Author

Sara Sneath

Sara Sneath

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

New law keeps some industrial pollution accidents hidden from the public

Gov. Edwards wants feds to end suspension against oil and gas leases in Gulf

By: - May 13, 2021

Gov. John Bel Edwards urged Congress to lift the pause on oil and gas leasing in the Gulf of Mexico at a U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing Thursday. “If this pause turns into something longer than the word ‘pause’ suggests, we know that it will have a tremendously adverse impact on […]

Resolution aimed at preventing plastic pollution in state waterways passes committee

By: - May 12, 2021

When a container of plastic pellets fell off a docked ship in New Orleans and into the Mississippi River, it took three weeks for the company that owned the vessel to hire a company to clean up the plastic pollution. By then, pellets the size of lentils had washed up on river banks stretching at […]

Governor signs orphan well tax exemption into law

Bill said to help solve the Louisiana’s abandoned oil well problem passes House

By: - May 11, 2021

The Louisiana House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill to exempt production of oil from abandoned wells from severance tax Tuesday. Rep. Jean-Paul Coussan (R-Lafayette) described House Bill 662 as a win-win for the industry and the environment. But environmental advocates disagree. The executive director of Healthy Gulf, Cynthia Sarthou, called the bill a “real […]

‘It’s going to hurt the people,’ resident says of bill to make Louisiana a ‘fossil fuel sanctuary state’

By: - May 10, 2021

Just south of Oil City, where state Rep. Danny McCormick is from, is the predominantly Black city of Shreveport. Residents there breathe some of the most toxic air in the country. Oil refineries owned by UOP and Calumet contribute to the town’s toxic emissions, according to the EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory. But as previously reported […]

Louisiana’s special-ed classrooms could be equipped with video cameras if bill becomes law

By: - May 6, 2021

Dr. Mary Elizabeth Christian didn’t know her child was being restrained in an East Baton Rouge Parish school until the principal made an offhand comment about it. Though it happened 15 years ago, her daughter still gets upset when she sees a chair that looks like the one in which she was restrained. On Wednesday, […]

LSU Student Union

Bill threatens bond funding if universities don’t post crime stats on their homepage

By: - May 6, 2021

Rep. Neil Riser (R-Columbia) thinks that public universities that don’t report their crime statistics on the homepage of their website need more than “just a good talking to.” House Bill 394 would ban universities that don’t put crime stats on their homepage from asking for bonds from the state, which could slow down projects. The […]

Proposed legislation would reduce low level wildlife crimes to civil fines

By: - May 5, 2021

A bill that would reduce low level fishing and hunting crimes in Louisiana to civil penalties took a step forward toward becoming law Wednesday. House Bill 655 removes the possibility of imprisonment for crimes such as possessing an undersized commercial fish. The bill was introduced by Rep. Chad Brown (D-Plaquemine) who said the legislation would […]

Louisiana House committee supports higher fees for hunting and fishing licenses

By: - May 5, 2021

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is running out of money. The department faces an expected $16 million shortfall this year and a $34 million deficit next year, said Rep. Tony Bacala (R-Prairieville) while introducing a bill that would increase hunting and fishing licenses at a Louisiana House committee hearing Wednesday. The department has […]

Bill to make Louisiana a fossil fuel sanctuary state signals lawmakers’ discontent with Biden administration

By: - April 28, 2021

An attorney for the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources said Wednesday that a bill to make Louisiana a fossil fuel sanctuary state could jeopardize the state’s ability to enforce environmental programs. There are several federal environmental regulations — including the Clean Water Act and intrastate pipeline safety requirements — that the state is granted primary […]

Louisiana fund paid 5 malpractice claims totaling $4.3 million for a single physician last year

By: - April 27, 2021

A Lake Charles doctor had so many malpractice claims settled against him in 2020 that — for the first time ever — he triggered a mandatory report to be sent to the Louisiana Legislature. One of the five malpractice cases settled against Dr. Keith Chung last year resulted in the death of a patient. More […]

Louisiana Senate backs bill negating groundwater commissioners ethics violations

By: and - April 26, 2021

The Louisiana Senate voted overwhelmingly for legislation that would let the commissioners who regulate groundwater in the Baton Rouge area to be paid by the companies that extract it. The bill would also negate state ethics charges that five of the 18 Capital Area Ground Water Conservation Commission members are facing. The Louisiana Board of […]

Pipeline companies want to change the law to avoid fines from Louisiana State Police

By: - April 22, 2021

A Louisiana State Police commander told a Louisiana House committee Thursday that a bill to cut the state police out of notifications concerning small gas leaks would be a danger to public health. HB 549, introduced by Rep. Danny McCormick (R-Oil City), would stop Louisiana State Police from being able to ticket pipeline companies for […]