environment

Wildlife Impact Meeting
3:06 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Corps holds meeting on levee work

The Army Corps of Engineers plans a public meeting Tuesday on measures it is taking to mitigate the impact of wildlife habitat as construction continues on a levee and flood protection system in Plaquemines, Jefferson and St. Charles parishes.

The presentation and discussion are set for 6:30 p.m. at the Ernest Tassin Senior Center on Fourth Street in Westwego.

Environment
1:04 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

LDWF sets drawdown for Lake Bistineau

In an effort to control aquatic vegetation, the water control structure on Lake Bistineau near Minden will be opened Aug. 8 for a lake drawdown.

As a result of mild winter temperatures, experts say giant salvinia has expanded beyond the control capacity of herbicide applications and salvinia weevils. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries survey estimates show giant salvinia coverage to be in excess of 2,000 acres.

The lake will be lowered seven feet below pool stage and will remain there until Jan. 31, 2013.

Environment
1:46 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Cargo ship operator to pay $1.2M in pollution case

A federal judge in New Orleans has ordered the operator of a cargo ship to pay a $1.2 million criminal penalty for violating pollution laws and obstruction of justice.

U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval Jr. also on Wednesday sentenced Athens, Greece-based Odysea Carriers to three years of probation.

Federal prosecutors say engine room crew members on the company's ship, Polyneos, used a hose to pump oil waste directly overboard in 2011. The ship's chief engineer allegedly tried to conceal the illegal discharges from the Coast Guard by falsifying the vessel's records.

Bayou Corne Gas Bubbling
6:03 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Orphaned well could be source of swamp bubbles

ASSUMPTION PARISH — State and local officials are investigating whether an orphaned well may be the source of natural gas bubbling up from the surfaces of Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou in northern Assumption Parish.

Parish officials said Tuesday the well is in swampland about 1,000 feet from the main bubbling area in Bayou Corne, The Advocate (http://bit.ly/PEW2Z5) reports.

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Gulf Oil Containment
5:52 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

System for stopping an oil spill tested in Gulf

A consortium set up after the 2010 BP spill to develop methods for containing deep-sea spills is conducting a test of its state-of-the-art equipment with federal regulators looking on.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said the drill began Tuesday morning.

The Houston-based Marine Well Containment Company is moving a capping stack it has developed to a test wellhead that sits about 7,000 feet below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico.

Baton Rouge Benzene Spill
8:46 am
Tue July 24, 2012

DEQ demands timeline on benzene spill

State officials want to know exactly when ExxonMobil Chemical Plant staff knew that the amount of released naphtha, which includes benzene, was much higher than originally reported in the wake of a June 14 spill at the Baton Rouge facility.

The Advocate reports the Department of Environmental Quality issued a compliance order and notice of potential penalty against plant that in part states the facility did not notify the state and other agencies when estimates of a leak amount June 14 substantially changed.

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Environment
4:12 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

New report ties cold Gulf water, dolphin deaths

Researchers say snowmelt that chilled coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico may have contributed to baby dolphin deaths in the winter of 2011.

A new research paper says 86 baby dolphins are known to have been aborted or died shortly after birth during the period.

Researcher Ruth Carmichael of Alabama's Dauphin Island Sea Lab says she can't say definitively that colder water caused the deaths. However, she says it may have been a deadly contributing factor.

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Environment
1:05 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Lake Charles looks at alternative fuels

Lake Charles city officials are taking a new look at alternative fuels for public vehicles. City Councilman Rodney Geyen has been pushing Lake Charles City Hall officials to research the costs and savings of using natural gas to run vehicles.

Geyen points to the Lafayette Consolidated Government as an example of what can be done. Lafayette officials have told Geyen that a $25,000-a-month fuel bill for five city buses was reduced to $1,800 a month using compressed natural gas.

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Environment
12:46 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Coalition offers vision for Gulf restoration

More than two years after the catastrophic BP oil spill, environmental groups say billions of dollars BP is expected to spend on restoration should go toward buying tens of thousands of acres of coastal land for conservation, rebuilding Louisiana's eroding wetlands and creating nearly 200 miles of oyster reefs.

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The Two-Way
6:26 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Drought In U.S. Now Worst Since 1956; Food Prices To Spike, Economy To Suffer

On Monday, a weed was growing through the dry earth at Marion Kujawa's pond, which he normally uses to water the cattle on his farm in Ashley, Ill.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 4:16 pm

With about 55 percent of the continental U.S. suffering from "moderate to extreme drought" conditions the nation is withering under conditions that haven't been this bad since 1956, according to a new report from National Climatic Data Center.

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