The West Shore Pipeline carries refined fuels from refineries near the southern end of Lake Michigan north to Green Bay, and from there fuel is carried by truck to the Upper Peninsula.
A spill on this pipeline near Milwaukee led to it being shut down for a time this week, and even though the pipeline is back in operation, the effects linger in the form of a fuel shortage in the UP. Prices have gone up because distributors need to make an extra long run from Milwaukee to get their supplies.
In response to this, Michigan’s Governor Snyder has declared a fuel emergency for the UP. From TV6 in Marquette:
The executive order makes drivers of gasoline trucks exempt from weekly hours of service restrictions to make sure demand is met. The order remains in effect until it is rescinded or until August 7 at 11:59 p.m., whichever comes first. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker also declared an energy emergency on Saturday.
As noted in the comments on the TV6 story:
Wow, I think for the first time ever there was a real reason for a spike in gas prices in the UP.
It’s always good to know the maps of key infrastructure so you can see after the fact how systems are interdependent.
UPDATE July 26, 2012: The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that wells in the area of the pipeline spill have been contaminated. Story:
Private wells at three rural homes north of Western Ave. in the Town of Jackson are contaminated with gasoline that spilled out of a break discovered last week in a regional pipeline, a spokesman for West Shore Pipe Line Co. said Wednesday.
Benzene levels in water from the wells exceed the federal safe drinking water standard of 5 parts per billion, and those families will be provided bottled water. Benzene is known to cause cancer.
UPDATE October 9, 2013: The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel continues to track the spread of benzene from the gasoline spill. The story:
A July 2012 gasoline pipeline spill in the Town of Jackson is the likely source of benzene detected in a Village of Jackson municipal well in May of this year, a village consultant’s investigation determined.
This is the first contamination of a municipal well linked to the spill of 54,600 gallons of gasoline from a fuel distribution line owned by West Shore Pipe Line Co. of Illinois.
A total of 44 private wells in the town within a 1-mile radius of the spill have been contaminated with benzene or other gasoline compounds, records show.
Though well No. 6 is more than 2 miles northwest of the pipeline rupture, pumping of the well in early July determined it drew ground water out of fractured dolomite rock beneath the spill site in the 1800 block of Western Ave., according to the consultant’s report.