State Attorney General Jeff Landry authorized a $100 million settlement with one of the dozens of oil and gas companies accused of destroying Louisiana’s coast.
Lawsuits were filed by seven parishes alleging 42 energy companies damaged wetlands and marshes through drilling and other projects. The agreement releases Freeport-McMoRan Inc. from liability for any current claims and dismisses the company from the coastal parish lawsuits.
In exchange, the Phoenix-based company has agreed to deposit the first payment into a trust, followed by several smaller yearly payments, Landry said. Payments will not be distributed until the state Legislature creates an oversight board to hold and manage the money.
That board will then award the money to projects consistent with the state’s Coastal Master Plan, with 60% dedicated to state projects and 40% dedicated to local projects, Landry said.