Live blog Friday: Survival of coastal loss lawsuit could be determined by committee’s board pick

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The immediate future of the regional Flood Protection Authority’s lawsuit against oil and gas companies for wetlands damages hangs in the balance Friday, when a nominating committee meets in an emergency session to select a board member.

The meeting will be held at 5307 Toler St. in Harahan at 3 p.m. The Lens will live-blog it here.

Last week the committee voted 5-4 to renominate coastal geologist Paul Kemp to the board of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East. Kemp was on the board when it voted unanimously to file the lawsuit, but his term has expired.

The committee’s decision to choose Kemp would have meant that a majority of the levee board still supports the suit. Gov. Bobby Jindal has been trying to end the lawsuit by appointing opponents to the board.

But after the committee voted for Kemp, chairman Jay Lapeyre discovered that state law requires a majority of the 11-member committee to nominate board members, not just a majority of the committee members present. The vote to appoint Kemp was 5-4, one shy of a majority of the committee.

If the committee does not send a board candidate to the governor by midnight Monday, he can make his own selection.

Live blog, 3 p.m. Friday

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