15:35 GMT24 February 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The Bayou Bridge Pipeline LLC, a partnership between Energy Transfer Partners and Phillips 66, is constructing its pipeline through a treasured natural habitat in Louisiana despite warnings of serious harms to the environment, Atchafalaya Basinkeeper Executive Director Dean Wilson said in a press release on Thursday.

    "Bayou Bridge has shown, once again, unethical behavior, when they decided to move forward with construction of their pipeline during the high water season that usually runs from February until late July," Wilson said in the release. "Their open trenches and clearing of trees has the potential to fill hundreds of acres by sending sediment deep into the Basin’s swamp."

    Wilson explained that companies typically build pipelines during the low water season, late summer and fall in order to minimize damage to the Atchafalaya Basin wetlands.

    The Bayou Bridge pipeline is a critical piece of the controversial Dakota Access pipeline, the environmental group Earth Justice said in the release.

    The proposed pipeline would connect the Dakota Access pipeline to refiners and export terminals in the city of St. James in Louisiana, Earth Justice added.

    A US judge previously granted a preliminary injunction to halt pipeline construction through the Atchafalaya Basin wetlands in order to avoid irreparable damage to the environment and wildlife in the areas, the release noted.

    However, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit overruled the preliminary injunction and allowed construction to continue, the release added.

    On Monday, a three-judge panel at the same court will hear oral arguments regarding an appeal of the decision to the judge’s order to halt construction of the pipeline, according to the release.


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