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

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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About Bob Marshall

From 2013 to 2017, Bob Marshall covered environmental issues for The Lens, with a special focus on coastal restoration and wetlands. While at The Times-Picayune, his work chronicling the people, stories and issues of Louisiana’s wetlands was recognized with two Pulitzer Prizes and other awards. In 2012 Marshall was a member of the inaugural class inducted into the Loyola University School of Communications Den of Distinction.

  • ejr

    Good. I hope the Flood Protection Authorities, their board memberships, and the lawsuit against the oil companies survive in the face of Jindal’s political ambition. If not, I hope the state senate approves the new nominee and preserves the board’s pro-suit majority. Thanks for the reporting, Lens.

  • nickelndime

    Good, my ASP (that’s my pet snake) didn’t have to bite anyone, and maybe it’s better that Eugene Priestley, who works for Chevron !, wasn’t there, because my ASP doesn’t understand why he is on the committee anyway if he has to recuse himself.