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      RS 30:2551     



§2551. Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund; purpose

            A. The legislature finds and declares that the cleanup, redevelopment, and reuse of brownfields sites in the state should be encouraged and facilitated for the benefit of the state's citizens by way of economic development, health, and aesthetics. The legislature further finds and declares that providing loans for cleanup of brownfields sites will result in benefits to the public by reducing risk to public health and the environment.

            B.(1) In furtherance of that purpose, there is hereby established a fund in the state treasury to be known as the "Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund" hereafter referred to as the "fund", which shall be maintained and operated by the Department of Environmental Quality. Grants from the federal government or its agencies allotted to the state for the capitalization of the fund and state funds when available shall be deposited directly in or credited to the account of the fund in compliance with the terms of the federal or state grant or state appropriation.

            (2) Money in, credited to the account of, or to be received by the fund shall be expended in a manner consistent with terms and conditions of the grants and other sources of said deposits and credits and of all applicable federal and state legislation and may be used:

            (a) To make loans from the fund at or below market interest rates.

            (b) To provide assistance to a political subdivision, public trust, quasi governmental organization, or eligible nonprofit or private entity to remediate eligible brownfields' properties, except as provided in Subsection C of this Section.

            (c) To fund other brownfields-related programs authorized by the terms of the grants and appropriations.

            (d) To fund other programmatic activities of the department to develop and operate the revolving loan program.

            (e) To provide for any other expenditure consistent with the federal grant program and state law.

            (3) Money not currently needed for the operation of the fund or otherwise dedicated may be invested in an interest bearing account. All such interest earned on investments shall be credited to the fund.

            C. Responsible persons shall not be eligible to apply for or receive loans pursuant to this Part.

            D. The fund shall be administered by the department, which is authorized to enter into contracts and other agreements in connection with the operation of the fund. The department shall maintain full authority for the operation of the fund in accordance with applicable federal and state law.

            E. Prior to making a loan, the department shall determine that the applicant has the ability to repay the loan. Further, the department may require security for loans made pursuant to this Part.

            F. The secretary is authorized to adopt rules and regulations in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act to implement the provisions of this Part. These rules shall include but not be limited to:

            (1) Eligibility requirements of the entity or person and properties.

            (2) Criteria for ranking and selecting applicants.

            (3) Procedures for making and repaying loans.

            (4) Requirement of security for loans to eligible non-profits and private entities.

            (5) Establishment of procedures for interest rates on loans.

            G. As used in this Part, the following terms shall have the meaning ascribed to them in this Subsection, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

            (1) "Brownfields site" means real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.

            (2) "Loan" means a loan of money from the Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund.

            (3) "Nonprofit organization" means any corporation, trust, association, cooperative, or other organization that is operated primarily for scientific, educational, service, charitable, or similar purpose in the public interest; is not organized principally for profit; and uses net proceeds to maintain, improve, or expand the operation of the organization.

            (4) "Responsible person" means responsible person or responsible owner as those terms are defined in R.S. 30:2285.2.

            H. The department shall provide an annual report of all loans made, a status of loan repayments, and a report of monies expended from the fund to the House Committee on Natural Resources and Environment and the Senate Committee on Environmental Quality.

            Acts 2020, No. 91, §1, eff. June 5, 2020.

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