The Louisiana Regulatory Compliance Escape Act (our name for it) is the stinker bill of the 2015 Louisiana legislative session. HB 597 by Representative Stuart Bishop of Lafayette is an attempt by industry to avoid environmental protection rules. The bill would allow an industry to conduct a voluntary audit of compliance with environmental laws, and shut down the public's right to know during the audit. Even worse, once the polluter is finally done with their audit, they can't be fined for anything they find!
The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality would lose all of its power to go after polluters and the public's right to know would be shut down. HB 597 might as well be called The Louisiana Regulatory Compliance Escape Act. This legislation is assigned to the House Committee on Natural Resources and Environment (HNR&E)
Sign the petition to urge the Louisiana Legislature to protect people and the environment, not the polluters!
Dear Representatives on the Louisiana House Natural Resources and Environment Committee,
Please don't allow Industry to bypass Louisiana' s Health and Environmental protection laws. HB 597 by Representative Stuart Bishop is the latest attempt by industry to get around monitoring and enforcement of environmental standards. The bill would allow an industry to conduct a voluntary audit of compliance with environmental laws and regulations and would protect the industry from having to disclose any information during the audit.
HB 597 prevents State agencies or citizens from finding out anything once a facility decides to conduct a voluntary audit and provides extended exemption from compliance with regulations that protect our health, safety and environment. It is not difficult to see the possibility that the day after such a law went into effect, numerous industrial facilities would go into voluntary audit, emerging only years later if ever, from voluntary compliance schedules. HB 597 might as well be called The Louisiana Regulatory Compliance Escape Act.
Please defend our right to know what is going on with industrial activity in or near our communities. Please allow our State regulatory agencies to do their job in protecting our health and environment. Please do not pass HB 597.