GAIN strategic adviser Col. Tom Magness recently had a letter to the editor featured in the Daily Iberian regarding Bayou Bridge environmental remediation. The letter reads:
The Bayou Bridge Pipeline has been operating safely for more than six months. Nonetheless, environmental groups have launched new allegations against developer Energy Transfer criticizing its environmental remediation process in the Atchafalaya Basin.
Critics should remember that full project completion, including any remediation requirements, does not happen overnight. Major infrastructure projects like Bayou Bridge can require months, sometimes years, of considerable restoration to return the land to as close as possible to its original state. To be clear here, the terms of the permit allow for full restoration and approved remediation over the next several years. That work is ongoing.
This project is still a work in progress, all within the terms of the developer’s permit. The work is not complete, and the remediation and restoration required by the permitting agencies is ongoing. Pipeline construction does require some earthwork, all consistent with the requirements in the permit and ultimately, all to be restored within allowed parameters.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers carefully reviewed and permitted the pipeline based on their findings of “No Significant Impacts” to the environment. Energy Transfer’s extensive impact avoidance, remediation, and mitigation goals were a major component of its planning, with extensive attention paid to preserving the integrity of the Atchafalaya Basin. Today, they continue construction and operation activities with those important goals in mind.
Activists also overlook the fact that pipelines are the safest and most environmentally-conscious method of transporting energy. The Alternatives of truck and rail are less safe, less efficient, and have a more significant impact on the environment. Investment in safe, modern energy infrastructure is key to American energy development and economic success. Pipelines can be a win for all parties and far better for the environment than reasonable alternatives.
To be sure, this is a process that takes time to be accomplished correctly — and to standard. Community members should have the confidence to identify concerns about our critical waterways. They should be equally confident that developers and regulatory authorities are working together closely to accomplish a successful remediation process that allows for important infrastructure projects while ensuring the long-term sustainability of our environment.
Grow America’s Infrastructure Now Coalition (GAIN)