Tech engineer is solid choice to lead line inquiry

State officials have moved in the right direction in who was selected to head up the research team looking at the risk analysis of the controversial pair of pipelines that carry huge amounts of oil beneath the Straits of Mackinac.

Guy Meadows, who is professor of engineering at Michigan Tech University, will lead a team of researchers. Line 5, which is actually two separate pipelines, carries up to 23 million gallons of crude oil each day through the waterway linking lakes Michigan and Huron, both the Associated Press and MTU reported.

As a mechanical engineer and director of Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center, Meadows enjoys an excellent reputation in and out of academia. He was a solid choice to lead this all-important effort.

AP reported that Meadows and his group will consider likely results of a spill from the pipelines, including how far the oil would go, how long it would take to contain and clean it up, and the effects on public health and the environment.

The researchers also will develop estimated costs to the economy and the government from a worst-case-scenario spill.

While it’s unclear exactly what timeline the work will follow, we have every reasonable confidence it will be done with integrity and according to whatever plan the state lays out.

We, and a great many others, anxiously await the results.

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