Author: richards

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The Worst Case in Disaster Planning

The Worst Case in Disaster Planning – Editorial, NOLA. – Good points in the editorial. I also think that we should look at the worst cases. However, politicians, and the disaster planners who work for them, usually do not want to admit that their plans do not cover the worst cases because that would require very unpopular actions[…]

Mississippi Flood History

The Mississippi Delta has always been defined by the sediment flow of the river and level of the ocean. Of these two, sediment flow is less important than ocean level – ocean level has varied more than 200 feet over…

Fewer but Bigger Hurricanes?

Some models of the effect of climate change on hurricanes predict fewer storms but stronger storms. While all storms are a threat to the Louisiana coast, it is the large storms that threaten the very existence of cities such as New Orleans. Dr.…

Coast Guard Report on Response to BP Spill

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY For the nation, the Deepwater Horizon oil well blowout and release was unprecedented in scope,scale, and duration. While the response system established by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990(OPA 90) has effectively dealt with approximately 1,500 oil spill…

The Japanese Tsunami and what it means to the US

Several areas of the United States are subject to tsunamis, and the coast north of San Francisco through the Canadian border has a history of catastrophic tsunamis. This report from FEMA details the tsunami risk in the United States: https://biotech.law.lsu.edu/climate/docs/japan_eq_tsunami_and_what_they_mean_for_the_us_03-17-2011.pdf…

Should we subsidize developing high risk coastal areas?

By Kathy Chu, USA TODAY
DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. — This island’s website couldn’t be blunter: “Dauphin Island is in a precarious position of being a barrier island, in essence an overgrown sandbar. This gives us a potential of being a disaster in the making. We have been hit by numerous hurricanes, Ivan, Frederic, Georges, Danny and many more!”…

Coastal Law and Science at LSU

Coastal law brings together many legal specialties, including property law, oil and gas law, federal and state environmental law, public health law, and aspects of national security law. But law alone is not enough. Developing effective coastal policy also requires…

Marsh land destruction not foreseeable cause of Katrina damage

In re the Complaint of Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co., — F.3d —-, 2010 WL 4013336 (5th Cir.(La.) Oct 14, 2010)

In this consolidated limitation action, Claimants, Hurricane Katrina floodvictims, filed claims against the Limitation Petitioners, private companies thatoperated twenty-two dredging vessels along the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet pursuant to contracts with the United States Army Corps of Engineers[…]

Can River Diversions Restore Marshland?

R. Eugene Turner, Doubt and the Values of an Ignorance-Based World View for Restoration: Coastal Louisiana Wetlands. Estuaries and Coasts (2009) 32:1054–1068.

Christopher M. Swarzenski, Thomas W. Doyle, Brian Fry, and Thomas G. Hargis. Biogeochemical response of organic-rich freshwater marshes in the Louisiana delta plain to chronic river water influx. Biogeochemistry (2008) 90:49–63.

These two papers raise serious doubts about the use of river diversions to restore marshland[…]

Green Building and National Hazards

Green building strategies include minimizing building materials and building in ways that may increase risks from earthquakes, floods, hail, and wind. FEMA raises some of these issues in this report: Natural Hazards and Sustainability for Residential Buildings, FEMA P-798 /…

Stafford Act – Keystone of Federal Disaster Response

The Stafford Act provides the financial framework for the federal disaster response. It is implemented through presidential declaration of an emergency. The basics of this process are outlined in report from CRS:

Keith Bea, Federal Stafford Act Disaster Assistance: Presidential Declarations, Eligible Activities, and Funding, CRS-RL33053, March 16, 2010 (August 29, 2005 version)[…]

What is the Corp Really Building in New Orleans?

From the University of Colorado Natural Hazards Observer:

Corps of Engineers’ Steven Stockton
Avoiding the Single Line of Defense
Natural Hazards Observer • September 2010

“Where are the visionaries for the future? [Congress’] focus is on a million different areas. It’s not on water infrastructure or on disaster risk mitigation,” says Steven Stockton, director of Civil Works for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.[…]

National Wildlife Federation and the NFIP

Environmental groups have strong objections to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) because it encourages development in fragile coastal environments. This testimony also mentions the proposed Multiple Peril Insurance Act which create a wind insurance program like the NFIP. Environmental groups oppose this because…