Science and Environment

Flood Protection
2:27 pm
Sun August 11, 2013

Louisiana Lawmakers Push FEMA To Revamp Flood Maps

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 10:05 am

Louisiana public officials are launching a bipartisan battle to revamp proposed changes to the National Flood Insurance Program. The administrator evaluating the objections was taken on a helicopter tour of coastal regions possibly facing steep premium hikes.

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Environment
4:00 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

ProPublica: FEMA Flood Maps Fraught with Error

A new FEMA flood map of Burnet County, Texas has mistakenly placed the house marked 501 shown here in a high-risk flood area.
Credit Burnet County Environmental Services Department via ProPublica

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has issued new preliminary flood maps.

Louisiana’s delegation in Washington, D.C. is griping over FEMA’s disregard of local flood protection measures when it drew them.

Meanwhile, unless Congress succeeds in passing a delay, federal flood insurance rates are set to go up dramatically as soon as October. Many in Louisiana are facing increases of 20 percent or more.

And, as ProPublica reporter Theo Meyer has found, some may end up paying for insurance they don’t need.

Read the ProPublica article: Using Outdated Data, FEMA Is Wrongly Placing Homeowners in Flood Zones

Share your story: Tell ProPublica About Flood Map Problems Where You Live

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Environment
2:42 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

NOAA: Hurricane Season On Track To Be 'Above Normal'

Image of Tropical Storm Dorian on July 24 from NOAA's GOES East satellite.
NOAA

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 5:13 pm

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration stuck by its earlier prediction today that the summer will bring with it an "above normal" Atlantic hurricane season.

NOAA reports:

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Environment
8:06 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

The Louisiana Coast: Last Call — Funding The Master Plan

Originally published on Sun March 16, 2014 2:28 pm

When Louisiana officials unveiled the $50-billion Master Plan for the Coast, a 50-year program that could prevent most of southeast Louisiana from sinking under the Gulf by the end of the century as predicted, they knew one of their most important priorities would be getting reliable, long-term funding through Congress.

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Environment
8:47 am
Mon August 5, 2013

UPDATE: Clean-up of Train Derailment Underway

About 100 homes remain evacuated as officials work to clean up the site of a 26-car train derailment near the small community of Lawtell, about 60 miles west of Baton Rouge.

State police say crews are working Monday to clear U.S. 190 which is blocked by the accident. The Union Pacific train went off the tracks Sunday afternoon.

A company spokeswoman says one of the railcars was leaking sodium hydroxide, which can cause injuries or even death if it's inhaled or touches the skin. The other was leaking lube oil. But state police say the leaks were contained.

Environment
8:57 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

Train Derailment Prompts Precautionary Evacuation

The St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office says about 50 homes have been evacuated because of a railroad derailment.

The homes are within a mile of the spot where state police say at least 26 cars derailed about 3:30 p.m. Sunday, closing U.S. 190 east of Lawtell.

Master Trooper Daniel "Scott" Moreau says authorities have not reported any injuries, and the evacuation is a precaution.

He says some cars hold corrosive and flammable materials, including at least one flammable liquid.

Environment
4:27 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Legal Battles Over Land Rights, Pipelines Are On The Rise

The Crosstex NGL Pipeline is just one such project in the country that has forced long, unwanted legal battles between oil companies and landowners.
Mose Buchele KUT

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 8:01 pm

At Margaret O'Keefe's farm in East Texas, they grow high-quality Bermuda grass. The fields are flat and vibrant green, surrounded by woods of a darker, richer green. The family loves this land. O'Keefe inherited it from her mother, who divided it among eight children.

"She used to call it 'enchanted valley,' " O'Keefe says.

But her "enchanted valley" also lies in the path of the Crosstex NGL Pipeline.

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Environment
9:08 am
Sat July 27, 2013

Gas Leak Capped On Blown-Out Offshore Rig

Originally published on Fri July 26, 2013 8:31 am

Natural gas is no longer escaping from a blown-out oil rig off the Louisiana coast. Only a small flame is burning off residual gas in the pipeline.

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Environment
6:26 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Halliburton Will Plead Guilty To Destroying Evidence In BP Gulf Spill

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burned on April 21, 2010.
U.S. Coast Guard Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 6:59 pm

Halliburton Energy Services Inc. will plead guilty to destroying evidence in connection to the Deepwater Horizon explosion in April 2010 that left 11 dead and resulted in the largest oil spill in U.S. history, the Justice Department said on Thursday.

Justice said in a press release:

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Environment
2:38 am
Thu July 25, 2013

La. Flood Board Sues Oil Industry Over Wetlands

Canals created for navigation and oil and gas pipelines cut through the marsh off the coast of Louisiana, seen in 2010.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 10:49 am

Since the 1930s, Louisiana has lost roughly as much land as makes up the state of Delaware.

"If you put the state of Delaware between New Orleans and the ocean, we wouldn't need any levees at all," says John Barry, vice president of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East. "There is this large buffer of land that has disappeared, and that buffer makes New Orleans much more vulnerable to hurricanes."

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