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      RS 30:2018     


§2018. Environmental assessment hearings

            A. The applicant for a new permit or a major modification of an existing permit as defined in rules and regulations that would authorize the treatment, storage, or disposal of hazardous wastes, the disposal of solid wastes, or the discharge of water pollutants or air emissions in sufficient quantity or concentration to constitute a major source under the rules of the department shall submit an environmental assessment statement as a part of the permit application.

            B. The environmental assessment statement provided for in this Section shall be used to satisfy the public trustee requirements of Article IX, Section 1 of the Constitution of Louisiana and shall address the following issues regarding the proposed permit activity:

            (1) The potential and real adverse environmental effects of the proposed permit activities.

            (2) A cost-benefit analysis of the environmental impact costs of the proposed activity balanced against the social and economic benefits of the activity which demonstrates that the latter outweighs the former.

            (3) The alternatives to the proposed activity which would offer more protection to the environment without unduly curtailing non-environmental benefits.

            C. The department may, and if requested shall conduct a public hearing on the environmental assessment statement in the parish where the facility is located. Any public hearing on the environmental assessment statement, whether requested or at the discretion of the department, may be combined with a public hearing on the proposed permit. If the facility is located in more than one parish, the department may conduct a single hearing to serve all the affected parishes in the vicinity of a centrally located facility. Simultaneously with the submission of the statement to the department, the applicant shall also submit copies of the statement to the local governmental authority and designated public building where the facility is located, at no cost to the local governmental authority or the designated public building.

            D. If public hearings are conducted pursuant to this Section, they shall be controlled by R.S. 30:2017.

            E. The following are not subject to this Section:

            (1) An application for a minor modification, minor variance, or exemption from or administrative amendment to a permit, license, registration, variance, or compliance schedule authorized by this Subtitle.

            (2) An application for a minor source of air emissions, hazardous wastes, or solid wastes, or for a facility or activity which is not a major facility for water discharges.

            (3) An application for authority to commence construction, a groundwater certification, or any decision regarding remedial action, remediation, response, corrective action, or cleanup of soil, groundwater, or surface water related to the facility or such immovable property.

            (4) An application for renewal or extension of existing permits, licenses, registrations, exemptions, variances, or compliance schedules, unless said renewal or extension encompasses changes that need to be addressed as major applications.

            (5) Any rulemaking by the department.

            F. The provisions of this Section shall not apply to permits applied for prior to September 15, 1997.

            G. The department shall rely on its applicable rules and regulations to determine whether a source, facility, or modification is considered as major or minor for the purposes of this Section.

            H. Nothing in this Section shall relieve permit applicants or the department from the public trustee requirements set forth in Article IX, Section 1 of the Constitution of Louisiana and by the Supreme Court of Louisiana in Save Ourselves v. Louisiana Environmental Control Commission, 452 So.2d 1152 (La. 1984). Subsequent case law and laws interpreting said decisions and the rules and regulations adopted by the department in accordance with those decisions may be used to implement these requirements.

            Acts 1997, No. 1006, §1; Acts 2004, No. 72, §1; Acts 2020, No. 163, §1, eff. June 9, 2020; Acts 2021, No. 481, §1.

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