By Clare Bienvenu

Pursuant to Act 547, passed by the Louisiana Legislature in the 2008 Regular Session and recently signed into law by the Governor, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) may now require Louisiana facilities exempt from air permitting requirements to maintain records showing that the actual or potential emissions of the facility meet the exemption.  Under existing Louisiana law, a facility is exempt from air permitting requirements if its potential emissions are: (1) less than 5 tpy (tons per year) for each regulated air pollutant; (2) less than 15 tpy for all regulated pollutants combined; and (3) less than the minimum emission rate for each toxic air pollutant listed in LAC 33:III.5112, Table 51.1.  See La. R.S. 30:2054(B)(2)(b)(ix) (as enacted by Act 918 in 2003).  The original exemption did not authorize LDEQ to mandate the maintenance of emissions records for exempt sources.  Act 547 additionally defines “potential emissions” as “the emissions the facility is capable of emitting considering all control measures in place, utilized and properly maintained and historical practices, including hours of operation and number of employees at the facility.”  Act 547 itself does not require exempt facilities to maintain records, but allows LDEQ to promulgate standards or regulations to create such a requirement.  As such, exempt facilities in Louisiana should be on the lookout for the implementing rule from LDEQ.