Natural Resource Damages, Calcasieu Estuary, Louisiana

The Calcasieu Estuary includes the area of the Calcasieu River from northern Moss Lake to the salt water barrier at Lake Charles. The Calcasieu Estuary is an industrialized area where several petrochemical and agrochemical plants manufacture and process diverse products including, petroleum fuels, lubricating oil, chlorinated solvents, synthetic rubber, olefins and pigments. Industrialization of this area took place beginning in the 1920s, but greatly intensified during the Second World War and expanded even more in the post-war period.

In the early 1990s federal and state natural resource trustees began a natural resource damages action against industrial concerns that discharged to the estuary. Lithochimeia provided technical assistance to counsel for a predecessor in interest to numerous industrial sites surrounding the Calcasieu estuary. Assistance provided included construction of current and waste profiles for all industrial sites surrounding the estuary from a consideration of the processes employed at these sites, review of environmental sampling data, air photo review of GIS mapping.