Author

Sara Sneath, Floodlight

Sara Sneath, Floodlight

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

Louisiana project highlights unknowns of carbon capture

By: - October 15, 2022

This story is published in partnership with Floodlight, Louisiana Illuminator, The Guardian, KALB-TV and The Lens.  A carbon capture project proposed for a central Louisiana power plant has been dubbed “Project Diamond Vault” by its owner, Louisiana utility Cleco. The utility says the project will have “precious value” to the company, customers and state. Yet less than […]

Sinking homes, damaged roads: How a New Orleans community struggles against subsidence

By: - October 12, 2022

This story was reported through a partnership that includes the Louisiana Illuminator, Floodlight, The Lens, WWNO-FM and The Guardian.  NEW ORLEANS – In the early 1990s, James Wright lost his family home in the 9th Ward neighborhood when a new school was built on his block. “They basically took our houses because they gave us […]

Industry overpumping of Baton Rouge groundwater could pollute the supply for residents

By: - June 8, 2022

The pristine Baton Rouge water source is facing a serious and worsening threat from over pumping: saltwater intrusion. Much of it can be attributed to unchecked water use by the industrial sector.

Sharon Hewitt

Louisiana Sen. Sharon Hewitt has history of passing bills to benefit oil and gas, her husband

By: - May 6, 2022

Public records shared with Floodlight in partnership with The Lens, The Illuminator and The Guardian, show state Sen. Sharon Hewitt of Slidell also pushed for laws that would benefit her husband’s company.  

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 […]