The Atchafalaya Basinkeeper and other environmentalists have sued the Army Corps of Engineers for granting a permit to allow the construction of the controversial Bayou Bridge pipeline.

"The pipeline project proposes to connect the controversial Dakota Access pipeline, which transports volatile and explosive Bakken crude oil from North Dakota, to refineries in St. James Parish and export terminals, forming the southern leg of the Bakken Pipeline. Energy Transfer Partners owns both the Dakota Access Pipeline and the proposed Bayou Bridge Pipeline," attorneys with the group Earthjustice wrote in a statement, adding that Bayou Bridge represents "a toxic mix of incompetence and greed."

Opponents contend that regulators have not considered the potential threats to the environment posed by the proposed pipeline. Lawyer Jan Hasselman said that Corps was so short-sighted in their review of Bayou Bridge that the court should find their approval illegal.

The Basinkeeper is joined by the Waterkeeper Alliance, Gulf Restoration Network and Louisiana Crawfish Producers Association. Crawfishermen have argued that Bayou Bridge will cause such harm to the environment as to destroy wild crawfish habitats and endanger their way of life. Authorities in the energy sector have disputed those claims.

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The lawsuit filed Thursday means Bayou Bridge is now facing legal challenges in federal and state courts. Attorneys with Tulane's Environmental Law Clinic representing St. James residents have asked the 23rd Judicial District to rescind a permit granted by the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources as well. That matter is still under review.

“Not only is the Atchafalaya Basin the most important ecosystem for neotropical migratory birds in the western hemisphere, but it is also critically important to protect much of south Louisiana and the Mississippi valley from major river floods. By allowing unsustainable development in the Basin, we are endangering hundreds of cities and communities and millions of people in southern Louisiana,” Atchafalaya Basinkeeper Executive Director Dean Wilson, said in a statement.'

Corps officials declined to comment, saying the agency has a policy of not commenting on pending litigation.

Follow Steve Hardy on Twitter, @SteveRHardy.