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      RS 30:6     


§6. Hearings; notice; rules of procedure; emergency; service of process; public records; request for hearings; orders and compliance orders

            A. The commissioner shall prescribe the rules of order or procedure in hearings or other proceedings before him under this Chapter.

            B. No rule, regulation, order, or change, renewal, or extension thereof, shall, in the absence of an emergency, be made by the commissioner under the provisions of this Chapter except after a public hearing upon at least ten days' notice given in the manner and form prescribed by him. This hearing shall be held at a time and place and in the manner prescribed by the commissioner. The commissioner, in his discretion, may designate a member of his staff to conduct public hearings on his behalf. Any person having an interest in the subject matter of the hearing shall be entitled to be heard. Whenever any application shall be made to the commissioner of conservation for creation, revision, or modification of any unit or units for production of oil or gas, or for adoption of any plan for spacing of wells or for cycling of gas, pressure maintenance or restoration, or other plan of secondary recovery, the applicant shall be required to file with the application two copies of a map of such unit or units or well spacing pattern or two explanations of such plan of cycling, pressure maintenance or restoration, or other secondary recovery program and at least thirty days' notice shall be given of the hearings to be held thereon, in the manner prescribed by the commissioner of conservation and a copy of such plat or explanation of program shall remain on file in the office of conservation in Baton Rouge and in the office of the district manager of the conservation district in which the property is located, and be open for public inspection, at least thirty days prior to such hearing.

            C. If the commissioner finds an existing emergency which in his judgment requires the making, changing, renewal, or extension of a rule, regulation, or order without first having a hearing, the emergency rule, regulation, or order shall have the same validity as if a hearing had been held after due notice. The emergency rule, regulation, or order shall remain in force no longer than fifteen days from its effective date. In any event, it shall expire when the rule, regulation, or order made after notice and hearing with respect to the same subject matter becomes effective.

            D. Should the commissioner elect to give notice by personal service, it may be made by any officer authorized to serve process or any agent of the commissioner in the same manner as is provided by law for the service of citation in civil actions in the district courts. Proof of the service by an agent shall be by the affidavit of the person making it.

            E. All rules, regulations, and orders made by the commissioner shall be in writing and shall be entered in full by him in a book kept for that purpose. This book shall be a public record and shall be open for inspection at all times during reasonable office hours. A copy of a rule, regulation, or order, certified by the commissioner, shall be received in evidence in all courts of this state with the same effect as the original.

            F. Any interested person has the right to have the commissioner call a hearing for the purpose of taking action in respect to a matter within the jurisdiction of the commissioner by making a request therefor in writing. Upon receiving the request the commissioner shall promptly call a hearing. After the hearing, and with all convenient speed and in any event within thirty days after the conclusion of the hearing the commissioner shall take whatever action he deems appropriate with regard to the subject matter. In the event of failure or refusal of the commissioner to issue an order within the period of thirty days, he may be compelled to do so by mandamus at the suit of any interested person.

            G. Notwithstanding the provisions of Subsections B and C to the contrary, the commissioner, upon determining that a violation of this Chapter or the regulations adopted hereunder has occurred, may impose a civil penalty as provided in this Chapter. Additionally, upon determining that a violation of this Chapter or the regulations adopted hereunder has occurred, the commissioner may issue an order requiring compliance. Any such order issued shall state, with reasonable specificity, the nature of the violation, any cessation of activities or affirmative operations required to achieve compliance, and a time limit within which compliance with the order must be achieved. Noncompliance with any such order to comply shall constitute a violation of this Chapter, and the commissioner may impose a civil penalty for such violation. Any person subjected to a civil penalty shall have the right to a public hearing if requested in writing, which written request shall suspend the imposition of the penalty until final action is taken by the commissioner after hearing.

            H. When an application for any permit to construct or drill a Class V or Class VI well related to the geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide becomes complete, the commissioner shall notify the governing authority of any parish included in the permit application. The notice to the governing authority of the parish shall be made no later than the date on which public notice is issued in accordance with applicable law or regulations. Notice may be made by electronic mail to the parish president, police jury president, or mayor-president, depending on the form of parish government.

            Acts 1954, No. 174, §1; Acts 1954, No. 489, §1; Acts 1982, No. 321, §1; Acts 1986, No. 514, §1, eff. July 2, 1986; Acts 1990, No. 598, §1; Acts 2023, No. 378, §1, eff. June 14, 2023.

            NOTE: Acts 1997, No. 208, requires monthly hearings in Shreveport.

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