Cynthia Sarthou, Gulf Restoration Network, (504) 525-1528 ext 202
Darryl Malek-Wiley, Sierra Club, (504) 427-1885 cell
Sandra Slifer, President, League of Women Voters of Louisiana, (985) 875-9388
Sandy Rosenthal, Founder, Levees.org, 504-722-8172
Supporters Converge in Solidarity with Flood Protection Authority
Transportation Committee Urged to Let the Courts Decide
(Baton Rouge) A diverse array of Louisiana organizations and citizens are calling on the Louisiana House and Senate Transportation, Highways and Public Works Committees to support the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority’s lawsuit versus 97 oil, gas and pipeline companies for destruction of the Louisiana coast.
According to the agenda, the Wednesday, August 14th Joint Committee meeting has been called for “review and discussion relative to Civil Action No. 13-6911.” That action is the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority’s lawsuit. It is unusual for the Joint Transportation Committee to meet to consider this pending litigation because the committee has no legislative authority to oversee the actions of the independent Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority - East.
The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority - East was established by the voters of Louisiana by Constitutional Amendment in 2007 with the sole mission of flood protection. It was established as a body of credentialed experts in engineering, hydrology and flood protection, independent of the political meddling said to have plagued local levee boards before Katrina and Rita. "The primary purpose of the new Authority, as stated in the law, is regional coordination of flood protection." said Sandy Rosenthal, founder of Levees.org.
Louisiana has lost more than 1,900 square miles of coastal wetlands. This loss includes the destruction of marsh vegetation by salt water intrusion caused by 10,000 miles of canals and pipelines for oil and gas companies. This loss also includes the sinking of coastal lands caused by the extraction of oil and gas resources.
“The industrial damage to Louisiana’s coast makes all of us more vulnerable to the dangers of storm surge and sea level rise. This lawsuit is about holding the oil, gas and pipeline industries accountable for fixing the coast they broke,” said Sandra Slifer, President, League of Women Voters of Louisiana.
“The legislators know the damage done to our coast by oil and gas companies, but they haven’t done anything to hold these companies responsible. They should not stand in the way of this lawsuit,” said Cynthia Sarthou, Executive Director, Gulf Restoration Network.
“We have seen a great outpouring of public support for the lawsuit brought by the Southeast Flood Protection Authority with over 11,000 signatures to a petition asking Gov. Jindal to support this lawsuit rather than attack the lawsuit by Southeast Flood Protection Authority” said Darryl Malek-Wiley Sierra Club.