Skip Navigation Links
      RS 30:2373     

  

§2373. Failure to report; penalties

            A. All owners and operators shall be required to report the information required under R.S. 30:2369 of this Chapter regarding the manufacture, storage, or use of hazardous materials by no later than March 1, 1988, and by March first of each year thereafter.

            B.(1) Owners and operators shall immediately notify the department of any reportable releases, other than a federally or state permitted release or application of a pesticide or fertilizer, of a hazardous material or substance listed pursuant to this Chapter exceeding the reportable quantity when that reportable quantity could be reasonably expected to escape the site of the facility, as soon as the owner or operator has knowledge of such release. Failure to do so shall subject owners and operators to civil penalties as provided in Subsection C of this Section. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, natural gas from distribution lines shall have a reportable release of one thousand pounds or more.

            (2) Any reportable release of any hazardous material regulated by this Chapter which causes any injury requiring hospitalization or any fatality or any release which results in a fire or explosion which could reasonably be expected to affect the public safety beyond the boundaries of the facility shall be reported immediately to the department.

            (3) Any incident, accident, or cleanup within a facility, which could reasonably be expected to affect public safety beyond the boundaries of the facility or where the owner or operator knows a protective action beyond the boundaries of the facility has been initiated, shall be reported immediately to the department.

            (4) Any release or incident that occurs within the boundaries of a facility and may be subject to reporting under this Section shall not be reportable by the owner or operator of the facility, or the employees, non-commercial carriers, contractors, or consultants of such owner or operator pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 12 of Title 32 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950, unless such release or incident involves a railcar that is in transportation and the owner or operator of the facility is required to report the release or incident under 49 C.F.R. 171.15.

            (5) The department shall not subject an owner or operator to a civil penalty as provided in Subsection C based on any incident or release that was not required to be reported under this Section and that was reported by the owner or operator as a courtesy.

            (6) The secretary may develop rules and regulations to implement and clarify the reporting requirements of this Subsection and to address changes in federal regulations.

            (7) The Department of Environmental Quality shall make available to the public for examination any information contained in reports required pursuant to R.S. 30:2025(J), 2060(H), and 2076(D).

            C.(1) For owners and operators who knowingly fail to file an inventory form on hazardous materials as required by this Chapter by March 1, 1988, and by March first of each year thereafter, the department may levy a civil penalty which shall not exceed twenty-five thousand dollars per hazardous material not reported. Small businesses who have an omission from the inventory reporting forms shall receive a warning only for their first offense.

            (2) The department may also levy a civil penalty not to exceed twenty-five thousand dollars per violation for failure to timely report nonpermitted releases pursuant to R.S. 30:2373(B).

            (3) For owners and operators who knowingly fail to report a reportable release of a hazardous material regulated by this Chapter, the department may assess a civil penalty not to exceed twenty-five thousand dollars per violation per day.

NOTE: Paragraph (C)(4) eff. until July 1, 2022. See Acts 2021, No. 114.

            (4) The department shall consider, in determining whether to assess a fine, the financial situation of owners and operators of small businesses as well as any willfulness in failing to comply with the provisions of this Chapter. Such fines shall be deposited in the Right-to-Know Fund pursuant to R.S. 30:2380.

NOTE: Paragraph (C)(4) as amended by Acts 2021, No. 114, eff. July 1, 2022.

            (4) The department shall consider, in determining whether to assess a fine, the financial situation of owners and operators of small businesses as well as any willfulness in failing to comply with the provisions of this Chapter. Such fines shall be deposited in the Right-to-Know Dedicated Fund Account pursuant to R.S. 30:2380.

            D.(1) Any person who handles, stores, or otherwise maintains a hazardous material regulated by this Chapter in a negligent or unreasonable manner without regard for the hazards of the material and causes a significant impact to public health and safety as a result of a reportable release of a hazardous material shall be in violation of this Subsection.

            (2) For any person, owner, operator, or facility that violates this Subsection, the department may levy a civil penalty not to exceed ten thousand dollars per violation.

            E.(1) No person shall intentionally handle, store, or otherwise maintain any hazardous material regulated by this Chapter in a manner which endangers human life.

            (2) Any person, owner, operator, or facility that willfully violates this Subsection may be assessed a civil penalty by the department not to exceed twenty-five thousand dollars per violation per day or upon first conviction shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both. Upon second or subsequent conviction of a violation of R.S. 30:2373(E)(1), said person, owner, operator, or facility shall be fined not less than five hundred dollars nor more than ten thousand dollars or imprisoned with or without hard labor for not less than six months nor more than ten years.

            F.(1) Any owner or operator who causes a reportable release that requires a significant emergency response by the department or is in violation of Subsection D of this Section shall reimburse the department for reasonable and extraordinary costs of emergency response, including actions taken by the department to mitigate such reportable release.

NOTE: Paragraph (F)(2) eff. until July 1, 2022. See Acts 2021, No. 114.

            (2) Reimbursement to the department pursuant to Paragraph (1) of this Subsection shall preclude reimbursement for the same incident to the department from other response funds, including but not limited to the Hazardous Waste Protection Fund, R.S. 30:2198, the Motor Fuels Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund, R.S. 30:2195, et seq., and the Oil Spill Contingency Fund, R.S. 30:2483, et seq.

NOTE: Paragraph (F)(2) as amended by Acts 2021, No. 114, eff. July 1, 2022.

            (2) Reimbursement to the department pursuant to Paragraph (1) of this Subsection shall preclude reimbursement for the same incident to the department from other response funds, including but not limited to the Hazardous Waste Protection Fund, R.S. 30:2198, the Motor Fuels Underground Storage Tank Trust Dedicated Fund Account, R.S. 30:2195 et seq., and the Oil Spill Contingency Fund, R.S. 30:2483 et seq.

            (3) An owner or operator of a small business shall not be responsible for the emergency response costs of the department in excess of twenty-five thousand dollars.

            G.(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of R.S. 30:2380 to the contrary, the department may enter into settlements of civil penalty assessments that allow the respondent to perform beneficial emergency planning, preparedness, and response projects or provide for the payment of a cash penalty to the state, or both. Such settlements shall be considered a civil penalty for tax purposes.

            (2)(a) Any settlement provided for in this Section that allows the respondent to perform a beneficial emergency planning, preparedness, and response project shall be submitted to the attorney general for his approval or rejection. The settlement shall be accompanied by the underlying enforcement action, a description of the beneficial emergency planning, preparedness, and response project that is an element of such settlement, and a justification for the settlement. Approval or rejection by the attorney general of any settlement shall be in writing and include, if rejected, a detailed written reason for rejection.

            (b) Reasons for rejection shall be failure of the department to follow and adhere to the Right-to-Know Law, the regulations promulgated thereunder, or any other constitutional, statutory, or regulatory provisions.

            (c) The attorney general shall make any request for additional information concerning the terms and condition of the settlement within thirty days of receiving the request for approval or rejection. Within thirty days of a request for additional information by the attorney general, the department shall provide its responses to such request.

            (d) The department may execute the proposed settlement without the approval of the attorney general if the attorney general does not give written notice to the department of his rejection of the settlement within ninety days after receiving the proposed settlement.

            (3) For purposes of this Subsection, a "beneficial emergency planning, preparedness, and response project" means a project that the respondent is not otherwise legally required to perform but that the respondent agrees to undertake as a component of a settlement of a civil penalty assessment under this Subsection; and a project that provides assistance or a benefit to a responsible state or local emergency planning, preparedness, or response entity. Beneficial emergency planning, preparedness, and response projects shall enable such entity to further fulfill its obligations to collect information to assess the dangers of hazardous materials present in a response situation, to develop emergency plans or procedures, to train emergency response personnel, and shall allow the respondent or state or local entity to better respond to emergency situations, including threats to communities from hurricanes or other natural disasters. Such projects may include providing computers and software, communication systems, chemical emission detection and inactivation equipment, and hazardous materials equipment and training.

            Acts 1985, No. 435, §1, eff. July 11, 1985; Acts 1987, No. 347, §1; Acts 1992, No. 665, §§1, 2; Acts 1992, No. 984, §9; Acts 1995, No. 850, §1; Acts 1997, No. 1046, §1; Acts 1999, No. 355, §1, eff. June 16, 1999; Acts 2001, No. 1087, §1; Acts 2008, No. 550, §1, eff. June 30, 2008; Acts 2009, No. 235, §1; Acts 2012, No. 853, §1; Acts 2014, No. 799, §1, eff. June 19, 2014; Acts 2021, No. 114, §18, eff. July 1, 2022.



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