Levee board's suit moved to federal court

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A New Orleans-area levee authority's lawsuit against dozens of oil and gas companies has been transferred from state to federal court at the request of one of the companies, but the move may be temporary.

In a court filing Tuesday, attorneys for Chevron U.S.A. Inc. argue that the suit belongs in federal court because they say federal laws govern many of its claims.

The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East's board of commissioners filed the suit in Orleans Parish Civil District Court on July 24. The suit alleges that the oil and gas industry has cost Louisiana hundreds of thousands acres of coastal land that serve as a natural buffer against flooding from hurricanes.

The case was assigned to U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt, who ultimately could decide where it belongs.

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