There is now a statewide energy emergency in Wisconsin following the temporary shutdown of the West Shore pipeline.
According to the executive order issued by Gov. Scott Walker, a portion of the pipeline between Milwaukee and Green Bay shut down after officials detected an anomaly.
To circumvent potential gasoline and diesel shortages in the state, Walker’s order waives various federal and state limitations on the number of hours petroleum carrier drivers can work weekly.
Walker said he took action to give truck drivers the flexibility to work more hours to alleviate a potential petroleum supply shortage, especially as consumers look to higher fuel costs in the summer months.
“As the demand for fuel rises with the summer season, it’s crucial we have a plan in place to ensure Wisconsin travelers have the fuel they need to not only explore our great state but also continue their normal business operations,” Walker said.
The energy emergency will last as long as petroleum drivers are providing assistance, or up to 30 days.
David Boone, spokesman for the West Shore Pipe Line Co., said the company identified “unique conditions” during a physical inspection that required further analysis.
Boone said additional testing could take several weeks and will likely impact deliveries to Green Bay facilities.
Boone said the inspections were a part of an initiative to inspect the entire length of the pipeline after a recent repair to a section of it running through the Jackson Marsh Wildlife area, and there was no indication of a pipeline failure or gasoline leak.
In 2012, the state Department of Natural Resources issued a drinking water advisory in the town of Jackson after tens of thousands of gallons of gasoline spilled from degraded sections of the West Shore pipeline.