Louisiana parishes reject $100 million settlement for coastal erosion

(The Associated Press/Alex Brandon)

A proposed $100 million settlement in a lawsuit against energy company Freeport-McMoRan over alleged damage to the coast continues to unravel, most recently with St. Mary Parish refusing to sign on to the deal, reports The Center Square.

It was the fourth parish to reject the deal (only Jefferson and St. Bernard parishes have agreed), while the Legislature has twice failed to approve legislation to create the Coastal Zone Recovery Authority.

The St. Mary Parish Council voted 10-0 in September against a resolution authorizing 16th Judicial District Attorney Bo Duhe to sign on to the settlement, which would require Freeport-McMoRan Oil and Gas to pay $23.5 million to fund coastal restoration projects over two decades.

The proposed settlement involves one of 43 ongoing lawsuits from coastal parishes that allege more than 200 energy companies damaged the coastline by creating canals and other development, despite federal permits authorizing the work. Read the entire story.