environment

Activists calling for an immediate safe disposal of M6 explosives at Camp Minden in Webster Parish lodged an official complaint with the state Wednesday.

A group delivered more than 3,600 signatures to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality’s Northwest Regional office in Shreveport. They also delivered copies to the local offices of Louisiana’s congressional delegation.

Eve Troeh

Louisiana faces the highest relative rates of sea level rise in the world. As policy and funding debates rage over how to best restore and protect our coastal communities, local leaders also look for allies elsewhere.

Lawyers for BP and the government are set to begin the third and final phase today of the trial over its 2010 oil spill. A Tulane University expert on maritime law says there are billions of dollars at stake.

Federal judge Carl Barbier has been overseeing the complex litigation over the 2010 disaster.

Tulane law professor Martin Davies is director of the Tulane Maritime Law Center. He says that process has proven much faster than scheduling jury trials. Barbier has already made key rulings in the case.

John Cruden served with U.S. Special Forces in Vietnam, taking his law school aptitude test in Saigon and eventually becoming a government lawyer.

Earlier this month, he started a new job running the environment and natural resources division at the Justice Department. For Cruden, 68, the new role means coming home to a place where he worked as a career lawyer for about 20 years.

Cruden has been around long enough to have supervised the Exxon Valdeez spill case, a record-setter. That is, until the Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

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Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Madhusudan Katti / Flickr

Elevated lead levels in the environment can cause a number of health problems for children and adults, and parts of New Orleans have consistently tested high for lead pollution.

Researchers at Tulane University are experimenting with a new way to test for lead exposure — by listening to bird songs to find out what they can tell us about heavy metals in the environment. 

Tulane researcher Renata Ribeiro spends a lot of time out in the field, recording the songs of Northern Mockingbirds.

Laine Kaplan-Levenson / WWNO

Jesse Hardman is the Coastal Reporter and Laine Kaplan-Levenson is the Coastal Producer for WWNO’s Coastal Desk. The desk launched in June, and with the end of 2014 the team curated a recap of coverage thus far.

Listen to the Coastal Team talk with WWNO News Director Eve Troeh:

Starting Out:

Almost 2,700 people have signed on to a Facebook group in recent days to oppose an open burn of millions of pounds of M6 propellant deserted at Camp Minden by a bankrupt munitions recycler in 2013.

The group, Concerned Citizens of the Camp Minden Open Burn, wants to stop the open burn that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to carry out over a number of months in Webster Parish.

Laine Kaplan-Levenson / WWNO

The non-profit Public Lab is an environmental organization for the DIY community. They help people monitor the health of their natural spaces with low cost kits and materials. The organization launched after the 2010 BP oil spill with the goal of  making information available to the public about that disaster. 

As the 5th anniversary of the spill approaches, Public Lab is unveiling some new techniques for getting communities to document environmental issues.

A state judge says the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources was too quick in granting a permit for a proposed coal export terminal in Plaquemines Parish.

State Judge Kevin Conner in Belle Chasse ruled that the state agency should not have granted a permit to RAM Terminals because too little research was done into alternative locations.

He ordered DNR to re-evaluate the permit.

The coal terminal has become a point of contention.

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