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      RS 30:78     


§78.  Easements, rights-of-way, eminent domain

A.  When an oilfield waste site is declared to be abandoned, the commissioner, under the police powers of the state, may, for the duration of the cleanup operations and without compensation to the landowner, except for actual damages to property or person, claim a comprehensive easement over the waste site and all other areas sufficient to secure, contain, or clean up the same.

B.  During the first one hundred eighty days following a declaration that a waste site is abandoned, the commissioner may claim and declare an emergency access route, which shall be held without compensation to the owner except for actual damages to property or person, under the police powers of the state, and the location of such may be across either public or private lands and shall be such as are deemed necessary and reasonable for the resolution and control of the waste site.

C.  When the commissioner determines that a period greater than one hundred eighty days will be or is needed for purposes of cleanup control or monitoring of the waste site, he shall first attempt to acquire the necessary rights-of-way or easements by negotiating with the burdened landowner for the purchase or lease thereof, and where the rights-of-way or easements needed cannot be obtained through negotiations, he may exercise the right of eminent domain to obtain temporary or permanent passage.

D.  The commissioner is hereby authorized and directed to seek to acquire such rights as are necessary to maintain control over such areas by negotiations with the owner of the lands affected.  When such rights cannot be acquired through reasonable negotiations, the commissioner may exercise the right of eminent domain to the same extent and with the same limitations as is applicable for other public purposes set forth in R.S. 19:1 et seq.

E.  All emergency easements and access routes are to be continued in effect until all rights sought under the eminent domain proceedings have been finally vested thereunder unto the state.

F.  In all cases where the state acquires property rights either amicably or by eminent domain from any person against whom a claim has been asserted who owns or possesses rights in the abandoned waste site, payment of all monies for the acquisition shall be withheld until such time as that person's liability has been finally resolved.  All funds withheld shall be utilized to offset the liabilities assessed.

G.  Nothing in this Section shall be construed to deny or limit access to the waste site by the commissioner or his authorized agents for the purposes of carrying out the provisions of this Chapter and as otherwise provided by law.

Acts 1986, No. 892, §1, eff. July 10, 1986.

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