Oil companies accustomed to a hodgepodge of regulation will soon see stricter oversight from a new initiative in Louisiana, which will pool the resources of 15 state and federal offices to crack down on Big Oil’s waste-disposal practices. The program will train some 100 field officers to identify oil and brine-water spills in the Gulf of Mexico and collect evidence potentially usable in lawsuits. The initiative’s organizers believe most oil companies are following cleanup guidelines, but a little extra oversight never hurts. Says Harold Leggett of the state Department of Environmental Quality, “When everyone knows the referee is watching, the game is played on a very level playing field.”

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