Much like our coastal wetlands, the landscape of legacy lawsuits seems to be ever-changing. Legacy lawsuits are lawsuits brought by coastal landowners in an attempt to restore their land that has been polluted, contaminated, or destroyed by oil and gas operations. These suits seek to enforce the Local Coastal Resources Management Act of 1978, as amended ( La. R.S. 214.21, et seq.) and the applicable regulations, rules, orders and ordinances promulgated or adopted by the State of Louisiana and its parishes. The Coastal Resources Management Act of 1978 states that it is the public policy of the state “[t]o protect, develop, and where feasible, restore or enhance the resources of the state’s coastal zone.” La. R.S. 49:214.22( 1).
For decades oil companies have operated with blatant disregard for our wetlands, and the laws established to protect them. These suits are an attempt by Louisiana citizens to reclaim their coastal wetlands, but the laws regulating these suits continue to change. Most recently the Louisiana Senate has introduced a bill, Senate Bill No. 667, which will serve as another impediment to the conservation and re-construction of Louisiana wetlands. Louisiana citizens should be weary of introducing any new impediments to an already difficult task of restoring our coastline.
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