Pipeline opponents have taken the company behind Bayou Bridge to court over the release of what environmentalists believe are public records.

In a suit filed Tuesday, the groups allege that Bayou Bridge LLC acted as a public entity when it expropriated land from Louisiana residents that would be dug up to bury the lines. Therefore, the company must turn over their records, the groups claims.

The environmentalists have asked for a wide array of documents related to the project, from communications with private security firms to records about how the company would handle public relations over safety concerns.

Bayou Bridge has contested the argument that such records are public and must be turned over to the groups.

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“Eminent domain is an extraordinary and controversial power, and those most often burdened frequently lack the financial means and political clout to protect their rights in the process,” attorney Pamela Spees of the Center for Constitutional Rights said in a statement.

Her organization is representing the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, 350 New Orleans and the Atchafalaya Basinkeeper. There are separate suits pending that challenge the approval of Bayou Bridge granted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources.

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