By Maj. Gen. Spider Marks, Letter to the Editor, Houma Today, March 16, 2017
With the public comment period for the Bayou Bridge Pipeline now closed, Louisiana's regulatory agencies will turn their attention to reviewing the public's input and reviewing the merits of the project.
Officials should consider the tremendous amount of planning that has gone into the Bayou Bridge Pipeline to date.
This project will be one of the safest pipelines ever built - ensuring the safety of local communities and Louisiana's environment while also efficiently meeting the region's energy needs.
Bayou Bridge Pipeline officials have been meticulous in their preparation for construction and operation of this critical piece of energy infrastructure, which will be capable of transporting up to 480,000 barrels per day of crude oil from Lake Charles, Louisiana to the St. James crude oil hub.
Among the project's Tarige of safety features are: high-pressure testing and regulation devices; continuous monitoring for leak detection using compensated mass balance software and real time data; 24/7 controlling by full-time control room operations staff; and added pipe wall thickness will be installed in sensitive areas.
In addition to these many safety features, Bayou Bridge has been carefully routed to avoid any adverse impacts to local residents or to the state's environmental resources.
As much as 88 percent of the pipeline will parallel existing infrastructure easements, and the project will result in no loss of wetlands.
Additionally, the Louisiana State Historical Preservation Office has concluded that no cultural resources will be affected.
Further, the Bayou Bridge Pipeline is committed to preserving Louisiana's farms and wetlands, ensuring the viability of the rice farms, crawfish farms, and invaluable environmental features like the Atchafalaya Basin.
The project will be buried a minimum of 48 inches under agricultural lands and wetlands, and all affected areas will be 100 percent restored to preconstruction contours and elevations at the company's expense.
These many measures are being incorporated into the Bayou Bridge Pipeline so that the project will transport much-needed crude oil to Gulf Coast refineries, and it will do so safely, responsibly, and efficiently.
Louisiana regulatory agencies should give the project a fair and timely review.
Maj. Gen. Spider Marks