The current administration’s focus on climate change has prompted a renewed interest in carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS). In July of this year, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued a report to Congress stating the Biden administration “is committed to accelerating the responsible development and deployment of CCUS to make it
With increasing optimism regarding offshore wind energy and commercial solar power, renewable energy projects are starting to gain steam with Louisianians. Although utility-scale solar projects are novel in Louisiana, Act 301 (formerly Senate Bill 185) proactively addresses the concerns of taxpayers, landowners, and developers concerning solar leases.
Act 301, which was signed into law by…
The United States Supreme Court recently issued an opinion which significantly limits the ability of a state court to assert personal jurisdiction over non-resident defendants. This ruling is hardly a surprise and is consistent with the Court’s recent decisions in BNSF Railway Co. v. Tyrrell, 137 S. Ct. 1549 (2017) which reaffirmed the court’s…
On March 3, 2017, the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its long-awaited opinion in the matter of Board of Commissioners of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East, et al. vs. Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, LLC, et al., No 15-30162, Slip Op. (5th Cir. 3/3/17). The Fifth Circuit’s decision affirmed the…
Governor John Bel Edwards has sued Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry over Mr. Landry’s refusal to approve certain private legal counsel contracts. Governor Edwards alleges that Mr. Landry is the “chief legal officer of the state,” is “charged with the assertion or protection of any right or interest of [Louisiana],” and “is ethically required by…
On August 17, 2016, Governor Edwards amended Executive Order JBE 2016-57 which had suspended the running of prescription, peremption, and all legal delays from August 12, 2016 until September 9, 2016. The amendment to Executive Order JBE 2016-57 modifies the suspension of deadlines as follows:
- Liberative prescription and peremptive periods continue to be suspended throughout
In the wake of recent flooding in Louisiana, Governor Edwards has issued Executive Order JBE 2016-53, suspending all legal deadlines, including liberative prescriptive and peremptive periods, in all state courts and regulatory agencies. The order applies retroactively from Friday, August 12, 2016, and will last through Friday, September 9, 2016, providing a 28 day suspension…
After the 2003 Corbello decision, the Louisiana legislature attempted to enact a workable procedure for recovering environmental damages arising from oil and gas operations known as Act 312. The main goal of Act 312 was to ensure that property contaminated by oilfield operations would be cleaned up to applicable regulatory standards. Since the enactment of Act 312, very few cases have made it through the Act 312 process. Thus, in an attempt to expedite the identification and remediation of contaminated property, the Louisiana legislature recently passed two new measures revising the Act 312 procedure.
Summary of the New Legislation
The first measure (a House bill enacted as Act 754) amends the Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure to provide for:
- The issuance of an environmental management order (EMO) to expedite site inspections and sampling, and
- A limited admission of environmental liability that allows defendants to begin to remediate property before trial (limited to the most feasible plan to remediate the property).
The second measure (a Senate bill enacted as Act 779) provides for a number of amendments to Act 312:
- Allows a plaintiff to provide a notice of intent to investigate potential environmental damage that suspends prescription of the claim for one year upon the notice being provided to LDNR,
- Requires the plaintiff to identify the alleged environmental damage and the results of any environmental testing if a lawsuit is filed after a notice of intent to investigate is filed,
- Permits a defendant to request an early preliminary hearing to determine whether there is good cause for it to remain a defendant in the case,
- Grants subpoena power over agency personnel involved in developing the feasible plan and allows for discovery regarding the development of the plan after a final plan has been submitted,
- Prohibits ex parte communications with agencies, officials, and contractors who are involved in formulating the feasible plan,
- Requires the Departments of Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resources, along with the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), to comment if LDNR approves or structures a preliminary plan that applies regulations other than those of LDNR, and
- Provides for a waiver of indemnity rights against punitive damages caused by a party who admits limited liability.