In Duplantier v. BP Amoco, et al., the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal held that under Act 312 of 2006 (La. R.S. 30:29), there should be a single trial of both the regulatory remediation covered by the statute and the plaintiffs’ separate damages claims (if any).  The Louisiana Supreme Court has now denied a writ application with respect to that opinion.  To view the Fourth Circuit’s decision, click here.  Act 312, which became effective June 8, 2006, requires involvement of the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in litigation alleging environmental contamination, including submission of any remediation plan to DNR for approval and the deposit of remediation funds into the registry of the court to be spent on remediation, rather than payment of those funds to the plaintiffs.  However, the statute also preserves the plaintiffs’ right to pursue any private cause of action – for example, a right under an express lease provision to a higher standard of clean-up.  Under the Duplantier decision, both the statutory remediation and any private claims will be addressed in a single trial before any plan is submitted to DNR.