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Environmental Law Update: SLFPA-E Case Dismissal

Beaux Jones - 

The alleged pipeline damage case brought by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East (SLFPA-E) against some 97 oil, gas and pipeline companies (SLFPA-E, et al. v. Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co., et al.) has come to an end.

The case, which was originally filed in Orleans Parish in 2013 and reverberated throughout the state’s legal and political circles, was declined review by the United States Supreme Court on October 30, 2017.

17-99   SE LA FLOOD PROTECTION, ET AL. V. TN GAS PIPELINE CO., ET   AL.

The motion of Law Professors for leave to file a brief as amici curiae is granted. The petition for a writ of certiorari amici curiae is granted. The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied. Justice Alito took no part in the consideration or decision of this motion and this petition.

The Supreme Court’s decision not to review the case leaves in place the 2015 decision by U.S. District Court Judge Nannette Jovlivette Brown and the March, 2017 U.S. Fifth Circuit of Appeals decision tossing the levee authority’s claims.

For coastal dwellers, environmental law practitioners, local industry and politicians the SLFPA-E case was the spark that ignited a long seething, controversial conversation about Louisiana’s relationship to the oil and gas industry and who or what bears responsibility for coastal land loss. Although this particular case highlighted the underlying controversy, it does not appear that its demise will end the conversation. At a minimum, the decision establishes what current SLFPA-E President Joe Hassinger stated to the Times-Picayune, that “the Flood Protection Authority was not the proper party to bring such a suit.” Since 2013, at least 42 new and distinguishable pipeline damage cases have been filed by six coastal parishes teeing up similar issues. The first five of those cases are set to go to trial in Plaquemines Parish in 2019.

Much has been written about the SLFPA-E case and there is likely much more to be written. To read more about the case, see below.

Nola.com/Times-Picayune: http://www.nola.com/environment/index.ssf/2017/10/us_supreme_court_wont_hear_app.html

The Advocate: http://www.theadvocate.com/new_orleans/news/courts/article_226229fc-bd8b-11e7-aa74-bf1e45a54f81.html

Louisiana Oil and Gas Association Press Release: http://loga.la/supreme-court-kills-levee-boards-lawsuit-against-oil-and-gas-companies/

U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Decision: click here

If you have questions regarding this matter or other issues regarding coastal or environmental law, please contact Beaux Jones at (504) 569-2900 or bjones@bhbmlaw.com.


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