Hearings Set in LA Lawsuits over Wetlands

Posted April 9, 2014 at 5:00am

The Lens reports that “a high-profile lawsuit filed by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority – East is not the only lawsuit under assault by the oil and gas industry and its allies in the state Legislature.”  

“They are also trying to kill lawsuits filed by two parishes – Jefferson and Plaquemines – that say oil and gas companies dredged coastal wetlands to drill their wells and then violated state permits by failing to restore them to their previous condition.  

“’I think it’s being driven by Big Oil,’ said John Carmouche, part of the Baton Rouge-based law firm that filed the parishes’ lawsuits. ‘Big Oil is the party that destroyed the coast and is responsible. They are trying to get immunity from the courts.’  

“‘That’s nice rhetoric,’ countered Chris John, president of the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association, whose members include the major oil companies. ‘But the parishes don’t have jurisdiction to enforce state permits. If they have a beef against the state, they should go to the state.’”  

“The effort to kill those two lawsuits gets its first hearing next week before the House Civil Law and Procedure Committee. The matter was initially set for Tuesday, but was moved back so it could be the only item on the agenda, giving the public more time for comments.”