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Reader's view: Lawmakers need to boost pipeline inspection

With a number of proposals for new oil pipelines here in Minnesota and across the country, there rightly has been an increase in scrutiny over just how safe pipelines are.

The Minnesota Legislature is considering legislation that would provide additional resources to improve public safety and environmental oversight of Minnesota’s existing pipelines. These provisions, included as part of House File 3172 in this year’s budget bill, would provide for additional safety inspectors for railways and pipelines as well as provide new resources for first responders and emergency preparedness.

Nobody has a larger stake in the outcome of this proposal than those of us in the Northland, which is ground zero for oil shipments in Minnesota. Duluth-area legislators should do everything in their power to ensure the pipeline safety provisions in House File 3172 are signed into law before the end of the current legislative session.

Tom Thompson