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      RS 30:2015     


§2015. Environmental Trust Dedicated Fund Account

            A. In order to fulfill the constitutional mandate of Article IX of the Louisiana Constitution to protect, conserve, and replenish the natural resources of the state, the legislature hereby declares that sufficient funds shall be available to the Department of Environmental Quality to fulfill that mandate. It is the intent of this Section to insure that all funds generated by the department are used to fulfill and carry out its powers, duties, and functions as provided by law.

            B. There is hereby established an agency account in the state treasury to be known as the "Environmental Trust Dedicated Fund Account", hereafter referred to as the "trust account", into which the state treasurer shall each fiscal year deposit the revenues received from those sources provided for by Subsection C of this Section and other sources as provided for by law after those revenues have been deposited in the Bond Security and Redemption Fund. Out of the funds remaining in the Bond Security and Redemption Fund after a sufficient amount is allocated from that fund to pay all obligations secured by the full faith and credit of the state that become due and payable within each fiscal year, the treasurer, prior to placing such funds in the state general fund, shall pay into the trust account an amount equal to the revenue generated from collection from those sources provided for by Subsection C of this Section and other sources as provided for by law. No expenditures shall be made from the trust account unless first appropriated by the legislature. All unexpended and unencumbered monies in the account at the end of the fiscal year shall remain in the account and be available for expenditure in the next fiscal year. Funding deposited into the account shall be considered fees and self-generated revenues and shall be available for annual appropriations by the legislature.

            C. The Environmental Trust Dedicated Fund Account shall consist of all revenues generated from the following sources:

            (1) All fees assessed pursuant to the authority granted in R.S. 30:2014, R.S. 39:55.2, and any other provision of law authorizing the department to assess a fee. Such fees shall be used only for the purpose for which they were assessed.

            (2) All sums in excess of that required to fully fund the Hazardous Waste Site Cleanup Fund recovered through judgments, settlements, or assessments of civil or criminal penalties, or under this Subtitle or any other applicable law for any violation of this Subtitle.

            (3) Any donations, grants, and sums appropriated or allocated to the trust fund by the legislature.

            (4) Reimbursements for funds expended by the department for any response activities conducted due to any pollution discharge or disposal, environmental emergency, or remedial action.

            (5) Any grants or allocations made to the state of Louisiana from the United States government for any purpose provided by the grant or allocation.

            (6) Reimbursement or a judgment awarding damages for restoration or damages to the state's natural resources.

            (7) Any costs assessed as part of any administrative hearing or enforcement action or reimbursement of costs associated with the granting of any permit, license, variance, or registration.

            (8) All remaining and unencumbered balances of the Environmental Trust Dedicated Fund Account.

            D. The monies in the Environmental Trust Dedicated Fund Account shall be used for the following purposes:

            (1) To defray the cost to the state of permitting, monitoring, investigating, maintaining, and administering the programs provided for under the Louisiana Environmental Quality Act. All monies in the fund in excess of that amount necessary to administer such programs shall remain in the fund, to be invested by the treasurer, until such time as either state or federal funds become unavailable for these purposes. These excess funds shall be retained for the purpose of supplanting lost and reduced state environmental funding, or federal environmental funding presently granted to the state.

            (2) To defray the costs of emergency response activities or to pollution discharges, the containment, control, and abatement of pollution sources and pollutants, to provide money or services as the state share of matching funds for federal grants, the costs of securing and quarantining pollution sources, including the acquisition of rights of way, and easements or title to pollution sources.

            (3) To defray the cost of investigation, testing, containment, control, and cleanup of hazardous waste or solid waste sites, to provide money or services as the state share of matching funds for federal grants, and to defray the cost of securing and quarantining hazardous waste sites, including the acquisition of rights of use, servitudes, or title when necessary.

            (4) To implement the Environmental Emergency Response Training Program established by R.S. 30:2035.

            (5) For the identification and determination of hazardous wastes which are inappropriate for certain methods of land disposal as required in R.S. 30:2193.

            (6) To insure adequate scientific, technical, and legal support of litigation seeking recovery of costs of response activities, penalties sought under this Subtitle, or environmental damages.

            (7) To make grants to colleges and universities within Louisiana for the purpose of theoretical and practical research and development of alternative and environmentally sound methods and technologies for reducing, destroying, recycling, neutralizing, and, to the least extent possible, disposing of hazardous waste. Research and development of alternative methods and technologies for the purpose of waste reduction shall receive priority consideration from the secretary in the granting of any monies authorized by this Subsection.

            (8) To make reimbursements to local political subdivisions or volunteer fire departments which incurred expenses in performing services approved by the secretary in response to a declared emergency.

            E. In any cases where monies from the trust account are expended, the attorney general shall institute a civil action to recover from the responsible persons all such monies expended from the trust account. If the secretary requests that the attorney general institute a civil action to recover monies expended from the trust account and the attorney general declines to institute such action or does not respond within sixty days of such request and agree to institute a civil action, an attorney from the department may, with the concurrence of the attorney general, institute a civil action to recover monies expended from the trust account. Any monies so recovered shall be paid into the trust account.

            F. Upon a declaration of emergency, the secretary may enter into contracts providing for environmental emergency responses after informal negotiations without any other requirement of law; however, such contracts shall be subject to the prior written approval of the commissioner of the division of administration.

            Acts 1989, No. 392, §1, eff. June 30, 1989; Acts 1995, No. 1160, §1; Acts 1999, No. 303, §1, eff. June 14, 1999; Acts 1999, No. 348, §1, eff. June 16, 1999; Acts 2018, No. 612, §9, eff. July 1, 2020; Acts 2019, No. 404, §1, eff. July 1, 2020.

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