A public hearing is scheduled for tonight to discuss the proposed Bayou Bridge Pipeline, which would run across 11 parishes spanning from Calcasieu to St. James. The hearing takes place at 6 p.m. in the Department of Environmental Quality building in Baton Rouge.
Director of the Bucket Brigade, Anne Rolfes, says crawfisherman are concerned running a pipeline through this area will hurt their business.
“There are a lot of crawfisherman there and I know from talking to them because it’s something that will be a navigational hazard and it will also fool with the flow of the water.”
But Acting President for the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association Gifford Briggs supports the pipeline and says Louisiana is in the middle of the oil and gas renaissance. He says the pipeline will bring in jobs that are greatly needed in Louisiana.
“The Bayou Pipeline is another part of these multibillion dollar investments that’s needed in a time where the economy is hurting from a struggling oil and gas industry.”
The pipeline will cost about 670 million dollars. Rolfes says the oil and gas sector claims pipelines are safer than transportation by rail or truck, but the industry is extremely out of touch with their own operations. She says pipelines are not a safer alternative, as they pose a risk for frequent leaks.
“In 2016, there were 144 reported accidents to the National Response Center.”
Briggs says if the pipeline wasn’t safe, companies would not propose the construction. He says they are committed to safety to protect their workers and the environment.
“Every step is going to be taken to make sure it’s as safe as possible and I don’t think there should be any concern for that.”
The U.S Army Corps of Engineers will have the final say on whether the pipeline will be built.