Wetlands/Land Loss, Coastal Zone Management, Climate Change

Kean Miller’s energy and environmental teams are on the cutting-edge of land use, wetlands loss, and litigation involving coastal erosion. We have extensive experience tracking the history of industry activity in the marshes of South Louisiana. We regularly represent energy, exploration and production, and pipeline companies in connection with historical drilling activities, construction matters, coastal permitting, engineering evaluations, subsidence claims, sediment diversion issues, saltwater intrusion claims, legislative and administrative remedies, and evaluation of scientific research related to Louisiana’s coastal parishes.

Kean Miller is monitoring closely the novel climate change lawsuits filed by state and local governments in California, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Washington. The plaintiffs allege that greenhouse gas-driven sea level rise is currently damaging their coastal communities and civil infrastructures.

We currently represent some of the country’s most prominent energy, chemical, and pipeline companies in this substantive arena. Our depth of knowledge and expertise in the network of pipelines that provide energy from Louisiana to almost every state in the nation is unmatched. We have handled hundreds of pipeline projects from start to finish, including right of way negotiations, purchases, final demands, expropriation litigation, environmental regulatory matters, administrative hearings, and pipeline rupture claims. We have acted on behalf of Fortune 100 companies, individuals, partnerships, limited partnerships, and major international energy companies. We regularly represent financial institutions, chemical and petrochemical companies, pipeline companies, municipalities, conservation authorities, other regulatory bodies and levels of government on issues affecting real property, including expropriation, land use applications, property assessments and residential tenancy issues.

Representative Experience
  • Kean Miller has handled hundreds of oilfield legacy cases and has tried more of these cases than any defense law firm in Louisiana. Our teams are familiar with the legal and technical issues that are critical to the successful defense of legacy oilfield contamination claims, and wetlands loss claims.
  • Representation of a national energy client in a wetlands loss claim involving 15,000 acres of wetlands in south Terrebonne Parish. As part of the litigation, the Kean Miller team filed a third-party claim against the Corp of Engineers (COE) in connection with the federal government’s role in wetlands losses in south Louisiana. The case involved the role of natural subsidence, and construction issues related to navigation canals, levees and navigation arteries constructed by the COE and other public bodies.
  • Kean Miller has extensive experience with plaintiff theories, strategies and expert witnesses in land loss cases, having handled numerous land loss cases for Fortune 500 companies and other firm clients.
  • Representation of a global energy company in class action litigation alleging land loss filed after Hurricane Katrina. Case was dismissed on dispositive motion in Federal Court.
  • Representation of a Fortune 100 energy client in the defense of numerous land loss claims throughout the Louisiana Coastal Zone.
  • In addition to the specific cases where Kean Miller represented clients in land loss cases, Kean Miller has also been retained to draft amicus briefs for industry groups in land loss cases.
  • In representing clients in land loss cases, Kean Miller is familiar with and has worked with the leading experts to defend against these types of claims.
  • Through representing clients in other litigation, including land loss cases and litigation related to Hurricane Katrina, Kean Miller has a substantial knowledge of the United States Corps of Engineers and the federal government’s contribution to land loss issues.
  • Representation of numerous claims for alleged wetlands damages and wetlands losses against oil and gas companies allegedly related to oil and gas exploration activities. These cases required extensive expertise in surface hydrology, wetlands loss, salt water intrusion, and geological subsidence.
  • Defense of petroleum exploration and production companies in class action lawsuits relating to soil and groundwater contamination, damage to leased property through long-term production activities, and damage to wetlands, including loss of soil through erosion.