19th Judicial District Court Ruling, July 31, 2018

On July 31,2018, the 19th judicial district court ruled in favor of the petitioners, including ABK, LEAN, Hazel Cavalier and the Concerned Citizens of Belle River, and against the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources for its re-issuance of the permit granted to F.A.S. Environmental Services, Inc. to build a new commercial oil and gas exploration and production waste transfer station in the Basin. The court’s final judgment confirms that the agency failed to meet its own regulatory requirements and public trust duties by disregarding the environmental, social and economic impacts. Thanks to the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic’s outstanding representation in this suit! Click here to read the court's July 31, 2018 Ruling.

A Response From ABK And LCPA On Actions In The Basin, July 2018

ABK & LCPA Response – Protests in the Basin July 16, 2018

Public Statement:

Over the past two weeks, activists opposing the Bayou Bridge pipeline project have staged actions on construction sites near Bayou Pigeon, on the east side of the Atchafalaya Basin. It is our intent with this statement to have it be known that neither Atchafalaya Basinkeeper nor Louisiana Crawfish Producers Association-West were notified in advance of these actions, nor were we complicit in the execution of these actions. We neither engage in these types of actions nor do we support such without full support from the local community.

Since this project was publicly noticed for permit in 2016, Atchafalaya Basinkeeper and LCPA- West have expressed our concerns to our state and federal regulatory agencies and the public due to the perpetual trend of lack of enforcement by regulators and failure of permitted industry to comply with permits in the Basin. Basinkeeper and LCPA-West work to protect and restore the Atchafalaya Basin for future generations. We are not inherently opposed to industry. Rather, we work with all players (agencies, industry, communities and partner advocacy organizations) to restore degraded areas and ensure proposed projects do not adversely impact our wetlands through enforcement and compliance. We work with and in support of the communities in the Basin, including the crawfishing community, recreational users, families and supporters. We work with a variety of partners to educate, monitor and advocate on behalf of the health and sustainability of the Basin for all to enjoy.

Judge Tells Why She Stopped Pipeline Through Atchafalaya Swamp

BATON ROUGE (CN) — The federal judge who granted environmentalists’ injunction to stop a pipeline from crossing the Atchafalaya Basin concluded that public interest in wetlands outweighs a company’s potential financial setbacks.

In a 60-page ruling Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick states why she suspended construction of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline through the Atchafalaya Basin on Feb. 23, until the case can be tried on its merits.

Dick said the pipeline threatens the health and longevity of the Atchafalaya Basin, the largest river swamp in North America. She agreed with environmentalists who filed the lawsuit that the centuries-old cypress and tupelo trees in the path of the pipeline are irreplaceable...


Court Order Pausing Bayou Bridge Pipeline Only Applies To Path Through Cypress Swamp

A federal judge’s recent order stopping construction of the Bayou Bridge pipeline — though only in Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin — has successfully prevented further sections of the National Heritage Area from being destroyed, for now.

On February 27, the same day U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick explained her previous week’s ruling to halt work on the pipeline, Dean Wilson, executive director of the Atchafalaya Basinkeeper, surveyed the oil pipeline's route in the basin. He was relieved to find cypress trees recently identified as “legacy trees” —  those which were alive before 1803 — still standing.

I spoke to Wilson after he toured the pipeline route. He told me he was relieved to discover much of the route through the basin’s east side still intact. The damage done on the west side was heartbreaking, but at least the pipeline has yet to be put in the ground, he said.

Drone video shot by Phin Percy, an independent camera operator, shows the pipeline route on the west side of the basin, where a swath of trees up to 75 feet deep has already been pulverized...


Judge Denies Bayou Bridge Request To Continue Construction In Basin

A federal judge has denied Bayou Bridge Pipeline's request to continue construction in the Atchafalaya Basin.

Judge Shelly K. Dick, of the U.S. Middle District of Louisiana, ordered on Friday that the company must stop work in the Basin while a lawsuit pays out over their permit to build there. The order granted an injunction sought by environmental groups who sued to stop the project, and Bayou Bridge sought a stay of that ruling.

Dick denied that motion on Monday.

Earthjustice filed the suit on behalf of Atchafalaya Basinkeeper, Louisiana Crawfish Producers Association West, Waterkeeper Alliance and Sierra Club. They seek the revocation of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit for Basin construction...


Corps Was "Arbitrary And Capricious" In Granting Bayou Bridge Pipeline Permit: Federal Judge

The Army Corps of Engineers was "arbitrary and capricious" in some of its decisions granting construction permits for the controversial Bayou Bridge Pipeline, a federal judge indicating in a ruling halting the pipeline's construction until the issue can be heard in court.

In a written opinion issued late Tuesday (Feb. 27), U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick charged that the Army Corps of Engineers was "arbitrary and capricious" in concluding that a more detailed analysis was not needed before determining that the project's environmental effects could be legally offset by the company buying credits equivalent to more than 2,000 acres of damaged wetlands at mitigation banks located in different ecological areas miles from the pipeline route.

She also agreed with environmental groups that construction of the pipeline posed a threat of irreparable harm to both ancient trees within the Atchafalaya basin and to its hydrology, the flow of water through the basin...


Federal Judge: Work On Bayou Bridge Pipeline Stopped In Atchafalaya Basin, Can Continue Elsewhere

A federal court order temporarily blocking construction of the Bayou Bridge pipeline is limited to the Atchafalaya Basin, and work can continue elsewhere along the length of the 163-mile crude oil line, a judge ordered this week.

U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick clarified her Friday order stopping work with a 60-page ruling released Tuesday night, finding that environmental groups made enough of a case so far to suggest the pipeline poses permanent and irreparable risks to the basin's hydrology and environment, including to 1,000-year-old cypress in the path of the line.

"The Court finds the temporary delay in reaping economic benefits does not outweigh the permanent harm to the environment that has been established as a result of the pipeline construction," Dick wrote...

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