Judge Rules In Favor Of Pipeline Project

Judge Rules In Favor Of Pipeline Project

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MOBILE, Alabama -

A 5-day trial comes to an end Friday afternoon with a ruling in favor of Plains Southcap.

"The judge decided correctly that MAWSS was attempting to impose a safety standard on Plains Southcap as an interstate pipeline company and that's not permitted by federal law. He determined that federal law preempted MAWSS's attempt to impose these safety considerations on Plains," said Jarrod White, attorney for Plains Southcap.

That means the project will proceed. Judge Robert Smith gave the all clear for the pipeline to run through Big Creek Lake, which is home to Mobile's drinking water supply.

"We are extremely disappointed in the ruling today. We were very, very hopeful that the judge, at a minimum, would leave the door open and see that this didn't fit the law, but that it was very important to protect our drinking water source. I don't think he saw that as a critical neccessity," said Casi Callaway, Executive Director of Mobile Baykeeper.

Callaway has been against the project from the beginning. Her environmental group is ready to fight the ruling, doing everything they can to protect the water supply.

If there were a leak in the pipeline Mobile River would be used as a backup for drinking water.

"The vast majority of Mobile's industries are right on Mobile River with a significant ability to discharge major pollutants into that river. The Mobile River is collecting pollution from the entire state of Alabama and even parts of Atlanta," says Callaway.

Right now the group is looking at their options when it comes to fighting this. Attorneys with Plains Southcap say the pipeline will be safe for the environment.

"This is the safest way to transport crude petroleum which everyone needs for the cars they drive and that Plains has taken safety enhancements to ensure that this pipeline is as safe as possible," said White.

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