U.S. Judge: Energy Transfer's Louisiana Pipeline Threatens ‘already Diminishing Wetlands'

BATON ROUGE, La. -- A federal judge who halted a Dallas company's construction of a crude oil pipeline through a Louisiana swamp concluded that the project's irreversible environmental damage outweighs the economic harm that a delay brings to the company building it.U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick issued a 61-page ruling Tuesday to explain her decision last week to stop construction of the Bayou Bridge pipeline in environmentally fragile Atchafalaya Basin.The judge said the project by Energy Transfer Partners, founded by Dallas billionaire Kelcy Warren, potentially threatens the hydrology of the basin and "poses the threat of destruction of already diminishing wetlands." She also agreed with environmental groups that centuries-old "legacy" trees can't be replaced once they're cut down.Bayou Bridge Pipeline LLC is a joint venture of Energy Transfer Partners and Phillips 66. Energy Transfer Partners built the Dakota Access pipeline, a project that sparked a string of violent clashes between protesters and police in North Dakota in 2016 and 2017.In recent months, state and federal regulators have temporarily shut down construction of other Energy Transfer Partners pipelines in Ohio and Pennsylvania after multiple drilling fluid spills and other violations.  Continue reading...

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