GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Further protecting the Great Lakes from damage due to pipeline breaks or failures is the focus of new legislation introduced in the United States Senate Wednesday.

Sen. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, has put forth a bill that would tackle the concerns over pipelines in one of the world’s largest deposits of fresh water.

From getting more funding for a program to help train Coast Guard and other first responders about cleaning up oil spills and other environmental dangers on the lakes to helping the agency in charge of keeping track of such pipelined to retain and attract qualified employees, Peters says protecting the lakes needs more attention.

One area his bill would address is better technology to have early warnings of spills or breaks.

“This legislation will require best available technology to be deployed on pipelines operating in the Great Lakes region that are classified as high consequence,” Peters told News 8. “That will mean it will be a whole lot quicker for us to know whether or not there’s break. We all remember the catastrophic break in Kalamazoo in the most expensive, most damaging pipeline break in the history of this country. We know that oil was actually spilling out of that pipeline for a considerable amount of time before they realized what was happening. That’s simply unacceptable, so this legislation will require to use the best technology in that area.”

Peters said when introducing bills about the Great Lakes it sometimes takes some education for his colleagues removed from the region to see the importance. He also pointed out his last bill dealing with a similar lake issue passed the Senate unanimously.