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      RS 30:2012     


§2012.  Enforcement inspections

A.  The protection of the environment and public health requires timely and meaningful inspections of all facilities subject to the provisions of this Subtitle.  Inspections of such facilities are essential to assure compliance with this Subtitle and the regulations issued pursuant thereto.  The purpose of such inspections is to determine whether any of the following conditions exist:

(1)  Environmental standards have been achieved.

(2)  There is an emergency under the provisions of this Subtitle.

(3)  There is a present or potential danger to the health or environment.

(4)  A violation of the provisions of this Subtitle or rules, regulations, or orders issued pursuant thereto has occurred.

(5)  Under the provisions of this Subtitle, there is an abandoned waste site.

B.  Every permit shall as a matter of law be conditioned upon the right of the secretary or his representative to make an annual monitoring inspection and, when appropriate, an exigent inspection of the facility operating thereunder.

C.(1)  In order to assure effective enforcement of the provisions of this Subtitle and the rules and regulations issued pursuant thereto, the inspections may be made without obtaining a warrant from the courts.

(2)  When an inspection is authorized by this Section or by the regulations adopted pursuant hereto, the secretary or his authorized representative shall:

(a)  Upon announcing the purpose of the inspection, have a reasonable right of entry to, upon, or through any premises of a permittee or of an industrial user of a publicly owned treatment works in which premises an effluent source is located.  Any such right of entry shall be subject to the reasonable safety rules of the affected permittee or industrial user.

(b)  At reasonable times, have access to and be entitled to copy at his expense, records required to be maintained under the permit, this Subtitle, or rules adopted pursuant thereto.  Such inspections of records generally shall be made during normal working hours when the custodian of such records is available.  The secretary shall allow a reasonable time to locate the records.

(c)  Have access to and sample any discharges of any pollutants to state waters or to publicly owned treatment works resulting from the activities or operations of the permittee or an industrial user.

(d)  Inspect any monitoring equipment, control equipment, and practices or operations regulated or required by law or by permit.

D.(1)  Monitoring inspections of facilities operating with a permit issued pursuant to this Subtitle shall be conducted to assure compliance with this Subtitle and the regulations issued pursuant thereto.  The secretary shall prepare, implement, and revise, as needed, a compliance monitoring strategy designed to achieve meaningful environmental results.  Inspections shall be both intensive, designed to accomplish meaningful environmental results and routine to ensure a compliance presence in the field.  The compliance monitoring strategy shall explicitly recognize that a variety of compliance monitoring tools including but not limited to self-certifications, deviation reports, stack testing reports, discharge monitoring reports, semiannual monitoring reports, and on-site inspections are available and should be used to evaluate compliance.  The strategy must address inspection frequency and in doing so, the secretary shall consider the following:

(a)  Facility compliance history.

(b)  Location of facility.

(c)  Potential environmental impact.

(d)  Operational practices being steady state or seasonal.

(e) Any grant or funding commitments made by the department.

(f)  Any other relevant environmental, health, or enforcement factors.

(2)  The strategy shall provide for reasonable times during which inspections may be conducted.

E.  Whenever there exists an imminent danger to the environment or health, an emergency under this Subtitle, an abandoned hazardous waste site, or a violation of this Subtitle or the rules or regulations issued pursuant thereto, the secretary may cause a special inspection to be made of the facility where such exigent conditions are reasonably believed to exist.  While conducting the inspection the inspector shall inform the owner, operator, or any responsible person at the facility of the particular exigent condition believed to exist.  The scope of the inspection shall be limited to those matters which are reasonably related to the exigent condition.  However, this limitation shall not preclude the prosecution of any other violation discovered in the course of the investigation.

F.  The secretary may institute a civil action to compel inspections under this Section and to obtain a permanent or temporary injunction, restraining order, or any other appropriate order.  The venue of such an action shall be in East Baton Rouge Parish or in the parish in which the facility is located or has an office.  The court shall enter, ex parte or after a hearing, an appropriate order or decree upon a showing that the owner or operator of the facility has acted to or is about to do any of the following:

(1)  Interfere with the secretary or his authorized representative in carrying out the provisions of this Subtitle.

(2)  Refuse to admit the secretary or his representative to a facility as necessary for the enforcement of the Subtitle.

(3)  Refuse to furnish information requested by the secretary or his representative as necessary for the enforcement of this Subtitle.

(4)  Refuse access to, or the copying of, such records as the secretary or his representative determines are necessary for the enforcement of this Subtitle or refuse to provide reasonable copies of such records within a reasonable time.

G.  Any person who in any way impedes an inspection authorized under this Section shall be liable for the penalties provided in this Subtitle unless a court finds that the inspection was unconstitutional.  In any such action involving a refusal to provide copies as provided in Subsection (F)(4) of this Section, the respondent shall have the burden of proving that the request to provide copies of records was unreasonable.

H.  The secretary or his representative shall make inspections upon the presentation of identification and shall, to the extent practicable under the circumstances, observe the rules concerning safety, internal security, and fire protection of any facility inspected under this Section.

I.  If the secretary or his representative obtains any samples, prior to leaving the premises, he shall give to the owner, operator, or agent in charge a receipt describing the sample obtained and, if requested and if practical, a portion of each sample equal in volume or weight to the portion retained.  If any analysis is made of such samples, a copy of the results of such analysis shall be furnished promptly to the owner, operator, or agent in charge.

Acts 1982, No. 655, §1; Acts 1983, No. 97, §1, eff. Feb. 1, 1984; Acts 1990, No. 141, §1; Acts 1993, No. 270, §1; Acts 2003, No. 217, §1.

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