The West Feliciana Parish Police Jury has voted to give its attorney the authority to settle lawsuits related to Hurricane Gustav debris removal.
Phillips and Jordan Inc., a firm the jury chose to pick up and dispose of storm debris after the 2008 hurricane, filed suit in 2010 after being paid only a little more than half of the $4.12 million the company said it is owed.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency refused in 2009 to reimburse the parish for leaning trees and broken or partially broken limbs hanging over public rights of way that threatened public safety.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has closed 26 state wildlife management areas in parishes in the expected path of Hurricane Isaac.
Included are: the Acadiana Conservation Corridor, Atchafalaya Delta, Attakapas, Biloxi, Elm Hall, Grassy Lake, Hutchinson Creek, Joyce, Lake Boeuf, Lake Ramsey, Manchac, Marsh Island, Maurepas Swamp, Pass a Loutre, Pearl River, Pointe au Chenes, Pomme de Terre, Salvador-Timken, Sandy Hollow, Sherburne, Spring Bayou, State WMA, Tangipahoa, Thistlethwaite, Tunica Hills and White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area.
The state Office of Conservation has ordered petroleum exploration and production companies to take necessary precautions to ensure their sites are secure as Hurricane Isaac nears.
Conservation Commissioner James Welsh said operators of oilfield and related structures as well as pipelines have been directed under the state's emergency declaration to ensure wells and other facilities do not create environmental threats.
Ascension Parish has been chosen as the site for an Avalon Rare Metals Inc. plant that will refine elements used in televisions and hybrid vehicles, if the company decides to build the $300 million facility.
The Louisiana Department of Economic Development announced Monday that Avalon chose the Geismar site for its possible refinery, with a final decision planned for 2013.
If built, LED says the plan would create 175 new jobs.
Assumption Parish officials have announced a mandatory evacuation of the parish in advance of Hurricane Isaac's landfall.
The parish has reportedly banned the sale of alcohol, and has announced a curfew.
Assumption has also opened a shelter of last resort, at Belle Rose Middle School (7177 Highway 1). Officials say the school will be running off of generator power; however, all evacuees are required to bring all necessary items with them, including food, water, toiletries, bedding and medicines. No cots will be provided.
The St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office says the state transportation department has barricaded some intersections along Highway 90 to let traffic flow more smoothly through the parish.
Sheriff's office spokeswoman Traci Landry says the traffic is probably people evacuating from parishes east of St. Mary Parish as Tropical Storm Isaac gets closer. The storm is expected to become a hurricane before making landfall Tuesday.