Baton Rouge judge dismisses lawsuit against Bayou Bridge pipeline

Updated: Jan. 25, 2018 at 2:32 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A Baton Rouge judge dismissed a lawsuit against Bayou Bridge, llc., the company behind the construction of the Bayou Bridge pipeline.

The project is a 162-mile long pipeline that will carry crude oil from Lake Charles to St. James Parish.

Baton Rouge Judge Michael Caldwell said in court that Bayou Bridge, llc. is a private company with no public funding and therefore does not have to release their plans to the public. Lawyers for the company declined to comment on camera.

Activists who are against the pipeline are represented by attorney, Bill Quigley, who says the company needs to be transparent about their plans. "They want to use the power of the state to cut across our waterways and all that, but when it comes time to be transparent about what they've done and how they've done it, they want to say, 'Oh no, now we're private,'" Quigley said. "And we think that's wrong."

Many activists showed up in court to hear the decision. Quigley says they are concerned with the environmental impact and the impact on homeowners whose properties surround the pipeline, and whose properties were sold for its construction.

"Our state is addicted to oil," Quigley said. "And our state has destroyed itself and allowed oil companies to destroy our coastline and our waterways and everything else and we have to draw the line."

Quigley has 15 days to amend the lawsuit and bring it before Judge Caldwell again, but he says he will not do that. Instead, he will wait until those days have passed, then appeal the decision to a higher court.

In the courtroom Thursday, attorneys argued over whether or not a recent state supreme court decision applied to this current case. In May of 2017, the court ruled that the Louisiana SPCA must turn over their guidelines to the New Orleans Bulldog Society, who believed the non-profit was euthanizing too many dogs.

Quigley argues that applies to this situation because the actions of Bayou Bridge, llc. affect people across the state. However, attorneys for Bayou Bridge, llc. argued they do not directly serve the state or any city, do not receive public funding for the project, and are not a non-profit group like the Louisiana SPCA.

Quigley said he plans on appealing the decision quickly and will argue before the state Supreme Court if necessary.

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