Terms Used In Louisiana Revised Statutes 30:2373
- Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
- Department: means the Department of Public Safety and Corrections. See Louisiana Revised Statutes 30:2363
- Facility: means the physical premises used by the owner or operator in which the hazardous materials are manufactured, used, or stored. See Louisiana Revised Statutes 30:2363
- Hazardous material: means any substance deemed a hazardous material or a hazardous substance and included on a list adopted by rule by the deputy secretary to include those materials deemed hazardous under the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation Liability Act (CERCLA), the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA, Title III U. See Louisiana Revised Statutes 30:2363
- Hospitalization: means the admission into a hospital as a patient for an overnight stay or emergency treatment at a hospital to the extent that the owner or operator requested such treatment or becomes aware of such treatment within twenty-four hours of the initiation of the relevant release. See Louisiana Revised Statutes 30:2363
- Immediately: means a reasonable period of time after identifying the nature, quantity, and potential off-site impact of a release considering the exigency of the circumstances. See Louisiana Revised Statutes 30:2363
- Inventory form: means the reporting form adopted by the department, and completed by owners and operators, which contains certain requested information on hazardous materials and which is used in developing the information system mandated by this Chapter. See Louisiana Revised Statutes 30:2363
- Owner or operator: means any person, partnership, or corporation in the state including, unless otherwise stated, the state and local government, or any of its agencies, authorities, departments, bureaus, or instrumentalities engaged in business or research operations which use, manufacture, emit, or store a hazardous material at a facility. See Louisiana Revised Statutes 30:2363
- Person: means any individual, municipality, public or private corporation, partnership, firm, the United States Government, and any agent or subdivision thereof or any other juridical person, which shall include, but not be limited to, trusts, joint stock companies, associations, the state of Louisiana, political subdivisions of the state of Louisiana, commissions, and interstate bodies. See Louisiana Revised Statutes 30:2004
- Reasonably be expected to affect the public safety beyond the boundaries of the facility: means fire, explosion, incident, accident, or cleanup within a facility that may reasonably impact public safety beyond the facility, including but not limited to an impact of such nature as to require shelter-in-place orders, evacuations, immediate response by emergency responders, or off-site road closures. See Louisiana Revised Statutes 30:2363
- Release: means any spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying, discharging, injecting, escaping, leaching, dumping, or disposing into the environment (including the abandonment or discarding of barrels, containers, and other closed receptacles) of any hazardous material or substance. See Louisiana Revised Statutes 30:2363
- Reportable release: means a release of a regulated hazardous material or substance which causes any injury requiring hospitalization or any fatality, results in a fire or explosion which could reasonably be expected to affect the public safety beyond the boundaries of the facility, or exceeds the reportable quantity when that reportable quantity, as defined pursuant to rules promulgated by the deputy secretary, could be reasonably expected to escape beyond the site of the facility. See Louisiana Revised Statutes 30:2363
- Respondent: means the person against whom an enforcement action is directed. See Louisiana Revised Statutes 30:2004
- Secretary: means the secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality. See Louisiana Revised Statutes 30:2004
- Settlement: Parties to a lawsuit resolve their difference without having a trial. Settlements often involve the payment of compensation by one party in satisfaction of the other party's claims.
- Small business: means a single business establishment employing not more than nine full-time employees and having not more than two million dollars in average annual gross receipts. See Louisiana Revised Statutes 30:2363
- Violation: means a failure to comply with the requirements of this Subtitle, the rules issued under this Subtitle, and conditions of permits under this Subtitle. See Louisiana Revised Statutes 30:2004
A. All owners and operators shall be required to report the information required under R.S. 30:2369 of this Chapter regarding the manufacture, storage, or use of hazardous materials by no later than March 1, 1988, and by March first of each year thereafter.
B.(1) Owners and operators shall immediately notify the department of any reportable releases, other than a federally or state permitted release or application of a pesticide or fertilizer, of a hazardous material or substance listed pursuant to this Chapter exceeding the reportable quantity when that reportable quantity could be reasonably expected to escape the site of the facility, as soon as the owner or operator has knowledge of such release. Failure to do so shall subject owners and operators to civil penalties as provided in Subsection C of this Section. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, natural gas from distribution lines shall have a reportable release of one thousand pounds or more.
(2) Any reportable release of any hazardous material regulated by this Chapter which causes any injury requiring hospitalization or any fatality or any release which results in a fire or explosion which could reasonably be expected to affect the public safety beyond the boundaries of the facility shall be reported immediately to the department.
(3) Any incident, accident, or cleanup within a facility, which could reasonably be expected to affect public safety beyond the boundaries of the facility or where the owner or operator knows a protective action beyond the boundaries of the facility has been initiated, shall be reported immediately to the department.
(4) Any release or incident that occurs within the boundaries of a facility and may be subject to reporting under this Section shall not be reportable by the owner or operator of the facility, or the employees, non-commercial carriers, contractors, or consultants of such owner or operator pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 12 of Title 32 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950, unless such release or incident involves a railcar that is in transportation and the owner or operator of the facility is required to report the release or incident under 49 C.F.R. 171.15.
(5) The department shall not subject an owner or operator to a civil penalty as provided in Subsection C based on any incident or release that was not required to be reported under this Section and that was reported by the owner or operator as a courtesy.
(6) The secretary may develop rules and regulations to implement and clarify the reporting requirements of this Subsection and to address changes in federal regulations.
(7) The Department of Environmental Quality shall make available to the public for examination any information contained in reports required pursuant to R.S. 30:2025(J), 2060(H), and 2076(D).
C.(1) For owners and operators who knowingly fail to file an inventory form on hazardous materials as required by this Chapter by March 1, 1988, and by March first of each year thereafter, the department may levy a civil penalty which shall not exceed twenty-five thousand dollars per hazardous material not reported. Small businesses who have an omission from the inventory reporting forms shall receive a warning only for their first offense.
(2) The department may also levy a civil penalty not to exceed twenty-five thousand dollars per violation for failure to timely report nonpermitted releases pursuant to R.S. 30:2373(B).
(3) For owners and operators who knowingly fail to report a reportable release of a hazardous material regulated by this Chapter, the department may assess a civil penalty not to exceed twenty-five thousand dollars per violation per day.
(4) The department shall consider, in determining whether to assess a fine, the financial situation of owners and operators of small businesses as well as any willfulness in failing to comply with the provisions of this Chapter. Such fines shall be deposited in the Right-to-Know Fund pursuant to R.S. 30:2380.
D.(1) Any person who handles, stores, or otherwise maintains a hazardous material regulated by this Chapter in a negligent or unreasonable manner without regard for the hazards of the material and causes a significant impact to public health and safety as a result of a reportable release of a hazardous material shall be in violation of this Subsection.
(2) For any person, owner, operator, or facility that violates this Subsection, the department may levy a civil penalty not to exceed ten thousand dollars per violation.
E.(1) No person shall intentionally handle, store, or otherwise maintain any hazardous material regulated by this Chapter in a manner which endangers human life.
(2) Any person, owner, operator, or facility that willfully violates this Subsection may be assessed a civil penalty by the department not to exceed twenty-five thousand dollars per violation per day or upon first conviction shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both. Upon second or subsequent conviction of a violation of R.S. 30:2373(E)(1), said person, owner, operator, or facility shall be fined not less than five hundred dollars nor more than ten thousand dollars or imprisoned with or without hard labor for not less than six months nor more than ten years.
F.(1) Any owner or operator who causes a reportable release that requires a significant emergency response by the department or is in violation of Subsection D of this Section shall reimburse the department for reasonable and extraordinary costs of emergency response, including actions taken by the department to mitigate such reportable release.
(2) Reimbursement to the department pursuant to Paragraph (1) of this Subsection shall preclude reimbursement for the same incident to the department from other response funds, including but not limited to the Hazardous Waste Protection Fund, R.S. 30:2198, the Motor Fuels Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund, R.S. 30:2195, et seq., and the Oil Spill Contingency Fund, R.S. 30:2483, et seq.
(3) An owner or operator of a small business shall not be responsible for the emergency response costs of the department in excess of twenty-five thousand dollars.
G.(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of R.S. 30:2380 to the contrary, the department may enter into settlements of civil penalty assessments that allow the respondent to perform beneficial emergency planning, preparedness, and response projects or provide for the payment of a cash penalty to the state, or both. Such settlements shall be considered a civil penalty for tax purposes.
(2)(a) Any settlement provided for in this Section that allows the respondent to perform a beneficial emergency planning, preparedness, and response project shall be submitted to the attorney general for his approval or rejection. The settlement shall be accompanied by the underlying enforcement action, a description of the beneficial emergency planning, preparedness, and response project that is an element of such settlement, and a justification for the settlement. Approval or rejection by the attorney general of any settlement shall be in writing and include, if rejected, a detailed written reason for rejection.
(b) Reasons for rejection shall be failure of the department to follow and adhere to the Right-to-Know Law, the regulations promulgated thereunder, or any other constitutional, statutory, or regulatory provisions.
(c) The attorney general shall make any request for additional information concerning the terms and condition of the settlement within thirty days of receiving the request for approval or rejection. Within thirty days of a request for additional information by the attorney general, the department shall provide its responses to such request.
(d) The department may execute the proposed settlement without the approval of the attorney general if the attorney general does not give written notice to the department of his rejection of the settlement within ninety days after receiving the proposed settlement.
(3) For purposes of this Subsection, a “beneficial emergency planning, preparedness, and response project” means a project that the respondent is not otherwise legally required to perform but that the respondent agrees to undertake as a component of a settlement of a civil penalty assessment under this Subsection; and a project that provides assistance or a benefit to a responsible state or local emergency planning, preparedness, or response entity. Beneficial emergency planning, preparedness, and response projects shall enable such entity to further fulfill its obligations to collect information to assess the dangers of hazardous materials present in a response situation, to develop emergency plans or procedures, to train emergency response personnel, and shall allow the respondent or state or local entity to better respond to emergency situations, including threats to communities from hurricanes or other natural disasters. Such projects may include providing computers and software, communication systems, chemical emission detection and inactivation equipment, and hazardous materials equipment and training.
Acts 1985, No. 435, §1, eff. July 11, 1985; Acts 1987, No. 347, §1; Acts 1992, No. 665, §§1, 2; Acts 1992, No. 984, §9; Acts 1995, No. 850, §1; Acts 1997, No. 1046, §1; Acts 1999, No. 355, §1, eff. June 16, 1999; Acts 2001, No. 1087, §1; Acts 2008, No. 550, §1, eff. June 30, 2008; Acts 2009, No. 235, §1; Acts 2012, No. 853, §1; Acts 2014, No. 799, §1, eff. June 19, 2014.