and around the lakes by pipeline, rail cars and ships.

Oil transport is increasing as more is produced in the U.S. Great Plains and the Alberta tar sands area in Canada.

The commission resolution says the derailment of an oil train in Quebec last July illustrates the risks of transporting oil, as did the rupture of a pipeline that spilled crude into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River in 2010.