Skip Navigation Links
      RS 30:2011     

  

CHAPTER 2. DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY

§2011. Department of Environmental Quality created; duties; powers; structure

            A.(1) There is hereby created the Department of Environmental Quality which shall be the primary agency in the state concerned with environmental protection and regulation. The department shall have jurisdiction over matters affecting the regulation of the environment within the state, including but not limited to the regulation of air quality, noise pollution control, water pollution control, the regulation of solid waste disposal, the protection and preservation of the scenic rivers and streams of the state, the regulation and control of radiation, the management of hazardous waste, and the regulation of those programs which encourage, assist, and result in the reduction of wastes generated within Louisiana.

            (2) However, the jurisdiction of the department relative to the regulation of noise pollution control shall not prevent local governments from adopting local noise pollution control ordinances which are at least as strict as state regulations pertaining to the regulation of noise pollution.

            (3) The department is authorized and empowered to administer, maintain, and operate the Clean Water State Revolving Fund as created and provided in R.S. 30:2301 et seq. In connection with such administration, maintenance, and operation, the department is authorized to incur debt and issue bonds, notes, or other evidences of indebtedness, and is authorized to pledge the sums in, credited to, or payable to the Clean Water State Revolving Fund as security for the debt of other entities, and is authorized to arrange, provide for, and pay the cost of credit enhancement devices for its debt and the debt of other entities in order to provide funds in connection with the Clean Water State Revolving Fund Program. Any such evidence of indebtedness, guarantee, pledge, or credit enhancement device shall be authorized, executed, and delivered by the secretary or his designee in accordance with the provisions and subject to the limitations provided in R.S. 30:2011(D)(23) and 2301 et seq. for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund.

            B. The department shall be headed by the secretary who shall be appointed by the governor with the consent of the Senate. The secretary shall serve at the pleasure of the governor and shall be paid a salary which shall be fixed by the governor as provided in R.S. 36:233.

            C.(1) The department shall be divided into offices.

            (a)(i) The executive office of the secretary shall provide for the general oversight and supervision of the department in addition to providing internal audits, technical advisors, and communications.

            (ii) The executive office of the secretary shall also include a legal division which shall provide legal consultation and representation to the various offices of the department with regard to permitting, enforcement, grants, contracts, personnel, legislation, intergovernment agreements, or such other matters as may be necessary.

            (b) The office of environmental assessment shall provide for environmental air quality assessment and water quality assessment, and shall administer underground storage tank service activities, all remediation services, and such duties as delegated by the secretary.

            (c) The office of environmental compliance shall provide for surveillance of the regulated community, enforcement of the environmental laws, and the issuance of necessary licenses, registrations, exemptions, and certifications of radiation sources.

            (d) The office of environmental services shall provide for environmental assistance and the issuance of necessary permits, licenses, registrations, variances, exemptions, and certifications, except as provided in Subparagraph (c) of this Paragraph.

            (2) Each of the above offices except for the executive office of the secretary shall be under the immediate supervision and direction of an assistant secretary who shall be appointed by the governor with the consent of the Senate. The assistant secretary shall serve at the pleasure of the governor and shall be paid a salary which shall be fixed by the governor as provided in R.S. 36:237.

            D. The secretary shall have the following powers and duties:

            (1) To adopt, amend, or repeal all rules, regulations, and standards for the protection of the environment as is provided by this Subtitle. All rules and regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with the procedure set forth in R.S. 49:950 et seq. Prior to the adoption of any rule or regulation, the secretary shall hold a public hearing to receive comments and recommendations from all interested parties and the public.

            (2) To grant or deny permits, licenses, registrations, variances, or compliance schedules as are provided for in this Subtitle. The secretary shall have the general power to require such conditions in individual instances as are necessary to assure compliance with applicable federal laws and regulations relating to this Subtitle. In those instances in which a permit or license is required prior to construction of a new or modified facility, the secretary may issue construction authorizations prior to issuance of a permit in appropriate circumstances where there is a positive human health or environmental benefit. The secretary may establish an escrow account, to be maintained in accordance with regulations adopted hereunder, which account shall be utilized by the secretary for receipt and disbursement of deposits supplied by any environmental quality permit applicant to defray specific costs of holding an adjudicatory hearing on that applicant's permit. The secretary shall promulgate regulations regarding such account and requiring such deposits.

            (3) To delegate the power to grant or deny permits, licenses, registrations, variances, or compliance schedules to the appropriate assistant secretary. The authority to execute minor permit actions and to issue registrations, certifications, notices of deficiency, and notification of inclusion under a general permit or regulatory permit may be delegated by the secretary or the appropriate assistant secretary to an authorized representative, notwithstanding the provisions of R.S. 30:2050.26.

            (4) To apply for and accept grants of money from the United States Environmental Protection Agency or other federal agencies for the purpose of making funds available to eligible recipients in this state for the planning, design, construction, and rehabilitation of wastewater treatment facilities or other eligible activities. The department may contract to receive such grants, agree to match the grant in whole or in part when required, and to comply with applicable federal laws and regulations in order to secure the grants. Money received through these grants and state matching funds shall be deposited into the Clean Water State Revolving Fund or used for appropriate administrative purposes.

            (5) To hold meetings or hearings on his own motion or upon complaint for purposes of fact-finding, receiving public comments, conducting inquiries and investigations, or other purposes under this Subtitle, and, in connection therewith, to issue subpoenas in accordance with R.S. 30:2025(I) requiring the attendance of such witnesses and the production of such documents as are related to the meeting or hearing. The secretary shall hold no less than three public fact-finding hearings in the state to investigate issues concerning environmental equity in the administration of department programs with respect to resident populations who do not have the economic resources to participate in the environmental decisionmaking affecting their area. The secretary shall prepare and file a report to the legislature on the findings of such hearings, along with recommendations within sixty days of the final hearing.

            (6) To issue such orders or determinations as may be necessary to effectuate the purpose of this Subtitle, to issue cease and desist orders as provided in R.S. 30:2025, and to delegate the power to issue such orders to the appropriate assistant secretary.

            (7) To advise, consult, and cooperate with other agencies of the state, the federal government, other states, and interstate agencies and with affected groups, political subdivisions, interested agricultural, industrial, professional, and environmental groups and individuals in furtherance of the purposes of this Subtitle.

            (8) To encourage, participate in, or conduct, studies, investigations, training programs, research, and demonstrations to further the purposes of this Subtitle.

            (9) To collect and disseminate information on certain aspects of environmental protection and control; notwithstanding R.S. 43:31(A), such information may be disseminated by publication of bulletins, circulars, house organs, leaflets, newsletters, or reports. However, no advertisement shall be allowed in such publications.

            (10) To receive and budget duly appropriated monies and to accept, receive, and administer grants or other funds or gifts from public and private agencies, including the federal government, to carry out the provisions and purposes of this Subtitle. The department may match federal grants in whole or in part when required and may agree to comply with applicable federal laws and regulations in order to secure the grants.

            (11) To assume authority, when such authority is delegated, for the administration of the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit Program and the Construction Grants Program, as well as any other such programs existing under the provisions of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, as amended, or any other federal environmental legislation. Upon delegation of the Construction Grants Program to the state, the department shall utilize such Construction Grants funds as may be authorized by federal regulations to supplement costs of administering the program.

            (12) To assume authority, when such authority is delegated, for the program administration and issuance of required permits of the New Source Review (NSR) that is directed at construction in Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) areas, and to assume authority to implement and enforce the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPS) for stationary sources located in the state, as well as any other such programs existing under the provisions of the Clean Air Act of 1972, as amended.

            (13) To conduct inspections and investigations and enter facilities as provided in R.S. 30:2012.

            (14) To exercise all incidental powers necessary or proper to carry out the purposes of this Subtitle.

            (15) To formulate contingency plans for environmental emergencies, including interagency agreements with state, local, and federal agencies and with private agencies and persons.

            (16) To prepare and present to the United States Environmental Protection Agency a priority list for funding of treatment works under the Construction Grants Program and the criteria used to develop the priority list as required under both Section 106 and Section 303 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, as amended, and any other sections of that act requiring the ranking of applicants for grants for construction of treatment works. The criteria and any modifications thereof shall be submitted to the House Committee on Natural Resources and Environment and to the Senate Committee on Environmental Quality for their consideration.

            (17) To assign certain duties to hearing officers.

            (18)(a) To require the owners or operators of each facility subject to the provisions of this Subtitle to submit to the secretary the name of a facility environmental coordinator or the names of the members of the facility environmental committee.

            (b) To require the owners or operators of each facility subject to the provisions of this Subtitle to notify the secretary of any change of the facility environmental coordinator or members of the facility environmental committee.

            (c) To maintain a register on which the names and addresses of the facility environmental coordinators shall be listed by owner or operator represented.

            (19) To make grants to colleges and universities within Louisiana for theoretical and practical research and development of alternative and environmentally sound methods and technologies for reducing, destroying, recycling, neutralizing, and, to the least extent possible, disposing of hazardous waste from those funds generated from the imposition of the fee provided for in R.S. 30:2014(C).

            (20) To develop and implement a nonpoint source management and groundwater quality protection program and a conservation and management plan for estuaries, to receive federal funds for this purpose and provide matching state funds when required, and to comply with terms and conditions necessary to receive federal grants. The nonpoint source conservation and management plan, the groundwater protection plan, and the plan for estuaries shall be developed in coordination with, and with the concurrence of the appropriate state agencies, including but not limited to the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the Department of Agriculture and Forestry, and the State Soil and Water Conservation Commission in those areas pertaining to their respective jurisdictions.

            (21) To create the division of local programs and public participation with the following powers and duties:

            (a) To prepare and implement a general plan to enhance public access to nonconfidential information in the department's files, consistent with R.S. 30:2030.

            (b) To develop programs to assist local governments in developing and implementing local environmental programs consistent with the department's statewide programs that would assist the state in its planning and public participation efforts. Such programs shall include local governments. Such local governments shall be selected for inclusion in the programs based upon but not limited to the following criteria: necessity for planning for solid and hazardous waste management and capacity, necessity for planning for adequate sewage treatment, necessity for planning for and implementation of the beneficial reuse of sewage sludge, number of public buildings potentially requiring asbestos removal, and such other criteria as the secretary deems appropriate.

            (c) To assist the local governments included in establishing guidelines for the environmental programs of parishes and cities consistent with the department's statewide programs.

            (d) Nothing herein shall authorize the division of local programs and public participation to adopt or enforce any rule or regulation or enforce a statute, or require any political subdivision to comply with such rules, regulations, or statutes.

            (e) The secretary shall provide a detailed report to the legislative oversight committees of the House Committee on Natural Resources and Environment and the Senate Committee on Environmental Quality on June first of each year. This report shall include specific activities, accomplishments, and recommendations on these programs. It shall include comments provided by individuals, organizations, private business, local governments, municipalities, or others affected by this Section.

            (22)(a) To adopt and promulgate rules and regulations providing for certification of commercial laboratories providing chemical analysis, analytical results, or other appropriate test data to the department which is required as a part of any permit application, required by order of the agency, required to be included on any monitoring reports submitted to the agency, or otherwise required by the regulations adopted pursuant to this Subtitle. For the purpose of this Paragraph, "commercial laboratory" means a laboratory which performs analyses or tests for third parties for a fee or other compensation, except those commercial laboratories certified by the Louisiana Department of Health pursuant to R.S. 49:1001 et seq.

            (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of R.S. 30:2014(D)(3) or R.S. 49:971(A), the secretary is hereby authorized to establish a fee schedule in accordance with Subparagraph (c) of this Paragraph for any application for accreditation by a commercial laboratory under the provisions of Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph.

            (c) The fee schedule authorized by Subparagraph (b) of this Paragraph shall not exceed the following amounts:

            (i)              Accreditation application fee                               $ 726.00

                              payable every scope amendment

                              and every three-year renewal.

            (ii)(aa)       Per major test category per                                   $ 363.00

                              matrix payable every year, or

            (bb)           Minor conventional category                               $ 290.00

                              payable every year.

            (iii)            Annual surveillance and evaluation                     $ 363.00

                              applicable to minor conventional

                              facilities and facilities applying for

                              only one category of accreditation.

            (iv)            Annual fee for dependent mobile lab                   $ 363.00

                              laboratories, per mobile

            (v)(aa)       Proficiency samples biannually to be

                              purchased by the laboratory.

            (bb)           Bioassay/biomonitoring annually to

                              be purchased by the laboratory.

            (vi)            Third party audit to be billed directly to

                              the laboratory.

            (vii)           The accreditation fees for in-state laboratories

                              receiving national accreditation will be

            (viii)          The accreditation fees for out-of-state laboratories

                              receiving state accreditation will be

                              one and one-half times the regular fees.

            (ix)            The accreditation fees for out-of-state laboratories

                              receiving national accreditation will be

                              two times the regular fees.

            (x)             Interim accreditation application fees will be

                              two times the regular fees.

            (23) To authorize by executive order, the issuance, sale, execution, and delivery of bonds, notes, or other evidences of indebtedness of the department, obligations representing guarantees by the department of the debt of other entities, and the granting of pledges of the sums deposited in, credited to, or payable to the Clean Water State Revolving Fund as created and provided in R.S. 30:2301 et seq., including sums to be received pursuant to letters of credit, as security for the debts of other entities, subject to the approval of the State Bond Commission.

            (24)(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of the law to the contrary, the secretary shall issue no permit that authorizes the construction or operation of any new or expanded commercial hazardous waste incineration facility of any type until rules and regulations are promulgated which govern the design, siting, construction, operation, emissions limitations, and the disposal methods of incineration facilities.

            (b) The prohibition in this Paragraph shall not apply to the regulation or permitting of any such facility possessing a permit or an interim permit on July 24, 1991. Any interim permit issued to a commercial hazardous waste incineration facility by the secretary on or after July 24, 1991 shall expire within ninety days after the date of the promulgation of the regulations governing the design, siting, construction, operation, emissions limitations, and disposal methods of incineration facilities.

            (c) In no event shall any such permit be issued without the following:

            (i) Prior notification of legislators representing the area which includes the proposed site of the facility.

            (ii) Prior public hearing in that area.

            (d) If rules and regulations which govern the design, siting, construction, operation, emissions limitations, and disposal methods of commercial hazardous waste incineration facilities are not promulgated by April 1, 1992, the secretary shall issue or reissue any permit or interim permit previously issued to any commercial incineration facility under the existing rules and regulations.

            (e) The provisions of this Paragraph shall not apply to the construction or operation of a medical waste incinerator which is permitted pursuant to the provisions of R.S. 30:2154(C).

            (25) To promulgate rules and regulations providing for conducting requested reviews of environmental conditions of a specified tract of immovable property, including but not limited to requests for no further action letters. Such rules may provide for a fee for each request by the landowner or a party with an interest in a real estate transaction involving the specified property not to exceed the maximum per hour overtime salary, including associated-related benefits, of a civil service employee of the department per hour or portion thereof required to conduct the review plus reasonable indirect costs calculated as a percentage of the hourly fee. Such percentage shall be determined annually by agreement between the department and the United States Environmental Protection Agency for use on grants and contracts. However, the department shall require a requestor to pay a minimum fee not exceeding one thousand six hundred fifty dollars prior to conducting the review.

            (26) Repealed by Acts 2016, No. 378, §3.

            E. The department shall succeed to and perform all of the powers and duties of the office of science, technology, and environmental policy relating to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976, serving as environmental advisor to the governor, and on other matters relating to the protection and improvement of environmental quality within the state of Louisiana.

            F. The basic personnel and necessary scientific, technical, administrative, and operational services, including laboratory facilities as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this Subtitle, shall be employed or provided by the department; however, the department may, by contract, secure such services as it may deem necessary from any other department, board, or agency of the state government, any educational institution, or the federal government; may arrange for compensation for such services; and may employ and compensate, within appropriations available therefor, such consultants and legal and technical assistance on a full or part-time basis as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this Subtitle, and prescribe their duties.

            G. The assistant secretaries shall have such powers and duties as are assigned to them by the secretary or by law.

            Acts 1990, No. 594, §1, eff. July 18, 1990; Acts 1991, No. 21, §1, eff. June 14, 1991; Acts 1991, No. 846, §1, eff. July 23, 1991; Acts 1991, No. 993, §1, eff. July 24, 1991; Acts 1992, No. 984, §9; Acts 1993, No. 622, §1; Acts 1993, No. 767, §1; Acts 1995, No. 806, §1, eff. June 27, 1995; Acts 1995, No. 947, §2, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1996, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 36, §1, eff. May 7, 1996; Acts 1997, No. 27, §1; Acts 1997, No. 480, §1, eff. June 30, 1997; Acts 1997, No. 1119, §1; Acts 1997, No. 1345, §1; Acts 1999, No. 303, §1, eff. June 14, 1999; Acts 2002, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 134, §1, eff. July 1, 2002 and §2, eff. July 1, 2003; Acts 2003, No. 67, §1, eff. May 28, 2003; Acts 2005, No. 21, §1; Acts 2006, No. 445, §§1, 2, eff. June 15, 2006; Acts 2006, No. 445, §3, eff. July 1, 2007; Acts 2006, No. 778, §1; Acts 2008, No. 580, §2; Acts 2008, No. 920, §3, eff. July 14, 2008; Acts 2010, No. 48, §§1, 2; Acts 2010, No. 49, §1; Acts 2010, No. 296, §1, eff. June 17, 2010; Acts 2016, No. 378, §§2, 3; Acts 2016, No. 451, §1; Acts 2020, No. 163, §1, eff. June 9, 2020; Acts 2021, No. 405, §1.



If you experience any technical difficulties navigating this website, click here to contact the webmaster.
P.O. Box 94062 (900 North Third Street) Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70804-9062