On May 31, 2016, the US Supreme Court ruled in United States Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., Inc. that a jurisdictional determination issued by the Corps of Engineers under the Clean Water Act constitutes a final agency action that is judicially reviewable under the Administrative Procedure Act.  Justice Roberts wrote the decision of

In the January 20, 2010 Louisiana Register, the Office of Conservation, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources issued a Notice of Intent to amend Statewide Order 29-B to incorporate new rules for the evaluation and remediation of groundwater conditions at exploration and production sites.

The proposed rules can be found at this link.   As part

The New Orleans Times Picayune posted a story to their web site on July 3, 2007 at 7:45 PM stating that the Corps of Engineers has formally recommended to Congress that the Mississippi River – Gulf Outlet (“MR-GO”) be closed. MR-GO is a 60 mile long shipping channel running from the Louisiana coast to the Industrial Canal in New Orleans. Construction on MR-GO started in 1958 and was completed in 1968. The canal was designed to be 36 feet deep and 500 feet wide.
Continue Reading Corps Recommends Closing MR-GO

Throughout the Corps of Engineers’ history of building public works projects, they have sought to protect or enhance property values and economic interests of various groups. Often fixing one problem causes another. Sometimes those new problems are later referred to as “unintended consequences.”  Many times those supposed “unintended consequences” are known in advance. Nevertheless, these economic shifts often occur without warning or compensation to the people imperiled or damaged. This is the power and burden that goes with building large public works projects. It also presents the legal question of when should a property owner whose interests are imperiled or damaged by public works projects be compensated for such an economic shift.
Continue Reading Corps of Engineers Increases French Quarter Flood Risk

Corps of Engineers Releases 100 Year Flood Maps for New Orleans Metro Area

On Wednesday June 20, 2007, the Army Corps of Engineers released its long anticipated 100 year flood maps for various parts of the New Orleans metro area. While the maps depict some improvement over the flood risk that existed before Hurricane Katrina,

On May 30, 2007, United States District Judge Stanwood R Duval dismissed a class action lawsuit by residents of South Louisiana claiming damages from Hurricane Katrina. The court ruled that the plaintiffs had failed to exhaust their administrative remedies with the federal government before filing their Federal Tort Claims Act suit. The lawsuit accused the

On June 1, 2007, the Louisiana Legislature unanimously passed the state’s first comprehensive master plan for coastal restoration and hurricane protection. In response, the governor has asked the legislature to commit $200 million of the state’s surplus to the coastal fund and allow for the securitization of the tobacco settlement funds, of which 20% is constitutionally dedicated to the coastal fund. The new master plan is entitled, “Integrated Ecosystem Restoration and Hurricane Protection: Louisiana’s Comprehensive Plan for a Sustainable Coast.”
Continue Reading Legislature Adopts Master Plan for Coastal Restoration and Hurricane Protection

The new chief of the Army Corps of Engineers, Lt. General Robert Van Antwerp, told a New Orleans audience on Thursday May 31, 2007 that three important reports would be released by the Corps this summer. The first report due in June is a comprehensive study of the vulnerability of low lying areas of coastal Louisiana to future hurricanes. This report will show residents of the low lying area how their homes will do during about 150 hypothetical storms.
Continue Reading Three Reports Due This Summer From Army Corps of Engineers