Pipeline opponents testified before the Louisiana Dept. of Natural Resources
Napoleonville, La. — A crowd of more than 200 citizens turned out to rally and deliver testimony against the proposed Bayou Bridge pipeline at a public hearing held by the Louisiana Dept. of Natural Resources on Wednesday at the Assumption Parish Community Center in Napoleonville.
Media: Click here to view and download photos from the hearing:
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B-eAjqd5MgaAZTVaMDc0U09ENGs?usp=sharing (Photographer credit: Darryl Malek-Wiley)
The proposed Bayou Bridge project is an extension of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The 160-mile pipeline would run through eleven parishes, from Lake Charles to St. James, cutting across nearly 600 acres of wetlands, 700 bodies of water, and causing significant harm to the commercial crawfishing industry.
LDNR regulates wetland fills and water discharge in Louisiana’s Coastal Zone. LDNR maintains authority over the Coastal Use Permit needed by Energy Transfer Partners to construct the Bayou Bridge pipeline.
At the first public hearing on the pipeline on Jan. 12, over 400 concerned citizens packed an overflowing hearing room in Baton Rouge during a marathon 5 ½ hour hearing where over 70 citizens testified in opposition to Bayou Bridge before the Louisiana Dept. of Environmental Quality and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers -- with pipeline opponents estimated to have outnumbered those testifying in favor of the pipeline by 5-to-1.
A coalition of local and national grassroots groups -- including Atchafalaya Basinkeeper, Bold Louisiana, Care2, and Gulf Restoration Network has delivered more than 106,000 comments from citizens standing together in opposition to Bayou Bridge to the U.S. Army Corps and Louisiana Dept. of Environmental Quality.
Quotes from local groups and citizens opposed to Bayou Bridge:
“Energy Transfer Partners would like us to believe that this pipeline is about jobs, energy independence, and safety of hydrocarbon transport. Yet by their own words, in person and online, there will be only 12 permanent jobs created, and the company's goal is about positioning itself 'as a leader in the export of hydrocarbons,’” said Cherri Foytlin, state director of Bold Louisiana. “This pipeline not for the benefit of our people, but for their profit, while we assume all the risk. As to transport safety, if it's the difference of a finite 3,000 gallon spill on a highway, or 176,000 plus gallons in our wetlands - like we saw in the recent Ash Coulee Creek spill in North Dakota - I'll take the 3,000 and keep our local trucking jobs.”
“This pipeline is the largest proposed pipeline impact to wetlands that I've seen in my career, and it belongs to a company with one of the worst safety records,” said Scott Eustis, Gulf Restoration Network. He continued “Bayou Bridge LLC, owned by Energy Transfer Partners, wants to build this pipeline in the quickest and cheapest way, cutting corners that risk our drinking water and storm buffering wetlands. LNDR must require Bayou Bridge to revise its construction plans or else deny the Coastal Use Permit application.”
“Atchafalaya Basinkeeper wants the state of Louisiana’s Congressional delegation to ensure that funds are provided to the Corps of Engineers to properly enforce these permits.” stated Dean Wilson of Atchafalaya Basinkeeper. “They must make sure that existing permits from this company are in compliance with prior permits and that the corridor that they are going to used is brought back into compliance by removing the illegal spoil banks and dams that are already there.”
“The supporters of the pipeline didn't tell the truth. They claimed that this oil would be used here - the false rallying cry of America's energy security – when it's really for export,” said Anne Rolfes of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade. “They touted the safety of pipelines without providing citations for that information. The facts are that pipelines are dangerous and dirty. The facts are that the oil industry has bought off many politicians, but ordinary people were there in large numbers to oppose this project. We will continue to resist.”
# # #