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      RS 30:2033     


§2033.  Declaration of emergency

A.  Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Subtitle, upon receipt of evidence that there is an incident occurring which is of such magnitude as to require immediate action to prevent irreparable damage to the environment or a serious threat to life or safety based on recognized criteria or standards or both, the secretary may declare that an emergency exists.

B.  Upon declaration of an emergency, the secretary shall direct the attorney general to take such legal action as the secretary deems necessary.  If the secretary directs the attorney general to take such legal action upon declaration of an emergency as the secretary deems necessary, and the attorney general declines to take such action or does not respond to the secretary's request within ten days of such request and agree to take such requested action, an attorney from the department may, with the concurrence of the attorney general, take such action.

C.  When an emergency situation is declared, the secretary is authorized to undertake the containment and abatement of the pollution source and pollutants and may retain personnel for these purposes who shall operate under his direction.  He may order the owner, operator, or person responsible for the pollution source to conduct testing, monitoring, and analysis to ascertain the nature and extent of such hazard or undertake the containment, abatement, or cleanup of such pollution source and pollutants.  Failure to comply with his order shall be a violation of this Subtitle and shall be punishable as provided in R.S. 30:2025.

D.(1)  The secretary may issue such permit, variances, or other orders as necessary to respond to the emergency, which shall be effective immediately upon issuance, and any appeal or request for review shall not suspend the implementation of the action ordered.  The term of any such emergency action shall be limited to the time necessary to address the emergency conditions.

(2)  An action for injunctive relief against any order issued pursuant to the declaration of an emergency shall be brought in the Nineteenth Judicial District Court for the parish of East Baton Rouge.  Exhaustion of administrative remedies is not a prerequisite to such action.

(3)  The party bringing an action under this Subsection has the burden of demonstrating, by clear and convincing evidence, that granting injunctive relief shall not endanger or cause damage to the public health or the environment.

E.  In addition, when an emergency is declared, emergency response personnel trained in environmental emergency response as provided by R.S. 30:2035 shall be authorized to undertake necessary actions to contain and abate the pollution source and pollutants.

F.  An emergency cease and desist order is governed by the provisions of R.S. 30:2050.8 and not by the provisions of this Section.

Added by Acts 1980, No. 194, §6.  Acts 1983, No. 97, §1, eff. Feb. 1, 1984; Acts 1983, No. 361, §1, eff. July 2, 1983; Acts 1983, No. 459, §1, eff. July 6, 1983; Acts 1995, No. 947, §2, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1995, No. 1160, §1; Acts 1999, No. 303, §1, eff. June 14, 1999.

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