Governor Bobby Jindal signed Bill 469 into law today. The intent and purpose of the new law is to kill litigation brought last year by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East against over 90 oil and gas exploration & production and pipeline companies. However, it can be expected that the Flood Protection Authority will seek legal action to nullify or limit the scope of this legislation in an effort to keep the litigation alive.
The new law provides that only entities authorized under the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) may bring litigation to assert claims arising out of certain permitted coastal activities. In addition, any recovered money through this type of litigation must be used to repair Louisiana’s coastlines.
This legislation does not affect the 28 other lawsuits that have been brought by the Parishes of Plaquemines and Jefferson seeking to enforce the Coastal Zone Management Act and related regulations against a large number of oil and gas exploration & production and pipeline companies. However, the defendants in those lawsuits are expected to challenge the power of the parishes under existing law to bring these claims.