Money From 1 Small Settlement Earmarked For Coast

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Money from the first and only settlement so far in a Louisiana flood board's lawsuit against dozens of energy companies will be placed in a special account dedicated to coastal restoration.

         The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East voted Thursday to establish the dedicated account for any funds from the controversial lawsuit it filed in 2013 against dozens of oil, gas and pipeline companies. The suit seeks damages for the degradation of wetlands that protect New Orleans from hurricanes.

         Major energy companies are fighting the lawsuit, but two small companies agreed to a settlement with the flood authority last month. The settlement is estimated at $50,000. Much larger amounts are at stake in a suit that could last for years — although industry supporters are trying to kill the suit.

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