The House of Representatives passed a bill this week to spend $50 billion to help states struck by Hurricane Sandy. The action comes more than two months after the storm, and the measure now goes to the Senate.
The Department of the Interior is huge — more than 70,000 employees manage a half-billion acres of public land, mostly in the West. The department does everything from operate national parks to administer Native American social programs and manage wild horses.
The Deepwater Horizon rig exploded off Louisiana’s coast in 2010, unleashing an unmatched oil spill from BP’s Macondo well.
About eight months later, the Justice Department filed suit to recover damages.
BP entered into a $4.5 billion settlement of criminal claims in November.
The owner of the rig, Transocean, has just agreed to plead guilty and pay $1.4 billion in criminal and civil penalties for violating the Clean Water Act. A federal judge is likely to sign off on the agreement at a hearing set for Feb. 14.
The Coast Guard has approved plans to investigate another oil sheen spotted near the site of BP's 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. The sheen was initially spotted on Nov. 2 in the same area where a discarded steel container leaking oil had been capped and plugged the week before.
Mitchell J. Silver opened the Louisiana Smart Growth Summit last night with constructive criticism of the capital city and its leaders. Silver serves in the Department of City Planning in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Vice President of the East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority Mark Goodson is part of panel discussion at the Smart Growth summit downtown Tuesday that will delve into the issue of redeveloping neglected and abandoned properties.
The Redevelopment Authority says in 2009, East Baton Rouge Parish had some 6,500 adjudicated parcels of land. That’s somewhere between 2 and 3 percent of all the parcels in the parish. The Authority is currently conducting a study in tandem with the Center for Community Progress to bring that information up-to-date. The numbers, however, are projected to be similar.
Goodson says Baton Rouge should take a more robust approach to code enforcement to reduce blight like Atlanta, Portland, and even New Orleans already have.
Louisiana homeowners, renters and business owners who sustained damage after Hurricane Isaac have only three days left to register with FEMA for disaster assistance. Thursday is also the day the state’s two remaining Disaster Recovery Centers will close.