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      RS 30:23     

  

§23. Underground storage of liquid or gaseous hydrocarbons or both, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, nitrogen, ammonia, compressed air, or noble gases not otherwise prohibited by law

            A. The underground storage of liquid or gaseous hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, nitrogen, ammonia, compressed air, or noble gases not otherwise prohibited by law will permit the accumulation of large quantities of such liquid or gaseous hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, nitrogen, ammonia, compressed air, or noble gases not otherwise prohibited by law for orderly withdrawal in times of greater demand, it being deemed in the public interest to have a supply of such substances readily available for consumption. The underground storage of carbon dioxide which provides more uniform withdrawal from various gas or oil fields is in the public interest and for a public purpose.

            B. Except as to liquid or gas hydrocarbon, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, nitrogen, ammonia, compressed air, or noble gas storage projects begun before the effective date of this Section, and prior to authorizing the use of any salt dome cavity for the storage of liquid or gaseous hydrocarbons or carbon dioxide, the assistant secretary, after public hearing pursuant to the provisions of R.S. 30:6, shall have found all of the following:

            (1) That the area of the salt dome sought to be used for the injection, storage, and withdrawal of liquid or gaseous hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, nitrogen, ammonia, compressed air, or noble gases not otherwise prohibited by law is suitable and feasible for such use.

            (2) That the use of the salt dome cavity for the storage of liquid or gaseous hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, nitrogen, ammonia, compressed air, or noble gases not otherwise prohibited by law will not contaminate other formations containing fresh water, oil, gas, or other commercial mineral deposits, except salt.

            (3) That the proposed storage, including all surface pits and surface storage facilities incidental thereto which are used in connection with the salt dome cavity storage operation, will not endanger lives or property and is environmentally compatible with existing uses of the salt dome area.

            (4) That temporary loss of jobs caused by the storage of liquid or gaseous hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, nitrogen, ammonia, compressed air, or noble gases not otherwise prohibited by law will be corrected by compensation, finding of new employment, or other provisions made for displaced labor.

            (5) That due consideration has been given to the alternative sources of water for the leaching of cavities.

            C. After having made the findings required in Subsection B of this Section, the commissioner shall transmit a copy of the application, together with his findings, to the natural resources committees of the Senate and House of Representatives. These committees, meeting jointly, shall consider the facts surrounding the application and the findings of the commissioner and may hold public hearings thereon. Based upon its deliberations, the committees, acting jointly, may submit a report and recommendations to the commissioner within fifteen days after receipt of the application. After consideration of any recommendations so made, the commissioner may issue all necessary orders providing that liquid or gaseous hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, nitrogen, ammonia, compressed air, or noble gases not otherwise prohibited by law, previously reduced to possession and which are subsequently injected and stored in a salt dome cavity, shall at all times be deemed the property of the injector, his successors, or assigns, subject to the provisions of any contract between the owner or owners of the solid mineral or land overlying the area affected as determined by the commissioner of conservation; and providing further that in no event shall the owner of the surface of the lands or water bottoms or of any mineral interest under or adjacent to which such salt dome cavity may lie, or any other person, be entitled to any right or claim in or to such liquid or gaseous hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, nitrogen, ammonia, compressed air, or noble gases not otherwise prohibited by law stored therein, including the right to produce, take, reduce to possession, waste, or otherwise interfere with or exercise any control thereover. The commissioner shall issue necessary orders, rules, and regulations for the protection from pollution of any salt dome cavity used for storage of liquid or gaseous hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, nitrogen, ammonia, compressed air, or noble gases not otherwise prohibited by law, or any adjacent strata or formation; and such rules and regulations as may be necessary pertaining to surface storage facilities for the protection of the environment, drilling into any salt dome for the creation of cavities, and equipping of same for the injection, storage, and withdrawal of liquid or gaseous hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, nitrogen, ammonia, compressed air, or noble gases not otherwise prohibited by law. Subject to the exception provided in Subsection B of this Section, the commissioner shall not allow the use of any salt dome in the state of Louisiana for the purposes mentioned herein until such time as he has prepared and promulgated the regulations required herein according to the Administrative Procedure Act, R.S. 49:950 et seq. In addition, the commissioner shall issue necessary orders, rules, and regulations for the protection of the rights of owners of parts of the salt dome which are adjacent to any part thereof sought to be used for the storage of liquid or gaseous hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, nitrogen, ammonia, compressed air, or noble gases not otherwise prohibited by law.

            D.(1) In furtherance of the development of comprehensive energy policy for the state, the secretary of the Department of Natural Resources shall determine the feasibility of initiating projects, by the state or by contract on behalf of the state, for the storage of emergency supplies of state-owned oil and gas, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, nitrogen, ammonia, compressed air, or noble gas not otherwise prohibited by law. Such determination shall include consideration of the techniques, costs, quantities of oil and gas, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, nitrogen, ammonia, compressed air, or noble gas not otherwise prohibited by law available for such purpose and priorities for allocation in time of emergency.

            (2) Upon presentation of the findings and determination by the secretary to the committees on natural resources of the Senate and House of Representatives and approval by said committees of any such projects, the secretary shall authorize the commissioner of conservation to initiate such procedures as the commissioner deems necessary within the scope of his authority under Chapter 7 of this Title and the constraints of this Section to accomplish the purposes hereof.

            Added by Acts 1976, No. 641, §1. Amended by Acts 1977, No. 223, §1; Acts 1979, No. 603, §1; Acts 2008, No. 315, §1; Acts 2021, No. 326, §1.



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