Schexnaydre Law Firm, LLC

St. Bernard Parish Becomes Fifth Parish to File Suit against Oil Companies

St. Bernard Parish is now the fifth parish to sue oil and gas companies in Louisiana for alleged state law violations. (For some background on the issues, please see our previous post, "Dozens of Lawsuits Target Louisiana Oil and Gas Producers.")

The St. Bernard Parish lawsuit comes after Gov. John Bel Edwards, in September, said coastal parishes had 30 days to file lawsuits against the industry. 

The governor has indicated that, if the coastal parishes choose not to file suit, the state will do so on their behalf.

ConocoPhillips, Chevron, ARCO and 11 other companies are being sued by St. Bernard Parish. The lawsuit claims the companies violated state laws by failing to properly discharge oilfield waste, failing to obtain proper permits, failing to properly dispose of toxins and failing to construct sites that are able to withstand inclement weather.

Jefferson, Plaquemines, Cameron and Vermillion parishes have all filed similar lawsuits.

Gov. Edwards and Attorney General Jeff Landry are at odds over how to address the ongoing coastal crisis.

Having campaigned on the promise to hold the oil industry accountable for coastal land loss, Gov. Edwards appears adamant about using litigation to secure a positive outcome.

Disagreeing with Edwards' approach, Attorney General Landry has said that "creating a situation where multiple courts rule on the same issues will result in inconsistencies, conflicts and confusion."

In fact, there are administrative remedies, as opposed to litigation, for addressing environmental concerns in the Louisiana oil and gas industry.

For more on legal issues specific to oil and gas, please see Schexnaydre Law Firm's oil and gas law overview. We handle environmental disputes and a range of other matters for oil companies, independent producers and operators, and landowners.

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Mandeville, LA 70471

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