Connecting state and local government leaders

Michigan Officials Worry About Potential Pipeline Disaster in Great Lakes

The Mackinac Bridge connects Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas.

The Mackinac Bridge connects Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas. Shutterstock


Connecting state and local government leaders

Also in our State and Local Weekend Digest: More states introduce legislation to ax Daylight Saving Time; Connecticut towns may sue the state over proposed pension shift; and Washington city sends invoice to newspaper for interview.

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT | There are new worries about a potential environmental disaster in the Great Lakes involving an oil pipeline that connects Michigan’s Upper and Lower peninsulas and passes through the Straits of Mackinac. A 65-page technical report on the Line 5 pipeline, which is owned by Canadian energy delivery company Enbridge Inc., suggests that the currents in the Straits of Mackinac are stronger and more complex than originally thought, putting more stresses on the pipeline infrastructure. A retired Dow Chemical fluid dynamics engineer thinks that "certain sections of the twinned sections of Line 5 under the Straits may be only one peak current event away from catastrophic failure." State officials, including Attorney General Bill Schuette, recently wrote a letter to Enbridge asking for more information, including all imagery, test results and inspection records for the pipeline since 2014. []

STATE LEGISLATURES | At least 21 states have bills calling for the elimination of Daylight Savings Time. [Christian Science Monitor]

Lawmakers in Ohio are pushing resolutions that would call for a national Constitutional Convention allowed under Article 5. [Youngstown Vindicator]

In Montana, legislation to restrict the use of drone aircraft is sparking concerns from advocates of unmanned aerial vehicles who say future delivery services from UPS and Amazon could be severely hampered. [The Missoulian]

A West Virginia state senator is trying to get pornography declared a “public health crisis.” [Charleston Gazette Mail]

LAW ENFORCEMENT | Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and the city’s largest police union have come to an agreement to extend the Boston Police Department’s current officer-worn body camera pilot program by another six months. "We are fortunate to have one of the best police forces in the country and our officers work hand in hand with the community to make all neighborhoods safer,” Walsh said. [The Dorchester Reporter]

PENSIONS | A handful of towns in Connecticut are threatening legal action against the state government if Gov. Dannel Malloy’s budget plan, which includes shifting the burden of some teacher pension costs from the states to municipalities, is adopted. In the case of Ridgefield, a town in Fairfield County, the jurisdiction would owe the state $4.4 million under the governor’s proposal. [News Times]

TRANSPARENCY | The mayor of Langley, Washington, sent an invoice for $64 to the South Whidbey Record newspaper to bill for the time a reporter spent talking with the city attorney for an article. “As a reminder, the City Attorney works for the City of Langley and is not a free public resource,” Mayor Tim Callison wrote the newspaper. The newspaper does not plan on paying the bill. [KING-TV]