BP Oil Spill
1:18 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Feds vow to prove gross negligence by BP

The Justice Department is urging a federal judge to ignore BP's assertion that the Gulf Coast's natural resources are making a "robust recovery" from its massive 2010 oil spill.

In a strongly worded court filing Friday, government lawyers also renewed their vow to prove BP engaged in gross negligence or willful misconduct leading up to the deadly rig explosion that killed 11 workers and spawned the nation's worst offshore oil spill. BP could be liable for billions of dollars in fines if U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier sides with the government.

Alligator Hunting
10:29 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Alligator season now open

Alligator hunters are now free to pursue their quarry across the state, according to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

The 2012 Wild Alligator Harvest Season opened in the state's West Zone today, following the East Zone opening this past Saturday. However, due to the impact of Hurricane Isaac, hunters in some areas may have to wait until floodwaters recede and power is restored, the state said.

Alligator hunters are advised to verify their buyers have opened before actually taking any alligators, and to use extreme caution when hunting in flooded areas.

Read more
Hurricane Isaac
6:00 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Testing Under Way To Determine If Oil Surfacing After Isaac Stems From BP Spill

The state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is closing off 13 miles of waters off Port Fouchon after a tar mat and tar balls surfaced. The Coast Guard is not yet ready to say it’s oil from the BP spill two years ago.

Read more
Hurricane Isaac
7:10 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Coast Guard Investigating Pollution Reports From Hurricane Isaac

The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating reports of pollution caused by Hurricane Isaac along the Gulf Coast. Cases range from oiled wildlife to overturned railcars containing hazardous chemicals.

Read more
Bayou Corne Sinkhole
12:18 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Crosstex moving pipeline near huge sinkhole

Crosstex Energy LP of Dallas will reroute its 36-inch natural gas pipeline away from a sinkhole in south Louisiana.

The company tells The Advocate that the project will cost $20 million to $25 million and take about a year.

It has had to close part of the pipeline and find other natural gas supplies for its customers since the sinkhole was discovered Aug. 3 in Assumption Parish near Bayou Corne. The company says that's costing around $250,000 to $300,000 a month.

Read more
2:19 am
Tue September 4, 2012

As Temps Rise, Cities Combat 'Heat Island' Effect

An art installation of a melting fan sits on display in a subway station Thursday, June 9, 2011, in Atlanta.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 4:10 pm

More than 20,000 high-temperature records have been broken so far this year in the United States. And the heat is especially bad in cities, which are heating up about twice as fast as the rest of the planet.

High temperatures increase the risk of everything from asthma to allergies, and can even be deadly. But a researcher in Atlanta also sees this urban heat wave as an opportunity to do something about our warming planet.

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
2:00 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

With West Nile On The Rise, We Answer Your Questions

A Beechcraft airplane sprays insecticide over Dallas early Monday morning to curb the spread of West Nile virus.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 8:45 am

This year is on track to be the worst ever for West Nile virus in the United States. Here are the latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • 1,590 reported cases, nearly 500 more than a week ago for a rise of 44 percent.
  • 889 cases, or 56 percent, involve severe neurological disease.
  • 66 deaths, compared to 41 last week.
Read more
Hurricane Isaac
11:55 am
Tue August 28, 2012

Residents urged to report fish kills

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is asking residents in areas that may be affected by Hurricane Isaac to be on the lookout for fish kills.

The department said kills should be reported to 1-800-442-2511.

Large amounts of rainfall across south Louisiana may erode organic matter and carry it into bayous and canals. Fish can be killed if organic matter sucks high quantities of oxygen from water.

Department of Environmental Quality
12:15 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

DEQ fines helps purchase new equipment

Criminal fines are allowing the state Department of Environmental Quality and state police to buy air monitoring equipment, vehicles, clothing, safety goggles and first aid kits.

Tim Knight, administrator of DEQ's assessment division, tells The Advocate the $1 million in fines allows the state to purchase the items.

Read more
3:23 pm
Sun August 26, 2012

Plague of lovebugs descends on Louisiana

This year's hot and humid weather could make this one of the worst lovebug seasons in years in south Louisiana, bug experts said.

Lovebugs, so called because of their tendency to fly attached to one another while mating, are a big problem for the exteriors of vehicles and structures, LSU AgCenter agent Barton Joffrion tells The Courier.

The insects' scientific name is Plecia nearctica, but they're also called march flies, lovebugs and united bugs.