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      RS 30:2074     

  

§2074. Water quality control; secretary of environmental quality; powers and duties

            A. The department shall have the following powers and duties with respect to water quality control:

            (1) To prepare and develop a general plan for the proper protection and control of the waters of the state.

            (2) To make investigations on its own motion or upon the complaint of any person and by appropriate order to control, regulate, or restrain the discharge of any waste material or polluting substance discharged or sought to be discharged into any waters of the state in accordance with the provisions of R.S. 30:2025.

            (3) To process all applications for certifications which applicants for federal or state licenses or permits are required to provide to the appropriate agency. In connection with the issuance of such certificates, one notice of each application for a certification under this Paragraph must either be published in the official journal of the state or issued as a joint notice by the agency requiring the certification. In the event the secretary determines that there is significant public interest in the proposed activity, he shall cause notice to be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the affected area. The cost of publication of public notice shall be borne by the applicant. The notice shall provide that comments concerning the application may be filed with the department in accordance with regulations developed to implement this Chapter. After the time provided for public comment, the department shall act upon the application and take such action as it deems appropriate. If, as a condition to certification, the secretary proposes any alterations to the federal or state license or permit, as drafted, or proposes to deny the certification, the secretary shall promptly notify the applicant of the proposed alterations or denial, and shall provide the applicant an opportunity for a hearing in connection with such proposed alterations or proposed denial in accordance with R.S. 30:2024(A). Conditional certifications and certification denials shall be considered permit actions for all purposes.

            (4) To administer the Clean Water State Revolving Fund as established in R.S. 30:2302. The department is also authorized to enter into contracts and other agreements in connection with the operation of the Clean Water State Revolving Fund to the extent necessary or convenient for the implementation of the Clean Water State Revolving Fund Program.

            B. The secretary shall have the following powers and duties:

            (1) To establish such standards, guidelines, or criteria as he deems necessary or appropriate to prohibit, control, or abate any of the following:

            (a) Water pollution.

            (b) Discharges into publicly owned treatment works in accordance with Sections 307 and 402 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.

            (c) Use and disposal of sewage sludge in accordance with Section 405 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.

            (2) To ascertain and determine, for record and for use in making regulations, what volume of water actually flows in any stream, as well as the high and low water marks of waters of the state affected by the waste disposal or pollution of any person.

            (3) To adopt and promulgate rules and regulations consistent with the general intent and purposes of this Chapter to prevent water pollution, including but not limited to the following:

            (a) Regulations requiring compliance by users of publicly owned treatment works in accordance with Sections 307 and 402 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.

            (b) Regulations requiring compliance with pretreatment standards and requirements in accordance with Sections 307 and 402 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.

            (c) Regulations requiring the treatment of wastes in treatment works.

            (d) Regulations prohibiting the unpermitted discharge of untreated or improperly treated wastes.

            (e) Regulations prohibiting improper sewage sludge use or disposal, including but not limited to general requirements, pollutant limits, management practices, operational standards, and monitoring, recordkeeping, transporting, and reporting requirements for the final use or disposal of sewage sludge, when such use or disposal is by land application, surface disposal, disposal in a permitted landfill, or incineration, in accordance with Section 405 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act or state water quality and sewage sludge and biosolids use or disposal standards.

            (f) Regulations requiring the training and the certification of generators and preparers of sewage sludge for the final use or disposal of sewage sludge, when such use or disposal is by land application, surface disposal, disposal in a permitted landfill, or incineration, in accordance with Section 405 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act or state water quality and sewage sludge and biosolids use or disposal standards.

            (4) To develop permitting procedures and to require and issue permits, variances, LPDES variances, licenses, or compliance schedules for all waste water discharges, discharges of waste, or sources of water pollution to the surface waters of the state, and to require of and issue LPDES permits to any person who prepares sewage sludge, applies sewage sludge to the land, or fires sewage sludge in a sewage sludge incinerator, or to the owner or operator of a sewage sludge surface disposal site and, when the secretary deems it advisable, to delegate the power to issue or deny such permits, variances, LPDES variances, licenses, or compliance schedules to the appropriate assistant secretary subject to his continuing oversight. The authority to execute minor permit actions and to issue registrations, certifications, notices of deficiency, and notification of inclusion under a general permit may be delegated by the secretary or the appropriate assistant secretary to an authorized representative, notwithstanding the provisions of R.S. 30:2050.26. Nothing in this Subsection shall preclude the secretary from issuing compliance schedules or taking enforcement action to address unauthorized pollution of ground waters of the state.

            (5) To adopt and promulgate rules and regulations to provide for the cleanup and remediation of any pollution of waters of the state.

            (6) To apply for and accept grants of money from the United States Environmental Protection Agency or other federal agencies for the purpose of making funds available to political subdivisions in the state for the planning, design, construction and rehabilitation of wastewater treatment facilities and other related activities.

            (7) To establish such standards, guidelines, or criteria by rule as he deems necessary to prevent the discharge from water crafts, other than vessels engaged in commercial fishing and licensed pursuant to R.S. 56:304 et seq., of trash, garbage, and untreated or improperly treated sewage or sewage sludge in an amount, manner, or area which would further degrade the quality of anchorage waters or certain immediately adjacent waters within Louisiana. The standards herein authorized and required shall provide at a minimum for:

            (a) Water crafts to which such standards shall apply.

            (b) Reporting requirements of water craft owners or operators necessary to effectuate the intent of this Paragraph, including technical information related to onboard waste containment or treatment equipment.

            (c) Requirements of evidence of any service contracts or other arrangements necessary to properly remove and dispose of such wastes.

            (d) Specific standards for garbage lighterage and pump out services which remove these wastes.

            (e) Requirements of evidence that a water craft has emptied its holding tanks outside Louisiana waters.

            (8) To adopt and promulgate rules and regulations for the administration of the Municipal Facilities Revolving Loan Fund, provided such rules and regulations shall not take effect unless approved by the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee.

            (9)(a) To adopt and promulgate regulations necessary to establish and administer a water quality trading program as an inducement to reduce discharges of pollutants into waters of the state. This water quality trading program may include point source and nonpoint source participation. Nonpoint sources may participate in the program through a written agreement between the department and the appropriate governmental entity with jurisdiction over the nonpoint source, or other written agreement with the department. Such regulations shall include, at a minimum, the following:

            (i) Criteria under which credits may be certified, generated, quantified, and validated.

            (ii) Geographical limitations on the use of credits, where applicable.

            (iii) Criteria for the monitoring, certifying, generating, use, banking, term, enforcement, and sale of banked credits.

            (iv) The approval of the department for the certifying, generating, use, banking, and sale of banked credits.

            (v) Requirements for the maintenance and submission of records concerning monitoring of pollutant levels, credit offset amounts, and banked credits.

            (vi) Any other requirements needed to comply with federal and state laws and regulations.

            (b) A pilot project may be used to aid in the development of a water quality trading program prior to the adoption of regulations promulgated pursuant to Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph. Any such project shall be conducted in accordance with the terms and conditions of an implementation plan approved by the department.

            (c) In addition to the review of agency rules provided for in R.S. 49:968, all reports of rules and regulations implementing the provisions of this Paragraph shall also be submitted to the House Committee on Agriculture, Forestry, Aquaculture and Rural Development and the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Forestry, Aquaculture and Rural Development for oversight in accordance with the procedures provided for in R.S. 49:968.

            (d) Repealed by Acts 2017, No. 371, §2, eff. June 23, 2017.

            (e) Repealed by Acts 2017, No. 371, §2, eff. June 23, 2017.

            (10) To develop regulatory permits for certain water discharges provided the following conditions are satisfied:

            (a) A regulatory permit cannot be used for any facility which is a new major facility or for any major modification of an existing facility as defined in applicable rules and regulations.

            (b) Use of a regulatory permit may be precluded by specific permit conditions contained within a Louisiana pollutant discharge elimination system permit.

            (c) A regulatory permit shall not preclude the secretary from exercising all powers and duties as set forth in R.S. 30:2011(D), including but not limited to the authority to conduct inspections and investigations and enter facilities as provided in R.S. 30:2012, and to sample or monitor, for the purposes of assuring compliance with a regulatory permit or as otherwise authorized by this Subtitle, federal Water Pollution Control Act, or regulations adopted thereunder, any substances or pollutants at any location.

            (d) A regulatory permit shall require compliance with all applicable provisions of the department's rules and regulations and the federal Water Pollution Control Act. Violation of the terms and conditions of a regulatory permit constitutes a violation of such regulation or Act.

            (e) A regulatory permit shall prescribe, as appropriate, discharge limitations, any necessary control requirements, other enforceable conditions, and associated monitoring, record keeping, and reporting provisions necessary for the protection of public health and the environment.

            (f) A regulatory permit shall require any person seeking such permit to submit a written notification and any fee authorized by this Subtitle and applicable regulations to the secretary. Submission of a written notification and any fee authorized by this Subtitle and applicable regulations shall be in lieu of submission of a permit application. The written notification shall be signed and certified in accordance with LAC 33:IX governing permit application submittal. Any person who submits a written notification and any fee authorized by this Subtitle and applicable regulations shall be authorized to operate under the regulatory permit for which the notification was submitted when notified by the department that the notification was complete.

            (g) All regulatory permits promulgated by the secretary shall establish notification procedures, permit terms, and confirmation of notification by the department and shall be promulgated in accordance with the procedures provided in R.S. 30:2019.

            (h) No later than January 1, 2007, the secretary shall consider which activities are appropriate for coverage under a regulatory permit and publish an initial list of such activities.

            (11) To register and license transporters or haulers of sewage sludge and biosolids and transporters or haulers of sewage sludge mixed with grease pumped or removed from a food service facility.

            C. The office of the secretary shall, in conjunction and coordination with the Department of Natural Resources, conduct a risk analysis of the discharge of produced waters, excluding cavern leach waters, from oil and gas activities onto the ground and into the surface waters in the coastal wetlands of this state. The analysis shall examine the environmental risks and economic impact of allowing such discharges in the coastal wetlands and the economic impact on the oil and gas industry if such discharges are prohibited. The analysis shall be completed and delivered to the committees on natural resources of the House of Representatives and Senate no later than April 1, 1988.

            D.(1) Any information submitted to the Department of Environmental Quality, pursuant to the Louisiana Water Control Law or regulations promulgated under its authority, may be claimed as confidential in accordance with R.S. 30:2030 by the person submitting the information, except information which falls within any category listed in Paragraph (7) of this Subsection.

            (2) Any such claim must be asserted at the time of submission in the manner prescribed by the application form or instructions or, in the case of other submissions, in accordance with the following:

            (a) By stamping the word "CONFIDENTIAL" on each page containing such information.

            (b) By submitting a written request for nondisclosure which shall specify the basis for requesting nondisclosure as provided in R.S. 30:2030.

            (3) All materials clearly labeled "CONFIDENTIAL" which are submitted to the department with a written request for nondisclosure shall be afforded confidentiality pending a determination whether to grant the request. The determination shall be made within twenty-one working days from the date the request is received by the department.

            (4) Confidentiality will not be afforded to any materials submitted which fall within any category of information listed in Paragraph (7) of this Subsection.

            (5) If no claim is made at the time of submission, the department may make the information available to the public without further notice. If a claim is asserted, the information will be treated in accordance with the procedures specified above.

            (6) If the secretary determines that any material received should not be afforded confidentiality, he shall issue a written denial of the request for nondisclosure to the requestor. No written denial of the request is necessary when the material submitted as confidential falls within any category of information listed in Paragraph (7) of this Subsection.

            (7) No claim of confidentiality will be accepted and all claims of confidentiality will be denied for the following categories of information for all NPDES, LPDES, or other water discharge permit applicants or permittees:

            (a) Name.

            (b) Address.

            (c) Effluent or discharge data.

            (d) Contents of permit applications.

            (e) All information required by the permit application whether accompanying it, attached to it, or submitted separately.

            (f) Permits.

            (8) All information obtained under the Louisiana Environmental Quality Act, R.S. 30:2001 et seq., or by regulations issued under its authority, or by any order, license, or permit term or condition adopted or issued by the Act, shall be available to the public, unless nondisclosure is requested and granted in accordance with R.S. 30:2030. No information listed in said Paragraph (7) may be claimed or determined to be confidential.

            (9) Any employee of the department or any former employee of the department or any authorized contractor acting as a representative of the secretary of the department who is convicted of intentional disclosure or conspiracy to disclose trade secrets or other information which has been determined to be confidential pursuant to this Subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars, imprisonment for up to one year, or both.

            E. No later than October 1, 1995, the secretary shall adopt rules and regulations to govern the discharge from commercial facilities of liquid wastes that contain methanol alcohol. The rules and regulations shall require pre-treatment of such waste before entering any sewer system, septic tank, or any surface waters of the state. The provisions of this Subsection shall not apply to veterinarians and hospitals. The rules adopted pursuant to this Subsection shall not be applicable to industrial facilities required to obtain permits for discharge of liquid wastes from Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, or the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources.

            Acts 1983, No. 97, §1, eff. Feb. 1, 1984; Acts 1984, No. 317, §1, eff. July 2, 1984; Acts 1984, No. 319, §1, eff. July 2, 1984; Acts 1986, No. 349, §1, eff. June 30, 1986; Acts 1987, No. 833, §1; Acts 1987, No. 940, §1, eff. July 20, 1987; Acts 1988, No. 964, §1, eff. July 27, 1988; Acts 1990, No. 244, §1; Acts 1991, No. 226, §1, eff. July 2, 1991; Acts 1991, No. 236, §1; Acts 1993, No. 117, §1; Acts 1993, No. 767, §1; Acts 1995, No. 699, §1; Acts 1995, No. 1189, §1; Acts 1997, No. 480, §1, eff. June 30, 1997; Acts 1997, No. 1119, §1; Acts 1999, No. 303, §1, eff. June 14, 1999; Acts 2003, No. 67, §1, eff. May 28, 2003; Acts 2003, No. 382, §1; Acts 2006, No. 115, §1; Acts 2008, No. 56, §1, eff. July 1, 2009; Acts 2010, No. 296, §1, eff. June 17, 2010; Acts 2017, No. 371, §§1, 2, eff. June 23, 2017.



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