The state Senate has advanced a bill that would toughen environmental review of an oil pipeline if its use changes.
The Senate says it wants the Portland-Montreal Pipeline to be reviewed under the Act 250 development control law if it’s used to carry "tar sands" oil from western Canada.
The pipeline currently flows from Portland to Montreal. But there are signs that the owners want to reverse the flow to carry Canadian oil for export.
The Senate was supposed to act on the bill yesterday, but put it off after lawyers for the pipeline company raised questions.
But senators decided today that the proposal would stand up to a court challenge and they approved the bill.