Late Friday afternoon, U.S. District Court Judge Shelly Dick, issued a preliminary injunction against the Bayou Bridge Pipeline which temporarily halted construction on the already federally and state-approved $750 million infrastructure project. According to the company constructing the pipeline, the Judge’s ruling could cost the company up to $44 million per month in damages and a further economic loss of $9 million from lay-offs and furloughs.
The Bayou Bridge Pipeline, LLC, followed the letter of the law in its permit applications, expending enormous amounts of time and effort to ensure that the project would not result in any long term impacts to the communities through which it passes or the environmental resources of Louisiana. These efforts included meetings with landowners; federal, state, and local officials; and environmental and conservation groups; surveys along the pipeline route; and mitigation plans. Additionally, the company continues to coordinate with state and federal government offices.
It’s important to note that the U.S. Corps of Engineers found the combination of avoidance, minimization and mitigation efforts during construction would result in zero net loss of jurisdictional wetlands and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service concurred the project is not likely to adversely affect any endangered species.
Below is a statement you can attribute to me, Craig Stevens, spokesman for the GAIN Coalition. Also, you can follow us on Twitter @GAINNowAmerica.
“While we understand the important role of the judiciary in ensuring laws and regulations are dutifully executed, Judge Dick’s decision is truly disappointing and runs contrary to the reams of regulations put in place to ensure the safe construction of this important pipeline. For more than a year, project managers have worked with landowners, federal and state regulators, local leaders, and environmental groups to ensure the safe construction and ultimate operation of this pipeline. Specifically, the construction company paid particular attention to mitigating impacts to sensitive environmental resources such as the Atchafalaya Basin, to include the use of specialized construction equipment and techniques and to parallel existing infrastructure, reducing the need for ‘greenfield’ construction. Every week this construction is delayed it’s costing thousands of construction workers their livelihoods and Louisiana’s economy millions of dollars. We are hopeful for a speedy resolution to this matter so that the project can proceed without further unnecessary delay.”