U.S. Department of Transportation


BILLINGS, MT (AP)--   U.S. transportation officials have finalized long-delayed measures meant to prevent pipeline spills and deadly gas explosions but don't address recommended steps to lessen accidents once they occur. 

The Department of Transportation rules published Tuesday apply to more than 500,000 miles of pipelines that carry natural gas, oil and other hazardous materials throughout the U.S.

SAWYER, MI--   Sawyer International Airport has received a major grant for expansion of a hangar.

Congressman Jack Bergman announced the $1,099,199 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation Wednesday. Airport officials applied for the funding from the Federal Aviation Administration’s Military Airports Program. It will be used to design and engineer the expansion of Hangar 665 so it can service larger aircraft.

MARQUETTE, MI--   Congressman Jack Bergman has announced millions of dollars in grant money is headed to three U.P. counties affected by last year’s Father’s Day flooding. 

On June 17, 2018 portions of Houghton, Gogebic and Menominee counties received 7 to 10 inches of rain in a matter of hours. That caused extreme runoff and flooding. Significant damage to state and local Federal-aid routes resulted, including several bridge and culvert washouts. One fatality directly attributable to the event was reported.

MARQUETTE, MI--   Two Upper Peninsula airports will benefit from funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation. 

The DOT announced $477 million in infrastructure grants for 264 airports across the country on Wednesday. The money will go toward projects to rehabilitate and construct runways and taxiways and acquire and replace equipment to ensure the safety of passengers and airline workers.

Sawyer International Airport is getting $678,150 and the Chippewa County International Airport in Sault Ste. Marie $155,325.

MARQUETTE, MI--   The Essential Air Service program has been extended for five years for several Upper Peninsula airports. 

Funded through the U.S. Department of Transportation, the program provides critical air service that connects rural and remote areas with major hubs.

The U.P. airports that will receive funding through 2023 are the Delta County Airport in Escanaba, Houghton County Memorial Airport, Ford Airport in Kingsford, the Gogebic-Iron County Airport in Ironwood, and the Chippewa County International Airport in Sault Ste. Marie.

SAWYER, MI--   Sawyer International Airport is getting nearly $6 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation. 

Michigan Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters announced the funding Tuesday. The money will be used for improvement projects, including runway rehabilitation.

Airport Manager Duane DuRay says the grants will allow Marquette County to complete long-overdue projects. He says at the same time it will reduce operating expenses and let Sawyer International continue to offer service to the central U.P. 

KINGSFORD, MI--   Dickinson County’s Ford Airport is getting more money for improvements.

The Kingsford facility will receive a nearly $2.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. It will be used to complete rehabilitation of the runway and reconstruction of the lighting system.

Last week it was announced Ford Airport would get $2.2 million to address the improvements. In total, the airport is getting $4,843,789 in federal grants.  

KINGSFORD, MI--   Ford Airport in Kingsford is getting more than $2.2 million in federal funding for improvements. 

Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters announced the Department of Transportation grant Friday. They say the money will be used to rehabilitate the runway and reconstruct its lighting system.

Peters says Ford Airport is a critical connection for residents, and it boosts tourism and bolsters economic development in the region.

TRAVERSE CITY, MI (AP)--   An environmental group is suing the federal government, contending it gives pipeline owners and operators a free pass on developing plans for dealing with oil spills into inland waterways.  

The suit filed Thursday by the National Wildlife Federation says the federal Oil Pollution Act prohibits operators from handling, storing or transporting oil until their spill response plans get federal approval. The plans are supposed to make sure enough resources are available to contain and remove spilled oil and limit environmental damage.


BILLINGS, MT (AP)--   U.S. officials are proposing tighter safety rules for pipelines carrying oil, gasoline and other hazardous liquids after a series of ruptures that included an accident in Michigan that became the costliest onshore spill in the nation's history. 

The U.S. Department of Transportation wants to expand pipeline inspection requirements and require companies to more closely analyze the results. The agency also would make companies re-check lines following floods and hurricanes.