Judge: Pipeline owners trespassed, but work can continue

Judge: Pipeline owners trespassed, but work can continue

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Louisiana judge says a company building an oil pipeline through south Louisiana trespassed on the land of three people challenging the construction — but he allowed the work to continue and awarded each of the three $150 in compensation and damages.

Judge Keith Comeaux's ruling Thursday disappointed opponents of the nearly complete Bayou Bridge Pipeline, who said they would appeal.

Opponents had hoped the St. Martinville-based judge would order the pipeline removed from the relatively small amount of land involved, a fraction of a 38-acre (15-hectare) tract. Barring that, they had hoped for a major damage award to discourage what they said was the illegal taking of land.

Energy Transfer Partners, the project owner, has said the 162-mile (260-kilometer) pipeline is expected to be operational by year’s end.