In This Issue

Louisiana DEQ – Postponement of Permit Deadline for Oil and Gas Construction Activities

The LDEQ has proposed a rule to allow operators at construction sites related to oil and gas exploration, production, processing, or treatment operations, or transmission facilities that disturb equal to or greater than one acre and less than five acres of land to legally conduct those construction activities without being permitted until March 10, 2005, the federal permit authorization deadline for those construction activities. The Louisiana Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (LPDES) program delegation agreement with EPA requires consistency with the federal NPDES program. EPA has postponed the permit authorization deadline for NPDES storm water permits for oil and gas related construction activities in this category until March 10, 2005. The basis and rationale for this Rule are to mirror the federal regulations.

This proposed Rule meets an exception listed in R.S. 30:2019.D.(2) and R.S. 49:953.G.(3); therefore, no report regarding environmental/health benefits and social/economic costs is required. This proposed Rule has no known impact on family formation, stability, and autonomy as described in R.S. 49:972.

This proposed Rule is identical to federal regulations found in 40 CFR 122.26, as amended in 68 FR 11325 – 11330, March 10, 2003, which are applicable in Louisiana. For more information regarding the federal requirement, contact the Regulation Development Section at (225) 765-0399 or Box 82178, Baton Rouge, LA 70884-2178. No fiscal or economic impact will result from the proposed Rule; therefore, the Rule will be promulgated in accordance with R.S. 49:953.F.(3) and (4).

A public hearing will be held on April 24, 2003, at 1:30 p.m. in the Maynard Ketcham Building, Room 326, 7290 Bluebonnet Boulevard, Baton Rouge, LA 70810. Interested persons are invited to attend and submit oral comments on the proposed amendments. Attendees should report directly to the hearing location for DEQ visitor registration, instead of to the security desk in the DEQ Headquarters building. Should individuals with a disability need an accommodation in order to participate, contact Lynn Wilbanks at the address given below or at (225) 765-0399.

All interested persons are invited to submit written comments on the proposed regulation. Persons commenting should reference this proposed regulation by WQ047*. Such comments must be received no later than April 24, 2003, at 4:30 p.m., and should be sent to Lynn Wilbanks, Regulation Development Section, Box 82178, Baton Rouge, LA 70884-2178 or to fax (225) 765-0389 or by e-mail to The comment period for this rule ends on the same date as the public hearing. Copies of this proposed regulation can be purchased by contacting the DEQ Records Management Section at (225) 765-0843. Check or money order is required in advance for each copy of WQ047*.

This proposed regulation is available for inspection at the following DEQ office locations from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.: 7290 Bluebonnet Boulevard, Fourth Floor, Baton Rouge, LA 70810; 1823 Highway 546, West Monroe, LA 71292; State Office Building, 1525 Fairfield Avenue, Shreveport, LA 71101; 1301 Gadwall Street, Lake Charles, LA 70615; 201 Evans Road, Building 4, Suite 420, New Orleans, LA 70123; 111 New Center Drive, Lafayette, LA 70508; 104 Lococo Drive, Raceland, LA 70394 or on the Internet at planning/regs/index.htm.

The proposed regulations are:

Title 33 Part IX Chapter 23 Subchapter B 2341. Storm Water Discharges A. – E.7.c.

8. Any storm water discharge associated with small construction activity identified in Subparagraph B.15.a of this Section, other than discharges associated with small construction activity at oil and gas exploration, production, process, and treatment operations or transmission facilities, requires permit authorization by March 10, 2003, unless designated for coverage before then. Discharges associated with small construction activity at such oil and gas sites require permit authorization by March 10, 2005.