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Vt. Senate to take up tar sands bill

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- The Vermont Senate is expected to take up legislation that would toughen environmental review over an oil pipeline if its use sees significant changes.

The legislation follows concerned voiced by environmental groups that owners of the Portland Montreal Pipe Line are looking to reverse its current east-to-west flow and begin shipping so-called tar sands oil from western Canada through northern New England for loading onto ships in Maine.

The Senate was to take up the bill on Thursday but delayed action until Friday after a law firm representing the pipeline's owner pointed to potential legal problems with the bill.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Richard Sears says he wants to get an opinion from the attorney general's office before going ahead with the bill.