December 27, 2002

Take This Land and Keep It

The Times reports that the Federal 5th Circuit upheld an earlier district court ruling that allowed the City of Shreveport to expropriate land for a multimillion-dollar parking garage. "Thursday's ruling likely marks the end to years of contentious argument over the land being used to develop the problem-plagued convention center, the largest capital project in city history."

Posted by AJR at 08:44 AM

December 24, 2002

Environmental Convict

The former plant manager of PCS Nitrogen in Geismar was fined $30,000 by District Judge Holdridge of the 23rd JDC, reports The Advocate. The facility itself has already agreed to pay $1.7 million in fines and $9.3 million in improvements and repairs for the facilty. David Dugas, a U.S. Attorney, indicated that the fines were the largest ever imposed for an environmental crime in Louisiana.

The charges against the plant manager resulted from a four-year investigation by the EPA, FBI, and U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Louisiana.

In somewhat related news, the Times Picayune reports that federal prosecutors from the U.S. attorney's office in New Orleans have charged an Iowa shipping company in the dumping of two tons of industrial waste into the Mississippi River. A joint investigation by the EPA and U.S. Coast Guard determined that crew members knowingly discharged a load of bunker fule and cargo hold debris from the ship's bilge directly into the Mississippi, which is a violation of the Clean Water Act.

Posted by AJR at 01:30 PM | Comments (0)

December 22, 2002

Servitude Semantics

The Baton Rouge Rouge Business Report provides an overview of a servitude dispute gurgling in the Baton Rouge sewers. Not just another landowner lawsuit outlines the dispute between a few developers and the East Baton Rouge Department of Public Works concerning the installation of sewer lines in drainage servitudes. Although it is apparently common practice for the DPW to use drainage servitudes to install underground utilities, one developer has balked at the idea.

Fred Raiford, the head of the DPW, says: "We may lose this case, but the developers in this parish are going to lose in the long run. If we lose then we will never, ever allow any more utilities in our servitudes—never."

Posted by AJR at 08:57 PM