Environmental Protection Agency

U.S. Supreme Court

This week on the Coastal News Roundup: legal stuff!

A local levee board's lawsuit against more than 90 oil and gas companies ends after bouncing around in the courts for several years. Plus, the EPA, the federal Department of Justice, and the State of Louisiana reach a settlement with Exxon Mobil, after claiming Exxon's facilities violated the Clean Air Act.

Jim Bowen / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Exxon Mobil will settle air pollution cases with the federal government and the State of Louisiana.

 

The feds and the state of Louisiana claimed that Exxon Mobil violated the Clean Air Act by releasing excess amounts of harmful pollutants from eight of its chemical plants.

 

Five of those plants are in Texas. Three of them are in the Baton Rouge area.  All of them make either plastic, or chemicals for plastic — according to EPA officials.

A federal rule that revises which bodies of water are subject to the Clean Water Act will take effect Aug. 28. Some Louisiana farmers are concerned that the new Clean Water Rule is overreaching.

The biggest change is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is defining ditches, according to LSU Ag Center water policy economist Naveen Adusumilli. Any ditch that is part of a tributary or connected to a previously jurisdictional waterway would now have to be in compliance with the Clean Water Act.

More than 120 people traveled to suburban Houston Tuesday to attend the final public hearing on new EPA rules that govern the amount of cancer-causing chemicals refineries are allowed to emit.

A busload came from Louisiana where more than 200,000 residents live within two miles of a refinery, according to Katie Moore, research analyst for the activist group Louisiana Bucket Brigade.

About 30 people have traveled from New Orleans to Texas to testify at an Environmental Protection Agency hearing on air quality.

They want increased air quality monitoring at oil and gas refineries.

Beverly Wright is director of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice at Dillard University in New Orleans. She says monitoring is now sporadic.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has settled a lawsuit on measuring toxic emissions from refineries and chemical plants. The move comes after complaints by community groups in Texas and Louisiana.

More than a dozen people in Shreveport have started a job training program this week made possible through a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It could lead to a full-time job next month. Southern University at Shreveport is administering the grant that provides environmental health and safety training certifications.

An Algiers family will be getting free high-end energy-efficient appliances installed tomorrow by the nonprofit Rebuilding Together. The project managed to sidestep a government shutdown and Tropical Storm Karen.

State environmental quality officials say they followed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's instructions on submitting a plan to reduce ozone, but they are unsure why Louisiana was included on a list of states that failed to do so.

On Jan. 4, the EPA sent notices of failure to 28 states while also acknowledging that the letters are the result of unclear guidance from the federal agency.

Citing a "lack of business integrity," the Environmental Protection Agency announced it was temporarily suspending the oil giant BP from entering into new contracts with the federal government.

In a press release, the EPA said BP demonstrated the lack of integrity during the Deepwater Horizon "blowout, explosion, oil spill and response." This kind of suspension, the EPA explained, is "standard practice when a responsibility question is raised by action in a criminal case."

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