Category Archives: Investigations

In more than a quarter century as an environmental lawyer, I’ve learned a lot about the mostly ineffective ways that government regulators do their jobs — and that learning curve definitely accelerated in those first few months after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Time and time again, I — and others in the environmental community here in Louisiana — watched in those early days of the massive BP oil [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Human Interest, Important Articles, Investigations, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Recovery, Safety, Testing Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Labor Day weekend hasn’t been a holiday from fear along the East Coast — especially at the Jersey Shore, which is normally booming with tourists from the traditional end of summer vacation. As I write this, Tropical Storm Hermine is strengthening into a hurricane — just as it was when it battered central Florida on its meandering journey northward — and threatening to lash the Eastern Seaboard with harsh winds, [...]

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Posted in Causes, Commentary, Human Interest, Important Articles, Investigations, Main, Ocean Life, Research, Safety Tagged , , , , , , ,

It’s almost starting to become a cliche in 2016: That this poor community or that city is poised to become “the new Flint.” It’s not surprising that such a stunning case of governmental malfeasance — allowing residents of a mid-sized, economically challenged community to drink corrosive lead-poisoned water for nearly two years — would become the new low standard for environmental misconduct. And yet — as we’ve learned in recent [...]

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Posted in Commentary, Human Interest, Illnesses, Important Articles, Investigations, Main, Politics, Regulation, Safety, Testing Tagged , , , , , , ,

Not that long ago, I mentioned in a blog post that the New York Times had found strands of evidence — common law firms, similar lobbying and political strategies and the like — suggesting that two of our most notorious industries may have worked more closely together than anyone could have imagined. At first blush, the idea that lobbyists and key executives for these two so-called “merchants of death” — [...]

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Posted in Causes, Commentary, Important Articles, Investigations, Legal, Main, Politics, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,

America’s drinking water is under assault — from careless dumping of hazardous wastes to the lead pollution caused by our ancient infrastructure. Yet rarely do these tales of governmental neglect or industrial abuses make it onto the national radar screen. The Flint, Michigan, lead pollution story was different — a “perfect storm” that combined race, the poisoning of countless children, and gross negligence on the part of the state government. [...]

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Posted in Causes, Human Interest, Illnesses, Important Articles, Investigations, Legal, Main, Politics, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

There was a rare, positive development in the ongoing saga of Flint’s corrosive water supply and the lead poisoning of residents in the Michigan city — and hopefully it’s the first step toward something much more meaningful. The events that have transpired in Flint since early 2014, when cost-cutting state officials engineered a switch to that abrasive water from the Flint River and then ignored clear signs that lead from [...]

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Posted in Causes, Human Interest, Important Articles, Investigations, Legal, Main, Politics, Response, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,

The wheels of justice turn slowly, but the good news is that they still turn — even in the cesspool of political corruption that is my home state of Louisiana. Many times on this website, I’ve written about the uselessness of the state’s regulatory agencies — which basically exist to aid and abet Big Oil and Gas, and not the average citizen or Louisiana’s fragile environment. The worst offender, we’ve [...]

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Posted in Human Interest, Important Articles, Investigations, Legal, Main, Politics, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , , , ,

Too many times in the past, I’ve taken to this blog to write about the latest pollution outrage in the stretch of Louisiana nicknamed “Cancer Alley.” If you’ve been to my native state or even flown over Louisiana bayou country, you’ve certainly seen it: Large refineries or petrochemical processing plants,  shiny, smoke-shrouded jumbles of steel pipes and massive holding tanks, which line the banks of the mighty Mississippi River from [...]

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Posted in Causes, Commentary, Fracking, Human Interest, Illnesses, Important Articles, Investigations, Main, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , ,

Do you think that you had a bad year in 2015? I can almost guarantee that economically, it wasn’t as bad as it was for BP, the British oil giant behind the worst oil spill in American history. This week, BP officially it announced its earnings for the quarter and for the year — but the term “earnings” is something of a misnomer. Indeed, the Big Oil icon lost a [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Causes, Human Interest, Important Articles, Investigations, Main, Ocean Life, Oil Spill Facts, Recovery, Research, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,

The situation in Flint, Michigan — the beaten-down industrial city where poor residents were essentially force-fed toxic drinking water for nearly two years — keeps getting worse and worse. In addition to elevated lead levels in a growing number of Flint’s children — a situation that can lead to permanent brain damage — there are concerns that dozens of cases of Legionnaire’s disease, including 10 fatalities, may be tied to [...]

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Posted in Causes, Commentary, Human Interest, Illnesses, Important Articles, Investigations, Main, Politics, Safety Tagged , , , , , , , ,