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The Best and the Worst of the Week 

The Green Project,
the local nonprofit that tackles urban environmental problems by recycling paint and building materials, promoting composting, and teaching art and gardening skills to public school students, has won a Governor's Environmental Leadership Award. Gov. Kathleen Blanco gave the Green Project Store the Waste Minimization Achievement Award "for neighborhood revitalization through creative recycling."

Louisiana Coastal Stewardship awardees,
named by the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, are: state Sen. Reggie Dupre Jr., D-Houma, for sponsoring coastal-relief legislation; Cathy Norman of the nonprofit Edward Wisner Donation, for launching several preservation projects; Mark Shexnayder, for co-founding the Lake Pontchartrain Artificial Reef Working Group; and ShreveCORPS, for its volunteer restoration programs.

Top state administrators
in the Department of Economic Development and Department of Revenue are to blame for accounting methods so unreliable that a major job-growth program cannot be calculated into Louisiana's budget, says the state Legislative Auditor's office. DED Secretary Don Hutchinson admitted to state legislators that his agency had poorly handled financial reports regarding the Quality Jobs Program.

Industries polluting state waterways
have made the state No. 7 in the nation for violating federal clean-water permits, says a new report by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group and other organizations. The study says more than 63 percent of Louisiana's chemical plants and sewerage treatment facilities violated the Clean Water Act 1,655 times between January 2002 and June 2003. In 92 cases, industries released pollutants at five times or more the legal limit.

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