2011 Regular Session . May 18, 2011
Victory for Louisiana landowners -- state, business and private
HB 563, oilfield contamination cleanup 'legacy lawsuits' bill deferred in committee by 10-7 vote
Opponents' testimony was led by attorney Jimmy Faircloth who represented RoyOMartin timber and forestry, which he identified as the largest landowner in Louisiana. Faircloth reminded lawmakers that the two main points about this bill are that it erodes the rights of landowners and that oil and gas operators do not accept the responsibility they already have to clean up any contamination they create. He cautioned legislators about possible "ugly misuse" of this bill in that it would allow oilfield operators to first remediate a contaminated site before any legal claims could be pursued and before discovery would be allowed.
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The session must adjourn on or before 6 p.m. Thursday, June 23, 2011.