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Legal stalemate makes Louisiana’s land the loser

Marissa Hall | Shale Plays Media

The environment in Louisiana is no stranger to the effects of oil and gas drilling, and it turns out that not much is being done to ease the impact. Despite a continued legal stalemate over environmental damage in the last decade between landowners in the state and oil giants, who both assert they wish to repair damage to Louisiana’s fragile ecosystem, little actual cleanup has been done. A report by David Hammer for WWLTV in Louisiana reports:

Landowners across Louisiana have filed more than 360 legacy suits against oil companies since the 1990s, and more often than not, landowners have won judgments or settlements that paid tens of millions of dollars for damages caused during half a century of drilling and mineral production activities on their property.

Some of the money is awarded for cleanup, but the remediation record has been woeful. Often, oil companies try to deny liability, and, at times, they fight among themselves over which company is actually responsible for the damages.

The landowners, meanwhile, often try to delay cleanup until after a full trial is held or a settlement is reached because they want all the evidence intact to pursue larger awards.

Examination by the Office of Conservation of 137 properties revealed that a meager 12 had actually undergone cleanup efforts that restored the property to state standards. Instead, it appears to be all about the money.

For all the details, check out Hammer’s full report: Legacy lawsuits: 360 cases, millions paid, little cleaned up

Related: Future of ‘Big Oil’ lawsuit topic at flood board

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