Feds testifying at Senate hearing on Great Lakes pipeline

The federal government’s top official on pipeline safety is scheduled to appear at a Michigan hearing on twin lines that run through a crucial Great Lakes channel.

Howard “Skip” Elliott of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is among witnesses testifying Monday in Traverse City about Enbridge Inc.’s Line 5.

The line carries oil from Superior, Wisconsin, to Sarnia, Ontario. A nearly 5-mile-long (8-kilometer-long) section crosses the Straits of Mackinac, where Lakes Huron and Michigan converge.

Presiding over the hearing is Democratic Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan, a member of the Commerce Committee.

Officials with the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are also testifying.

The hearing is focusing on the federal government’s preparedness to respond in the event of a Line 5 oil spill.