NewsLafayette Parish


Court filing: Corps finds LCG did need permit for St. Martin Parish work

U.S. Western District Courthouse
Posted at 11:59 AM, May 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-05 12:59:58-04

On the heels of a defeat in state court on one drainage project this week, KATC has learned that LCG has received another.

According to documents filed in Lafayette's suit against St. Martin Parish, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's investigation into an LCG drainage project has resulted in an order being issued that says LCG did need a permit to conduct the project - something LCG has denied.

"St. Martin Parish Government has been advised by counsel for the Corps that an Administrative Order has been issued by the Corps, notifying and advising LCG that a Corps Permit was required for LCG's spoil bank destruction activities in St. Martin Parish," a motion filed by St. Martin in federal court states.

At issue is a project that LCG already has completed in St. Martin Parish, which removed decades-old levees on property partially owned by LCG. St. Martin Parish officials said that LCG did the project in the dark of night, and without permits from either the parish or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. LCG already had filed for a permit at a different location with the Corps; that permit application was withdrawn after St. Martin told the Corps that no parish permits for it would be granted.

St. Martin Parish officials had decided to file suit against LCG over the project, when LCG filed suit in Lafayette Parish against St. Martin and the Corps, asking a judge to say the project was legal. Last week, an Assistant US Attorney removed the case from Lafayette district court to federal court. A federal magistrate signed the order of removal a day later.

On Monday, St. Martin Parish filed a Motion to Dismiss Lafayette's suit. LCG's suit claims that the project "complied with all lawful regulations, ordinances, rules, procedures and laws," but that's not true - because the Corps says LCG did not get the necessary permit, the motion states.

The motion states that LCG's request for a ruling "is completely vague as to the specific matters for which it seeks a Declaratory Judgment." The St. Martin motion alleges that LCG didn't list the laws and regulations is claims to have complied with, and doesn't even state what it did to comply with those regulations.

"LCG alleges conclusions, but fails to allege facts from which it can be determined that no Corps permit was required for the destruction of spoil banks in St. Martin Parish," the motion states.

A hearing on the motion is set for June 29. You can read the Motion and supporting Memorandum below.

We've reached out to the Corps to get a copy of the Order, and to LCG for comment; LCG officials tell KATC can't comment, and they say they have not confirmed that the Administrative Order exists.