A group of landowners has filed a lawsuit alleging Bayou Bridge Pipeline has trespassed on their properties and the land has been damaged without their consent; the group also claims that corporations should not be allowed to expropriate privately owned land through eminent domain, an article posted on courthousenews.com said.
Bayou Bridge Pipeline began to seek eminent domain on a 38-acre parcel in the Atchafalaya Basin after one of the landowners sought an injunction in St. Martin Parish Court when he found that the company was working on the property which does not belong to them, the article said. Bayou Bridge Pipeline is owned by Entergy Transfer Partners and Phillips 66, the article said.
Through eminent domain, the government would be allowed to use private property for public use, a process the landowners question as being constitutionally permissible given the fact that the pipeline is for-profit, not government. The landowners are being represented by the Center for Constitutional Rights and Atchafalaya Basinkeeper.
The pipeline is 162 miles long and will connect the Bakken oilfields in North Dakota to Louisiana locations.
The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) would not comment directly on the suit, but recently said they do see the need to compromise as the pipeline industry is a highly profitable one in Louisiana.
"Louisiana’s pipeline industry creates an average of 2,611 jobs with an annual payroll of more than $203 million," Camille Ivy-O'Donnell, spokesperson for LABI, told the Louisiana Record. "This extensive pipeline network has proven to be the safest method to transport crude oil from the Gulf of Mexico to refineries not just across the state but to all parts of the country."
Though the decision still has to be decided in court, the need for an infrastructure in the oil industry is needed, LABI said.
"This infrastructure is critical to Louisiana’s economic development," Ivy-O'Donnell said.