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      RS 30:2044     


§2044. Voluntary environmental self-audits

            A. The secretary shall promulgate, in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, regulations establishing a program for voluntary environmental self-audits. As a part of that program, the regulations shall provide for the following:

            (1) Procedures for conducting voluntary environmental self-audits.

            (2) Submission of the results of voluntary environmental self-audits to the department.

            (3) Incentives in the form of reduction or elimination, or both, of civil penalties for violations disclosed to the department in a voluntary environmental self-audit.

            (4) Corrective action for violations discovered as a result of a voluntary environmental self-audit.

            (5) Submission to the department of the plans to correct violations discovered during a voluntary environmental audit.

            (6) A fee for reviewing voluntary environmental self-audit reports and actions taken to correct the violations reported.

            B. The secretary shall promulgate rules and regulations in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act identifying violations that are not eligible for relief under this program. The violations shall include but are not limited to:

            (1) Violations that result in serious actual harm to the environment.

            (2) Violations that may present an imminent or substantial endangerment to public health or the environment.

            (3) Violations discovered by the department prior to the written disclosure of the violation to the department.

            (4) Violations detected through monitoring, sampling, or auditing procedures that are required by statute, regulation, permit, judicial or administrative order, or consent agreement.

            C. The fee for reviewing environmental self-audits and corrective actions shall not exceed the maximum per-hour salary, including associated 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 may require a minimum fee of one thousand five hundred dollars.

            D. Prescription shall be suspended for all claims for violations under this Subtitle or of the regulations promulgated pursuant to this Subtitle upon participation in the voluntary self-audit program. The suspension of prescription shall terminate upon a final decision under R.S. 30:2030(A)(2) or after a period of two years, whichever occurs first.

            Acts 2021, No. 481, §1.

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