Description: Challenge to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permits and authorizations for crude oil pipeline in Louisiana.
Atchafalaya Basinkeeper v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 03/01/2018 Motion Download Motion for stay pending appeal filed. The pipeline’s developer said it would appeal the ruling and asked the district court for a stay pending appeal. 02/27/2018 Ruling Download Motion for preliminary injunction granted. Louisiana Federal Court Halted Work on Crude Oil Pipeline in Swamp Area. The federal district court for the Middle District of Louisiana enjoined work on the Bayou Bridge Pipeline in the Atchafalaya Basin in Louisiana. The planned pipeline is to be 162.5 miles long and is intended to carry crude oil. The plaintiffs’ complaint asserting National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Clean Water Act, and Rivers and Harbors Act violations included allegations that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had failed to analyze climate impacts and that floodplain and coastal loss impacts had not been considered as part of the required “public interest” analysis. The court found that the plaintiffs had established the threat of irreparable harm, including loss of legacy trees in the cypress forest swamp that the pipeline would cross, threats to the Atchafalaya Basin’s hydrology, and potential destruction of already diminishing wetlands. The court also found that the plaintiffs had demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits of their claims that environmental assessment documents did not provide assurance that the mitigation plan would be successful in achieving the Clean Water Act’s restorative goals and that the Corps’ review did not adequately assess cumulative impacts. 01/30/2018 Ruling Download Temporary restraining order denied. Court Denied TRO. On January 29, the organizations filed motions for a temporary restraining order (TRO) and preliminary injunction. The court denied the TRO motion on January 30, finding that the plaintiffs had not demonstrated a substantial likelihood of success on the merits “at this early stage in the proceedings.” A hearing on the preliminary injunction motion was scheduled for February 8, 2018. 01/29/2018 Motion Download Motion for preliminary injunction filed. 01/29/2018 Motion Download Motion for temporary restraining order filed. 01/11/2018 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Lawsuit Filed Challenging Corps of Engineers Approvals for Crude Oil Pipeline in Louisiana. Six organizations filed a lawsuit in the federal district court for the Middle District of Louisiana challenging permits and authorizations issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the Bayou Bridge Pipeline, a 162.5-mile-long pipeline that would carry crude oil from Lake Charles, Louisiana, to St. James, Louisiana. The plaintiffs alleged that the Corps had not complied with the Clean Water Act, the Rivers and Harbors Act, or the National Environmental Policy Act, including by conducting a “plainly inadequate” environmental review that “failed to assess the climate impacts of ‘locking in’ future reliance on fossil fuels with a massive infrastructure investment.” The complaint also alleged that the Corps’ “public interest” review pursuant to the Clean Water Act and Rivers and Harbors Act did not adequately consider floodplains and coastal loss impacts. The complaint asserted that Executive Order 11988 required the Corps to “consider alternatives to avoid adverse effects and incompatible development in the floodplains.”