The Dallas company that struggled with a massive fight by environmentalists against the Dakota Access oil pipeline now has to deal with a fight over a pipeline in Louisiana.
Environmental groups have gone to court with a lawsuit against the plans of Energy Transfer Partners to build a 24-inch wide line from Lake Charles to St. James Parish which is about 60 miles west of New Orleans.
The federal lawsuit filed by attorneys from Earthjustice accused the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of violating the Clean Water Act when it approved the permit for the Bayou Bridge Pipeline last month. The groups are trying to block construction of the 162-mile long line that will go across south Louisiana including the Atchafalaya Basin river swamp.
The Corps isn’t commenting about the lawsuit. But last month the New Orleans District commander, Col. Michael Clancy said the Corps neither supported nor opposed the project.
“Our mission is to apply the best science, engineering and information available to determine if a proposed project complies with all regulations under our authority,” Clancy said.
The suit was filed by the Earthjustice attorneys on behalf of the Sierra Club, Waterkeeper Alliance, gulf Restoration Network, Atchafalaya Basinkeeper and the Louisiana Crawfish Producers Association-West. The legal action contends the pipeline would have “significant environmental impacts on the human and natural environment of Louisiana.”
The line will carry an estimated 480,000 barrels of crude oil a day.
“It will cross hundreds of streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands, and bayous, where both construction and operation of the project presents significant environmental threats,” the suit said.
A spokeswoman at Energy Transfer Partners said pipelines are heavily regulated by the government and this one is no different than others that meet safety and reliability requirements.
“This project has been in development since 2015 and has been carefully vetted by all applicable regulatory agencies and local governments along its route,” said Alexis Daniel.