A state judge on Monday ruled against an Acadia Parish landowner who wanted to halt construction of a 163-mile oil pipeline until resolution of a federal lawsuit aimed at shutting down the project.
The 163-mile pipeline crosses 11 south Louisiana parishes, including Acadia Parish, where Hope Rosinski owns 6 acres on which Bayou Bridge Pipeline LLC last year obtained rights to build after initiating expropriation action. Rosinski came to terms with Bayou Bridge in August for undisclosed compensation, and the company acquired an easement to access the property.
Judge Kristian Earles on Monday granted a preliminary injunction in favor of Bayou Bridge, effectively extending an initial restraining order to prevent Rosinski from interfering with construction. The company is ultimately seeking a permanent injunction to uphold the easement agreement.
Rosinski had asserted in a March 4 email to Bayou Bridge that construction within her property was prohibited because of U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick’s Feb. 23 ruling that pipeline construction in the Atchafalaya Basin must stop while a lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is pending.
That suit, brought by environmental groups, claims the federal government erred in its permitting of the pipeline, and Rosinski’s easement agreement with Bayou Bridge allows construction through her land only once the company has obtained all necessary permits. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeal last week overruled Dick, allowing construction to move forward.
Rosinski’s attorney, Matthew Long, argued Monday in 15th Judicial District Court in Lafayette that the appellate court had merely stayed Dick’s ruling, without vacating or overturning it. Bayou Bridge contends Dick’s ruling didn’t invalidate its permits in the first place.