environment

Lovebugs
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.

Environment
2:46 pm
Sat August 25, 2012

LSU scientist receives environmental award

An LSU scientist has received the Wetland Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Association for Ecology.

The Advocate reports the award was presented to Eugene Turner during the organization's International Wetland Conference held in Orlando, Fla., in June.

Turner is a distinguished research master and holds the Shell Endowed Chair in Oceanography and Wetland Studies at LSU.

His work has focused on low oxygen levels in Louisiana coastal areas, a phenomenon known as the "dead zone."

Utilities
11:36 am
Fri August 24, 2012

EPA awards $17M grant to La. for water systems

Louisiana is receiving a $17 million federal grant for improvements to public drinking water systems.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the funding Thursday.

The dollars, from the EPA's Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, are going to the state Department of Health and Hospitals for loan assistance for water system infrastructure upgrades and repairs.

The program is designed to promote safe drinking water for communities.

Bayou Corne Sinkhole
10:55 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Texas Brine may be fined $5K a day for sinkhole

The company believed responsible for the massive sinkhole near Bayou Corne may have to pay a fine of up to $5,000 a day if it doesn't retroactively compensate evacuated residents.

Louisiana Commissioner of Conservation James Welsh said Thursday Texas Brine Co. is required by the permit issued for a brine cavern they own in the Napoleonville salt dome to provide assistance to residents if a sinkhole develops.

The Houston-based company began providing a weekly housing check of $875 to evacuated locals last week.

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Assumption Parish Sinkhole
10:54 am
Wed August 22, 2012

More gas bubbles detected in Grand Bayou area

Locals are reporting more gas bubbles in Grand Bayou.

Officials at the Assumption Parish Police Jury said Tuesday a small bubble site was discovered near a massive sinkhole in Assumption Parish. Residents have been reporting other gas bubbles and tremors in the area for months.

The sinkhole swallowed up an acre of bald cypress trees Aug 3. It has since grown to the size of a football field.

Around the Nation
3:29 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

Saltwater Invades Mississippi River

Water gets churned up at the end of a dredging pipeline connected to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredge on the Mississippi River near Memphis, Tenn., on Monday. The river has seen water levels from Illinois to Louisiana plummet because of drought conditions in the past three months. When there's less flow coming downstream, saltwater from the Gulf wedges its way in.
Adrian Sainz AP

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 7:25 pm

All the dry weather means there's less water flowing through the once mighty river into the Gulf of Mexico, and low outflow means saltwater from the Gulf is creeping in.

Some Louisiana cities have already begun purchasing drinking water. Now New Orleans is at risk.

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The Two-Way
4:27 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Low Waters Close 11-Mile Stretch Of Mississippi River

A tow pushes a barge past a sandbar on the Mississippi River near the confluence with the Missouri River north of St. Louis., on Friday. Many sandbars normally under water on the two rivers are now exposed as the drought has caused river levels to drop.
Jim Salter AP

An 11-mile stretch of the Mississippi River was closed today because of low waters levels.

The AP reports:

"Coast Guard spokesman Ryan Tippets told The Associated Press on Monday that the stretch of river near Greenville, Miss., has been closed intermittently since Aug. 11, when a vessel ran aground.

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Farmers Market Minute
8:00 am
Sat August 18, 2012

The Certainty of Uncertain Weather

This summer, I have emptied my garden's rain barrels twice to keep herbs, vegetables and flowers alive during our endless drought. I’ve also witnessed spirited debates between farmers, shoppers, and the occasional know-it-all about global warming.

While my uncle may be a meteorologist, I am simply a casual observer, and what I have noticed is this: Farmers return from their fields with stories of extreme and unfamiliar weather. These patterns affect our food.

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Environment
6:33 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Pollution fine imposed following May plea deal

A Texas-based independent oil company has officially been fined $557,000 after admitting that its negligence caused three oil spills in Jefferson Parish bayous in 2008.

The fine announced Wednesday by the Justice Department in Washington had been expected. It was the result of a plea agreement reached in May between federal authorities and Cedyco Corp. of Houston.

Cedyco agreed to pay the fine and stop operating in Louisiana.

Mississippi River Saltwater Intrusion
3:41 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

River closed as crews start work on sill

The Mississippi River has been closed temporarily as contractors placed a pipeline in the Mississippi River to build an underwater barrier that the Army Corps of Engineers says will stop the advance of salt water threatening drinking water in the New Orleans area.

Due to low water levels in the Mississippi River, salt water has been moving far upriver and was at the outskirts of New Orleans by Wednesday, reaching 89 miles north of the mouth of the Mississippi.

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