levee district lawsuit

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.

Laine Kaplan-Levenson / WWNO

On Tuesday, November 18, environmental reporter Bob Marshall of The Lens sat down with Gladstone Jones, the lead attorney in the lawsuit against oil and gas companies for coastal damages.

Gladstone Jones signed his contract with the levee board based on a sliding scale. The 16 lawyers on the levee board’s legal team will be paid between 22-32 percent, depending on the amount recovered.

Laine Kaplan-Levenson / WWNO

A group of environmentalists are walking 100 miles from Grand Isle to Baton Rouge, along Louisiana Highway 1. They’re protesting Governor Jindal’s signing of Senate Bill 469, which blocked a New Orleans levee board lawsuit against oil and gas companies.

The members hail from around Louisiana. They want Gulf residents to be more aware of decisions made in Baton Rouge that impact their coastal communities.

'Big Oil' Lawsuit Survives In 4-4 Vote

Jun 19, 2014

A south Louisiana flood control board isn't ready to give up yet on its lawsuit against 97 oil, gas and pipeline companies over coastal wetlands damage — despite a new law aimed at squelching the suit.

A motion to kill the suit died on a 4-4 tie vote Thursday during a meeting of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East.

Gov. Bobby Jindal opposes the lawsuit. His four newest appointees voted to kill the suit. Four others voted against killing it. One member of the nine-member board was absent.

The levee board suing 97 oil, gas and pipeline companies to force repairs of wetlands damaged over the years by production will be discussing the lawsuit Thursday.

It comes after Governor Bobby Jindal signed legislation that blocks the board from pursuing that plan.

He says the lawsuit runs counter to the state’s master plan for coastal restoration.

The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East will have a closed-door session to discuss the lawsuit.

Bill To Void Levee Board Lawsuit Heads To Jindal

May 30, 2014
pluralzed / Flickr

The oil and gas industry won a significant victory in the Louisiana Legislature Friday with Senate passage of a bill that seeks to kill a lawsuit filed by a New Orleans area levee board against 97 oil and gas companies.

The lawsuit alleges the companies' drilling activities damaged Louisiana's coast.

Senators voted 25-11 for the measure that is aimed at retroactively voiding the lawsuit. The vote sent the bill to Gov. Bobby Jindal, who is likely to sign it.

NASA

Attorneys for the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority — East had a chance to defend their lawsuit against oil and gas companies, at a meeting of the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority on Wednesday in Baton Rouge.

The head of the state coastal authority, Garret Graves, has been one of the harshest critics of the lawsuit since it was filed last July. Governor Bobby Jindal has also been critical of the suit.