The U.S. EPA has given authority to the states to implement the requirements of the major federal environmental laws listed in the previous section. The states implement these laws through a system of permits, whereby a manufacturing facility is “permitted” to discharge certain levels of pollution, as defined under the federal statute, such as the Clean Air Act or the Clean Water Act. Administering the system of permits involves gathering and reviewing permit applications from new firms and those seeking to expand operations, as well as regularly updating the existing permits of established manufacturing facilities. The state agency must conduct systematic inspections of the regulated facilities and take enforcement actions against those whose discharges exceed the permitted levels. Thus, the states play a major role in the implementation of the laws designed to protect environmental quality and public health.
The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) implements the federal environmental laws in this state. The LDEQ is divided into four sections:
- Office of Environmental Services issues permits, regulates pollution sources, and manages public participation.
- Office of Environmental Compliance conducts inspections of facilities, enforces laws and regulations, and responds to environmental emergencies.
- Office of Management and Finance is responsible for budgets, contracts, and grants with LDEQ as well as general operational duties.
- Office of the Secretary deals with general public relations and overall department management.
The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) manages all State Disaster Declarations, whether natural or human made. GOHSEP’s goal is to reduce the vulnerability of people and communities in Louisiana from natural disasters, man-made catastrophes, acts of terrorism, or military action. In addition to the state office, each parish also has its own OHSEP division. For a listing of all parish OHSEP contacts, see the Appendix.
Back to Federal Environmental Laws
The Louisiana Citizens’ Guide To Environmental Engagement
Forward to 1.3 Local Environmental Regulation