Six environmental groups are suing the U.S. Coast Guard, challenging a denial of two Freedom of Information Act requests about the response to an oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Advocate reports that the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic filed a complaint Tuesday in federal court in the District of Columbia on the groups' behalf. It asks the court to force the Coast Guard to release information requested in 2011 about leaking wells 11 miles from Louisiana's coast that were damaged when Hurricane Ivan in 2004 triggered an underwater landslide.
The plaintiffs are Waterkeeper Alliance, Atchafalaya Basinkeeper, Galveston Baykeeper, Louisiana Bayoukeeper, Apalachicola Riverkeeper and the Louisiana Environmental Action Network.
A telephone call to the Coast Guard for comment about the lawsuit was not immediately returned.
According to the complaint, the plaintiffs submitted a FOIA request Oct. 19, 2011, requesting information about the Mississippi Canyon block 20 of the Gulf of Mexico and associated with Taylor Energy Co. LLC of New Orleans.
"We filed this suit to stop the spill and lift the veil of secrecy surrounding Taylor Oil's eight-year long response and recovery operation," Marc Yaggi, executive director of Waterkeeper Alliance, said in a statement Tuesday. "Neither the government nor Taylor will answer basic questions related to the spill response, citing privacy concerns. The public deserves to know how this spill happened and why it continues."
The Coast Guard released 19 of 256 pages last June, but withheld most of the information requested, citing two FOIA exemptions.
A second FOIA request was sent Dec. 5, 2011, for documents about efforts to decommission wells in the area of the leaking wells. Although the Coast Guard acknowledged receiving the letter that day, the plaintiffs have not received a response, said Machelle Hall, an attorney with the law clinic.
Hall said the groups also filed a separate lawsuit against Taylor Energy, alleging there were up to 28 wells that continue to leak oil.
JUNE 17 If anyone ever wonders why Saints fans hate Atlanta with a capital H, here's a good indication. Radio "professionals" at an Atlanta station created an entire segment around making fun of former Saints player Steve Gleason, who is now paralyzed by ALS. Listen, nobody's ever accused DJs of being rocket scientists. But how could someone think it is amusing to pretend to ask a man with a degenerative, fatal disease if he will be alive next week? The DJs have been fired, and are now whining about how gutless their former bosses are. Wow.
JUNE 18 Here's the latest from the Advocate on the fatal hit-and-run accident allegedly involving the president of the Livingston Parish School Board. He's accused by police of hitting a 21-year-old man on a highway early Sunday and driving away. The man died at a hospital later. On Monday, police seized the president's truck and towed it away. But he's available for board meetings: apparently a $500 bond is sufficient for this type of thing over in St. Helena Parish.
JUNE 18 Former broadcast journalist Griffin Scott has posted this plea on his blog for financial assistance from his readers. Scott, who says he was fired after he wrote something fairly innocuous (for Facebook) on his wall, is suing a media giant for his job back. He's framed himself as David going after a bloated media giant, and he's probably not far off.
JUNE 18 Here's a fairly absurd column posted on DIG Magazine about the completely absurd practice of naming killer storms. Tornadoes don't have names. Blizzards don't have names. But hurricanes do, and there's a big process to bestow them, Jacques Cormery writes. He's right about the crazy assemblage of names -- this year, there's everything from Tanya to Humberto -- and his idea that we don't waste good names on killer storms is a good one.
JUNE 17 Political columnist John Maginnis has some advice for Louisiana Republicans: grow up. After the schism that occurred in this past session - fiscal hawks teaming up with Democrats to spank the Republican "majority" and hand Gov. Jindal his, er, aspirations for continued solon control -- they need to figure out how to get along with each other, Maginnis writes.
JUNE 17 Here's the Picayune's obit story for Dorothy 'Miss Dot' Domilise, the lady who made poboys at the uptown restaurant that bears her name. Miss Dot moved to New Orleans during World War II, where she met and married her husband Sam. When she passed away Friday she was 90, and had spent more than 60 of those years working at the restaurant on Annunciation Street.
JUNE 17 This editorial in the Advocate speaks in favor of the consent decrees that have federal judges overseeing police operations and the sheriff's parish prison in New Orleans. Mayor Landrieu and Sheriff Gusman can't get along, so outside forces, like the Inspector General and the judges, are needed to make sure things run right, the editorial opines.
JUNE 18 Here's a post from Manny Schewitz on Forward Progressives that is good for a chuckle. Manny had an epiphany back in November, and is sharing it with us today: he believes that Fox "News" is killing the GOP by pandering to right wing nuts. Now, don't get it twisted: Manny's not broke up about it. He says he enjoys watching the downward spiral with a shot of whiskey and "a schadenfreude chaser."
Frank’s Casing Crew, now doing business as Frank’s International, will make its final appearance on ABiz’s list of the Top 50 Privately Held Companies in Acadiana this year, and once again, it will likely be at the top with more than $1 billion in annual revenues. The 75-year-old company specializing in tubular fabrication and installation services to the oil and gas industry plans to go public this year.
The defeat, or rather highjacking of House Bill 420 in the final days of this year's Legislative Session, say Reps. Vincent Pierre and Terry Landry, is the result of the propaganda spread by one unidentified local media outlet and an unnamed former state Representative, but nothing to do with the original legislation's lack of checks, balances or details.
He’s a singer. A songwriter. A piano man. A family man. He’s even got his own Wikipedia entry. He’s David Egan. And he knows ancient secrets about the monolithic stones of Stonehenge that he’s not willing to share.