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Pipeline Co: Vandals Caused $50K in Damages

Messages were spray-painted on backhoes and bulldozers last weekend.

BELLE ROSE, La. (AP) — The company behind a pipeline under construction in Louisiana says construction equipment vandalism has caused estimated damage of at least $50,000.

The Advocate reports Assumption Parish sheriff's spokesman Lonny Cavalier says hydraulic hoses and electrical lines were cut, windows were broken, and messages were spray-painted on backhoes and bulldozers last weekend, although the Bayou Bridge pipeline itself didn't appear to be damaged.

The pipeline, designed to carry crude oil between Lake Charles and St. James, has been met with fierce criticism from environmental advocates who say it has already destroyed wetlands and could leak oil and endanger drinking water.

Cavalier says the company has blamed environmentalists, based on the spray-painting whose content hasn't been revealed. Louisiana Bucket Brigade founder Anne Rolfes says her coalition of environmentalists doesn't condone vandalism.

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