RS 51:1603     

§1603.  Jurisdiction, powers, and responsibilities

The Department of Natural Resources, acting through the secretary, shall administer this Chapter.  The secretary may authorize officers or employees of the department to administer the provisions of this Chapter, subject to the overall direction and supervision of the secretary.  The secretary shall have the following duties and powers and is authorized, empowered, and, as applicable, required to:

(1)  Utilize the services of the other executive departments of the state upon mutually agreeable terms and conditions.  

(2)  Receive, by appropriation, gift, grant, donation, or otherwise, any sum of money, aid, or assistance from any person or the United States, its agencies, the state of Louisiana, or any political subdivision thereof for the implementation and enforcement of this Chapter.  

(3)  Represent personally, or through department personnel or personnel under contract, the state in all matters involving or affecting the interest of the state and its citizens pursuant to this Chapter before any state or federal courts and agencies, offices, officials, legislative or congressional committees, and in all judicial or administrative actions arising out of the proceedings of such agencies, offices, and committees or in relation thereto.

(4)  Take such actions, promulgate and amend such rules and regulations, determine those facilities qualifying as support facilities under this Chapter, and issue such orders, licenses, and permits as necessary or appropriate to carry out the general intent and purposes of this Chapter.  

(5)  Issue, cause to be issued, or take such measures as may be required for the issuance of bonds as authorized in this Chapter.  

(6)  Plan, finance, construct, operate, acquire, or lease, as lessor or lessee, or develop support facilities, and otherwise facilitate the construction, development, and operation by licensees under this Chapter of such support facilities as are deemed necessary by the secretary to carry out the intent of this Chapter and protect the public interest.  Any action that would provide for the ownership or operation of support facilities by the department must be approved by the secretary, rather than any designee of the secretary, and by a joint meeting of the House and Senate natural resources committees.

(7)(a)  If deemed in the public interest of the state and, where necessary, in conjunction with the Department of Energy in the implementation and administration of the Powerplant and Industrial Fuel Use Act of 1978, establish and implement a state plan that will assure maximum exemptions from the use of or conversion to coal or other alternate fuel by industries and powerplants in the state; postpone to the extent practicable such use or conversion; and, where such use or conversion is mandated or voluntarily undertaken, facilitate such use or conversion; and implement such measures as are practicable to insure that, to the maximum extent possible, natural gas affected by such conversion is retained within the state.

(b)  Such state plan shall include the study and review of conditions presently existing in the state with regard to electrical powerplants and industries to determine the economic and environmental impact of the use of or conversion to coal or other alternate fuel in lieu of natural gas and petroleum.  

(c)  In establishing and implementing such state plan, the secretary may make rules and regulations; construct and operate support facilities, whether through the department or by contract with licensees under this Chapter or other third parties; issue licenses to persons to construct, operate, and own support facilities; coordinate such state plan with the federal government and its jurisdictional agencies; grant exemptions to conversion requirements under conditions stated in rules and regulations promulgated by the Department of Natural Resources in accordance with the Powerplant and Industrial Fuel Use Act of 1978 and other applicable federal law and regulation; issue bonds; and do such other things as are necessary to establish the state plan within the intent and purposes of this Chapter.  

Acts 1983, No. 705, §5, eff. Sept.  1, 1983.