Landry authorizes lawsuit settlement between oil company, state

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Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry announced on March 4 that he has signed off on a deal to resolve litigation involving an oil-and-gas company and coastal parishes alleging environmental damage, reports The Center Square.

The Louisiana Legislature would have to create the framework to implement the deal between Freeport-McMoRan and the state, with the proceeds going to projects consistent with Louisiana’s coastal restoration plan, Landry said.

The settlement releases Freeport from liability for any current claims, triggering its dismissal from the coastal parish lawsuits. In exchange, Freeport would deposit an initial $15 million payment into an escrow account. The company would make additional annual payments, contingent on legislative action, of $4.25 million over 20 years.

Payments would not be distributed until the Legislature creates a special fund and oversight board to manage the money, according to Landry’s office. The board would award money toward projects consistent with the state‚Äôs Coastal Master Plan, with 60 percent dedicated to state projects and 40 percent dedicated to local projects. See the full story.