Author

Sara Sneath

Sara Sneath

Sara Sneath is a freelance environmental journalist who lives in New Orleans with her dog and three bikes.

Louisiana Shell refinery left spewing chemicals after Hurricane Ida

By: - September 4, 2021

Behind a playground littered with downed tree branches, Shell’s refinery in Norco, Louisiana spewed black smoke from its stacks. The smell of rotten eggs, the signature scent of sulphur emissions, lingered in the air. In an effort to burn off toxic chemicals before and after Hurricane Ida, many industrial facilities sent the gases through smoke […]

Louisiana government researcher says she was fired for raising alarm about dolphin deaths

By: - July 29, 2021

Gulf Coast researchers are raising alarms about a $1.4 billion coastal restoration project’s potential to kill and injure bottlenose dolphins. Now, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries employee whose job it was to count dolphin deaths in the state says she was fired in 2019 because her work reaffirmed the potential of the project […]

Grassroot groups give Louisiana lawmakers an ‘F’ on the environment

By: - July 7, 2021

Louisiana is among the nation’s top energy producing states. It’s also among the states most vulnerable to climate change, which is driving more intense hurricanes and rising seas. That combination of energy production and geographic vulnerability means state lawmakers are in a powerful position to address the environmental impacts of energy production. So how did […]

Amid oil and gas buildout, Louisiana industry pushes for less oversight

By: - June 15, 2021

When a natural gas pipeline fire in Paradis killed one worker and burned three others in 2017, the Louisiana State Police ordered Phillips 66 to pay a $22,000 fine for failing to immediately report the incident. The fire burned for four days before first responders could put it out. But the company ultimately didn’t pay […]

Louisiana Legislature passed chemical recycling bill, but critics say it may worsen environment

By: - June 14, 2021

A bill passed by the Louisiana Legislature this session would usher in a new kind of plastic recycling in the state, but environmental advocates warn that the process is unproven at best and could bring more pollution to communities already breathing in toxic emissions. Senate Bill 97 by Sen. Eddie Lambert (R-Gonzales) paves the way […]

This session made the 8th consecutive year the Louisiana Legislature heaped praise on Formosa Plastics

By: - June 10, 2021

For nearly a decade, Louisiana lawmakers have passed annual resolutions encouraging closer economic ties with Taiwan. Dating back to 2014, these resolutions have mentioned Formosa Plastics, the company behind a controversial plan to build a giant plastics manufacturing complex in St. James Parish. This year, Senate Concurrent Resolution 20 by Sen. Barrow Peacock (R-Bossier City) […]

Gov. Edwards gets bill that doubles maximum punishment for flying drones over critical infrastructure

By: - June 9, 2021

A bill that would increase penalties for flying drones above petrochemical facilities, pipelines and grain elevators is headed to Gov. John Bel Edwards’ desk  for his signature.  HB265, by Rep. Ken Brass (D-Vacherie), increases the maximum fine for the second offense of flying a drone above critical infrastructure from $2,000 to $4,000 and increases the […]

Recreational fishers want Louisiana’s biggest commercial fishery to back off nearshore waters

By: - June 4, 2021

A small silver fish was the topic of a nearly three hour discussion among fishers, environmental advocates and lawmakers at the Louisiana Capitol this week. At issue was House Bill 535, which would not allow menhaden fishing within a quarter mile of Louisiana’s shore. Menhaden, also called pogies, are small bait fish caught in the […]

Sulphur’s brown water catches attention of a national environmental activist

By: - June 2, 2021

Like more than 300 water systems across the state, the system that provides water for Sulphur resident Cindy Robertson contains more iron than what’s recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency. The elevated level of iron makes the water coming out of Roberton’s tap the color of iced tea.  “I had white towels when I moved […]

Resolution initiated by 13-year-old aims to recycle Louisiana’s political campaign signs

By: - June 1, 2021

When campaigns are over, corrugated plastic signs are often left behind on neutral grounds and in ditches. And there’s another problem: Most city recycling programs don’t accept the signs, which are classified as #5 plastics, the same as yogurt cups and butter tubs. But in 2019 Tre Bishop, the son of Rep. Stuart Bishop, (R-Lafayette) […]

Legislation to slow down solar development advances in Louisiana Legislature

By: - May 27, 2021

Two pieces of legislation that could slow solar development in Louisiana moved forward at the State Capitol Wednesday. A House resolution and Senate bill both advanced out of committees without opposition. House Concurrent Resolution 40 by Rep. Clay Schexnayder (R-Gonzales) will block solar projects from being eligible for industrial tax breaks until July 10, and […]

Louisiana boil water notices paint a picture of the state’s failing drinking water infrastructure

By: - May 13, 2021

This story was co-published with WWNO/WRKF. As far back as Fannie King, 39, can remember, there have been problems with the drinking water in Tallulah, a small city in northeastern Louisiana. King’s experienced water outages, discolored water and backups that cause the water to drain slowly. “As long as I’ve been living, there’s always been […]