Latest Mississippi River Delta News: Dec. 3, 2013

The Louisiana Coast: Last Call — What’s Next?
By Bob Marshall, WWNO (New Orleans, La.). Dec. 2, 2013.
“Talk to anyone in South Louisiana and they know that the future is clouded by sea level rise and subsidence. They also know that if the Master Plan for the Coast is not implemented on time, as scheduled, Southeast Louisiana has very little chance of staying above that sea level rise…” (read more)

Authority to consider legal action to break logjam over MRGO
By Amy Wold, The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.). Dec. 3, 2013.
“A long-standing dispute between the state and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over who should pay for coastal restoration work associated with the closing of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet could end up being decided in the courts…” (read more)

State may sue Army Corps of Engineers over Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet wetlands restoration
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, La.). Dec. 2, 2013.
“The state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority will discuss Tuesday whether to file suit against the Army Corps of Engineers to enforce a congressional requirement that the agency pay the full cost of its proposed $3 billion plan to restore wetlands and land destroyed by the construction and operation of the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet…” (read more)

Panel of experts to review science behind state’s coastal rebuilding plan
By Bob Marshall, The Lens (New Orleans, La.). Dec. 2, 2013.
“As the Master Plan for the Coast began picking up momentum this year, the agency overseeing it got a surprise: People had questions and doubts. Not about fixing the coast, but about the large river diversions that are a key component of the plan, about what would happen to people and businesses in the path of those projects — even about the science underlying them…” (read more)

Ex-BP engineer who deleted texts heads to trial
By Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press. Dec. 1, 2013.
“Nearly a year after energy giant BP cut a deal to a resolve a criminal investigation of its role in the nation’s worst offshore oil spill, a jury is set to hear the Justice Department’s case against a former company employee accused of trying to stymie the federal investigation…” (read more)

Has state found strategy to hold Corps of Engineers responsible for coastal erosion?
By Jessica Williams, The Lens (New Orleans, La.). Dec. 2, 2013.
“Has Louisiana found the silver bullet long sought by environmental attorneys: a way to pierce the shield of immunity the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has enjoyed against lawsuits for wetlands damage it may have caused?…” (read more)

East Bank levee authority calls special meeting to vote again on suit against oil, gas companies
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, La.). Dec. 2, 2013.
“The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East will hold a special meeting Thursday afternoon (Dec. 5) to consider a motion on whether to reaffirm approval of a controversial lawsuit it filed in July seeking damages from 97 oil, gas and pipeline companies for wetlands loss adjacent to the east bank levee system…” (read more)

BP wins U.S. appeals court reprieve over some Gulf spill payments
By Reuters. Dec. 3, 2013.
“BP Plc won a legal reprieve in its effort to avoid payments to those whose losses were not traceable to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, potentially sparing the oil company of extra costs…” (read more)

5th Circuit orders temporary halt to business loss payments without proof of BP oil spill damage
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, La.). Dec. 2, 2013.
“Just 10 days after a federal judge in New Orleans lambasted BP for demanding that businesses must prove their losses were caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill before being paid under the terms of a private settlement, an appeals court ordered the judge not to allow such payments without proof that losses resulted from the spill…” (read more)

Ex-BP engineer begins first criminal trial from oil spill
By Margaret Cronin Fisk & Daniel Lawton, Bloomberg. Dec. 2, 2013.
“A former BP engineer accused of destroying evidence sought by the U.S. for a probe of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill went on trial in the first criminal case arising from the disaster to go before a jury…” (read more)

Court calls for broader review of BP spill funds
By Tom Fowler, The Wall Street Journal. Dec. 2, 2013.
“A federal-appeals-court ruling late Monday might spare BP PLC from making hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation payments stemming from its 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill…” (read more)

Jury selection begins in trial of BP engineer charged with obstruction
By David Hammer, WWL TV (New Orleans, La.). Dec. 3, 2013.
“The trial of Kurt Mix, the low-level BP engineer charged with deleting text messages and obstructing the government’s oil spill investigation, started with jury selection Monday…” (read more)