LDEQ’s Proposed Rule for Regulatory Permits for Concrete Manufacturing Facilities

LDEQ recently published Proposed Rule AQ299, ‘Regulatory Permits for Concrete Manufacturing Facilities.’ The proposed rule for concrete manufacturing facilities is the fifth regulatory permit proposed for air emission sources.

Regulatory Permitting

To put this proposal in context, the LDEQ was authorized in 2006 to develop regulatory permits. Acts 2006, No. 115. The Legislature authorized these types of permits for certain air emissions and water discharges.

LDEQ published rules governing the issuance of regulatory permits for air emissions. LAC 33:III.Chapter 3. To-date, LDEQ has issued regulatory permits for oil and gas well testing (§III.307), releases of natural gas from pipelines (§III.309), emergency engines (§III.311), and portable air curtain incinerators (§III.313). In each case, LDEQ has published a three to four page notification form (the ‘application’) for coverage under the RP provision. Continue reading “LDEQ’s Proposed Rule for Regulatory Permits for Concrete Manufacturing Facilities”

LDEQ Initiative Provides New E & P Waste Disposal Option

Oil and gas drilling activity produces many benefits for the state. However, it also produces waste materials that must be properly handled. Recently, LDEQ provided generators with what could become a cost-effective and environmentally protective disposal option.

Traditionally, the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (LDNR) provided two options for the disposal of Nonhazardous Oilfield Waste (NOW), or Exploration and Production Waste (E&P Waste). Waste Type 2 (oil-based drilling wastes) and Waste Type 3 (water-based drilling wastes) are created during the drilling process. LDNR allows on-site disposal of these wastes, under certain strict conditions. However, if the criteria are not met, the E&P Wastes must be moved off-site to an LDNR-permitted commercial facility. Waste Type 16 (crude oil spill clean-up waste) can be generated both on-site and off-site due to leaks or spills from storage tanks, pipelines, transport vessels, or transfer procedures. Waste Type 15 is E&P Waste from a LDNR-permitted commercial facility. Continue reading “LDEQ Initiative Provides New E & P Waste Disposal Option”

LDEQ’s Denial of Hearing Request Overturned

A district court decision recently overturned an LDEQ denial of our client’s request for hearing. While LDEQ has some discretion in denying hearing requests, LDEQ’s discretion is limited by the constitution and applicable statutes. Not every LDEQ denial is proper.

Background: LDEQ usually has one of three responses to a request for hearing by a permittee or a respondent: deny the request, enter into Informal Dispute Resolution (IDR), or grant the request. When it determines that the matter is easily resolvable, LDEQ usually grants the request (and the matter is transferred to the Division of Administrative Law (DAL) for handling) or enters into IDR. However, in matters that are contested, controversial, or perhaps when LDEQ knows its position may be indefensible, LDEQ has denied hearing requests. This is important for two reasons: 1) unless the permittee or respondent files an expensive application for judicial review with the 19th JDC, the permit action or compliance order/penalty assessment will become final; and 2) LDEQ can appeal from an adverse decision in the 19th JDC. On the other hand, current law prohibits LDEQ from appealing any adverse decision rendered against it in the DAL. The permittee or respondent, however, can appeal. LDEQ’s denial of the hearing request may be designed to avoid potentially contested adjudications in the DAL, from which LDEQ cannot appeal, so that the adjudication occurs in the 19th JDC, from which LDEQ can appeal. Continue reading “LDEQ’s Denial of Hearing Request Overturned”