State officials approve Bayou Bridge Pipeline application

April 06, 2017 - 4:39 pm

( -- The Louisiana Department of Natural Resources has given their approval of the controversial Bayou Bridge Pipeline project. DNR spokesman Patrick Courreges says they determined the pipeline, which would dip into 17 miles of Louisiana’s coastal zone, would pose no risk of damage to wetlands. He says after a permit was submitted, the DNR took public comment and reviewed the plans.

"The staff and the analysts look at it and said this does meet with our regulations," said Courreges. "They have to the greatest extent possible minimized the footprint they’re going to have in the coastal wetland zone."

Permission is still needed from the state Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Army Corp on Engineers before the pipeline can be built from Lake Charles into St. James Parish. Courreges says DNR’s role in the permitting process was to make sure the pipeline did not produce a net loss of wetlands.

"For any impacts in the coastal wetlands, they in some way acting through mitigation to restore whatever they might be altering."

The Gulf Restoration Network has expressed concern with the pipeline due to the potential of oil leaks into the drinking water of nearly 300,000 residents. But Courreges says the pipeline poses no threat. He says the department took a long look at the plans before approving the project.

"Our analysts, what they can tell, it’s within the law and the regulations. They are appropriately mitigating for anything they impact." 

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