Quick hits: Louisiana news briefs for Monday, Nov. 16 – The Center Square

U.S. Corps taking a second look at alternate sites for $9.4 billion Formosa complex

In a legal document filed Nov. 4, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it is reevaluating the permit it had issued for a planned $9.4 billion plastics complex in St. James Parish but did not explain why. In a new court filing, the Corps says it is suspending the permit not because of any issues at the St. James site, but because five possible alternate sites in Ascension Parish had improperly been ruled out.

The Corps says it eliminated the Ascension Parish options because it believed incorrectly that the area’s ozone levels would not allow for the facility to be permitted under the federal Clean Air Act. Officials say they will reexamine those alternatives “and other aspects of the permit, if deemed appropriate.”

“FG is disappointed with the Corps’ decision to temporarily  suspend the permit during its re-evaluation,” said Janile Parks on behalf of FG LA LLC, Formosa’s Louisiana member. “FG expects and sincerely hopes the Corps  will handle this matter in an objective, impartial and expeditious manner so the  permit analysis will be even stronger once the re-evaluation of the analysis is complete.”

Following the Nov. 4 filing, environmental and community groups who are suing to stop the project hailed the news that the Corps was reevaluating the permit. They did not respond to emails seeking comments about the latest filing explaining the Corps’ reasoning.

State auditor questions almost $6 million in Medicaid transportation services

The Louisiana Department of Health needs to improve its oversight of a program that provides non-emergency transportation of Medicaid patients to providers, the Louisiana Legislative Auditor says.

LLA says it found $4.3 million in rides for which there was no medical claim on the date of the service, $1.2 million

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