(Scroll down to Page 25 ~ Page 28 on the Document)
Joe Pool Lake Dam
(Reuters) - (September 25, 2012) A U.S. appeals court has reversed itself (yesterday September 24, 2012) and found that the Army Corps of Engineers cannot be held liable in property owners' lawsuits over flood damage during Hurricane Katrina. More than 400 property owners had filed lawsuits following the August 2005 hurricane, many targeting the Corps of Engineers.
The plaintiffs had alleged the Corps of Engineers delayed armoring the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet shipping channel against flood damage due to incorrect scientific decisions rather than public policy considerations. In an unusual move, a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans on Monday withdrew its earlier ruling in March that had been in the plaintiffs' favor.A Little Background and More: In 1996 the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) decided, "No leasing of federal land for drilling activities within a 3,000 foot buffer zone of Joe Pool Lake Dam." NSO (No Surface Occupancy) and ND (No Drilling) (See Page 25 in the above document.)
Monday's ruling came after the federal government sought review of the panel's earlier decision by the full appeals court. Judge Jerry Smith, writing for the court, said the Corps of Engineers is immune from being held liable for property damage under the so-called "discretionary function exception" to the Federal Tort Claims Act, which governs litigation against the U.S. government.
The exception bars lawsuits against the government for conduct arising from statutes and regulations that don't require an agency's action but involve its discretion. [emphasis added.]
So, in 2010, Chesapeake Energy drilled and fracked within 850 FT. of the Joe Pool Lake Dam and Spillway! OOPS. USACE later tells our community, "We didn't know Chesapeake planned to do this." Hmmmm...Is this 1) USACE using their discretion to NOT KNOW; 2) USACE not knowing their own regulations; and/or 3) Chesapeake Energy using the City of Grand Prairie, TX, a church with an ever-changing name, homeowners who have no idea what's going on, AND the United States Army Corps of Engineers ~ Was/Is this Chesapeake using all these parties to make it appear well and good to do as they Da** well please??
That Jury is clearly still out (far out) on this one. Meanwhile, let's refresh our memories and re-read our story from September 25, 2011 (exactly one year ago today, ironically ) about all the myriad possibilities. Amen.