Late last week, District Court Judge Shelly Dick issued a preliminary injunction against the Bayou Bridge Pipeline, delaying construction on an important piece of our state’s infrastructure and hurting communities across the region. A delay in construction could result in significant economic impacts on the region, preventing millions of dollars and thousands of jobs from coming to hard working Louisianians in the Atchafalaya Basin.
The halt will have an immediate detrimental effect on the developer of Bayou Bridge, but those effects will also be felt by the local men and women who would benefit from the project’s construction. With up to 2,500 jobs being created by this project, delaying construction is forcing thousands of Louisianians to go without work. And that’s to say nothing of the economic impact construction will have on local communities, or the tremendous state and local tax revenue that will come from a project of this nature.
Judge Dick’s ruling is truly troubling, as it appears to ignore or overlook the hard work that the Bayou Bridge Pipeline did to ensure its impact on the environment was minimized. Bayou Bridge spent significant amounts of time to ensure that it followed the letter of the law in its permit applications, holding meetings with federal, state, and local officials, consulting with environmental and conservation groups, and maintaining ongoing coordination with a number of federal and state agencies.
Bayou Bridge has incorporated a number of specialized construction techniques and other measures to minimize impacts to environmentally sensitive areas such as the Atchafalaya Basin. This is just one of many ways that the project has set about to construct this pipeline in the most environmentally sensitive way possible, helping to promote economic growth while taking great precautions to leave everything the way they found it – or better.
Judge Dick’s ruling refuses to take heed of the collective efforts of federal, state, and local regulatory officials working with Bayou Bridge to plan, permit, and approve the project. We hope this preliminary injunction is lifted as soon as possible, and this proves to be no more than a minor speed bump on the road to getting the Bayou Bridge Pipeline up and running.