environment

Bayou Corne Sinkhole
2:19 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Exploratory well into sinkhole almost complete

Officials say they are one step closer to figuring out the cause behind the massive sinkhole that has been plaguing Assumption Parish for over a month.

State Commissioner of Conservation James Welsh said Wednesday that Texas Brine Co., the company that owns the brine cavern believed to be at fault, will be breaching the cavern Thursday afternoon.

BP Oil Spill
10:53 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Some catches in Gulf above some pre-spill levels

Gulf of Mexico fishing boats hauled in far more menhaden last year than in 2010. Catches of some other important species were above pre-spill levels in some Gulf Coast states. But a federal official says it's too early to rule out long-term effects from the spill.

A national report released Wednesday says the Gulf's menhaden catch last year was nearly 66 percent above that in 2010. Other species also showed increases.

Roy Crabtree of NOAA Fisheries says that's guardedly good news. But he says it's probably too soon to tell whether the spill killed eggs and immature fish.

Stolthaven Fine
9:39 am
Wed September 19, 2012

DEQ fines company over leaks in Isaac

State regulators say they are issuing a $12,189 fine against a chemical terminal flooded during Hurricane Isaac because it did not notify authorities fast enough about chemical releases.

On Tuesday, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality said it issued the fine against Stolthaven New Orleans LLC, a company that operates a chemical terminal along the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Parish.

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Latest News
6:00 am
Wed September 19, 2012

NOLA Wise Program Designed To Retrofit For Energy Efficiency

Temperatures are starting to dip, but high power bills are still looming for many in New Orleans. The city is offering low-cost evaluations on how to retrofit homes for energy efficiency.

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Environment
12:46 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Invasive fish rodeo at City Park Sept. 29

The state fisheries department is hosting a free fishing rodeo to teach people how to catch the Rio Grande cichlid, an invasive species of fish.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is hosting the rodeo on Sept. 29 in City Park in New Orleans.

The cichlid fish out-compete native sport fish for habitat and bedding areas. The fish are from northeast Mexico and southern Texas. They were first reported in Louisiana in 1996 in Lake Pontchartrain and since then have spread throughout the New Orleans area.

Whooping Cranes
12:40 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

14 more whooping cranes to join flock in Louisiana

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says 14 young whooping cranes are expected to arrive soon in southwest Louisiana.

That will double the number in a flock being reintroduced near the area where the state's last wild flock once lived.

Twenty-six whoopers have been brought to Louisiana, but predators and disease killed nearly half of them.

Biologists say deaths are expected, since the birds must learn to live in the wild. But teenage hunters killed two. The department is working to teach people why the birds need protection.

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Hurricane Isaac
1:39 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

DEQ probes chemical leaks at Isaac-hit facility

State officials are investigating how many chemicals leaked from storage tanks at a facility flooded by Hurricane Isaac with about 10 feet of water.

Isaac's surge damaged the Stolthaven Braithwaite LLC chemical storage and transfer facility next to the Mississippi River in Braithwaite, a Plaquemines Parish community protected by levees overtopped by floodwaters.

The facility is owned by Stolt-Nielsen Ltd., a Norwegian company that ships bulk liquid chemicals, vegetable oils and other chemicals around the world.

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Latest News
6:00 am
Fri September 14, 2012

Stolthaven Chemical Plant May Have Leaked 191,000 Gallons During Hurricane Isaac

Storm-damaged storage tanks at the Stolthaven chemical plant.
Gulf Restoration Network

The state Department of Environmental Quality is checking a report that as much as 191,000 gallons of toxic material may have been released during Hurricane Isaac from the Stolthaven chemical facility in Braithwaite. The company made the estimate to the Coast Guard’s National Response Center.

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Environment
3:42 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Plaquemine man accused of polluting canal with biodiesel waste

An Iberville Parish man is accused of polluting a canal with biodiesel waste while on probation for doing that in 2010.

The Department of Environmental Quality says its investigators arrested 56-year-old Tommy Francise of Plaquemine on Thursday. He's booked with polluting state waterways and illegal dumping of solid waste.

According to a news release, Iberville Parish sheriff's deputies and DEQ criminal investigators found a large area of greasy dirt and used cooking oil and grease being discharged into a canal behind Francise's house.

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Alligator Hunting
3:36 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Montegut man's big catch: 800-pound alligator

It was a huge catch for a Montegut commercial fisherman: a 12-foot-long, 800 pound alligator found in the Intracoastal Waterway at Bourg.

The Courier reports 35-year-old Rob Neil had gone alligator hunting in the waterway Wednesday when he spotted the huge 'gator. He had to shoot the reptile 15 times with a .22-caliber rifle.

Neil said it was the first alligator he ever caught. He sold the gator to Big Al's Seafood restaurant in Houma for $350.

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