Judge: Pipeline owners trespassed, but work can continue
By KEVIN McGILL
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A Louisiana judge says a company building an oil pipeline through south Louisiana trespassed on the land of three people challenging the construction - but he allowed the work to continue and awarded each of the three $150 in compensation and damages.
Judge Keith Comeaux's ruling Thursday disappointed opponents of the nearly complete Bayou Bridge Pipeline, who said they would appeal.
Opponents had hoped the St. Martinville-based judge would order the pipeline removed from the relatively small amount of land involved, a fraction of a 38-acre (15-hectare) tract. Barring that, they had hoped for a major damage award to discourage what they said was the illegal taking of land.
Energy Transfer Partners, the project owner, has said the 162-mile (260-kilometer) pipeline is expected to be operational by year's end.
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