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On May 23, 2024, Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry signed into law the Community Air Monitoring Reliability Act (“the Act” or “CAMRA”). This Act sets standards for community air monitoring programs to ensure that the data collected from such programs provides the public accurate air quality information. The issue of community air monitoring has become increasingly important after the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 designated over $100 million to be used for air monitoring. The Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) awarded several of these grants to community and government groups in Louisiana, who have then published the data in real time. This has raised questions of how this data should be used and whether the data is accurate. The CAMRA seeks to resolve some of these issues.

Proponents of CAMRA praise Louisiana for bringing uniformity and standards to community air monitoring programs, which the Act broadly defines as “measurement systems, testing equipment, tools, and processes of ambient air used or developed for … collecting air emissions data and measuring or recording air pollutant concentrations by entities that received public funds or use private funds,” excluding any monitoring performed by “reporting entities.” On the other hand, the EPA and environmental groups criticize that the Act limits how the community air monitoring data can be used.

Community Air Monitoring Program Requirements

Under the CAMRA, community air monitoring programs that are monitoring “for the purpose of alleging violations or noncompliance with the federal Clean Air Act [(“CAA”)], Louisiana Environmental Quality Act [(“LEQA”)], or any other applicable law, rule or regulation for which the state has primary enforcement authority” must comply with certain requirements based on the type of pollutant being monitored. La. R.S. § 30:2383.5.

For criteria air pollutants, the community air monitoring program “shall use the science-based standards set forth in 40 CFR Parts 50 and 58, including the NAAQS.” La. R.S. § 30:2383.5.A. For hazardous or toxic air pollutant emissions, the community air monitoring program “shall use an [EPA]-approved or promulgated emission test or monitoring method, or the latest revision to such methods approved or promulgated by the [EPA].” La. R.S. § 30:2383.5.B. Additionally, “[a]ny release or communication of the collected monitoring data shall include clear explanations of data interpretation, appropriate context, including the applicable or comparable ambient air standard data limitations, and relevant uncertainties.” La. R.S. § 30:2383.9. This requirement would seemingly apply to any entity, including LDEQ, with access to the data.

Allowed Uses of Monitoring Data

The CAMRA also allows for certain uses of the data collected by a community air monitoring program. That is, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (“LDEQ”) may use such data “to review compliance with the state’s promulgated air monitoring requirements as part of its assessment of compliance with the air quality standards in 40 CFR Part 50, including the NAAQS[,]” and “to review compliance with the state’s ambient air quality standards for hazardous air pollutants and toxic air pollutants.” La. R.S. §§ 30:2383.7.A, 2383.8.A.

If the community air monitoring data indicates that ambient air is not in compliance with the applicable ambient air standards, LDEQ “may consider necessary actions to address the issue, including, but not limited to[,] identifying sources of pollution, implementing pollution control measures, and engaging in public outreach and education.” La. R.S. §§ 30:2383.7.B, 2383.8.B. Any action taken by LDEQ must be consistent with the CAA and LEQA. La. R.S. §§ 30:2383.7.B, 2383.8.B.

Prohibited Uses of Monitoring Data

The CAMRA further limits how the collected data can be used. First, community air monitoring program data cannot be used by itself to demonstrate that a stationary source is in violation of the CAA, LEQA, or a permit condition. La. R.S. § 30:2383.10.A.

Second, if a community air monitoring program does not comply with the Act, its data cannot be “used, disclosed, or disseminated” by LDEQ to:

(1) Issu[e] a fine, penalty, or violation against any person, including the owner or operator of a stationary source.

(2) Bring[] an administrative, regulatory, or judicial enforcement action or proceeding against any person, including the owner or operator of a stationary source.

La. R.S. § 30:2383.10.B. The CAMRA also makes clear that these prohibitions would also apply to any citizen suits—“The prohibitions apply to use by [LDEQ] or any person of any monitoring data not in compliance with this [Act] for purposes of alleging violations or noncompliance with the [CAA], [LEQA], or any other applicable law, rule, or regulation for which the state has primary enforcement authority.” La. R.S. § 30:2383.10.C.


The CAMRA should bring more certainty to industry regarding what methodology standards community air monitoring programs must comply with, and more certainty with how LDEQ can use the data, as well as how the data can be used in a LEQA citizen suit.

Of note, the EPA has voiced concerns1 that CAMRA may be inconsistent with its “credible evidence rule,” which generally allows the agency to use any credible evidence or information to determine compliance or bring an enforcement action. Although the CAMRA does not change federal regulations or the EPA’s “credible evidence rule,” industry should stay tuned for further updates regarding how CAMRA and the “credible evidence rule” interact with one another going forward.

For further information regarding this act, contact Liskow attorneys Greg Johnson, Clare Bienvenu, Emily von Qualen and Colin North and visit our Environmental practice page.

1In an April 1 letter to a Louisiana Senator, the EPA Region 6 Administrator stated the following: “EPA has concerns that the [CAMRA] may preclude the use of any credible evidence to determine compliance under the [CAA] and may conflict with Louisiana’s federally approved Title V and State Implementation programs (i.e., New Source Review). … To the extent that [CAMRA] purports to limit the use of community monitoring data that the EPA and LDEQ would deem to be credible evidence for [CAA] compliance demonstrations or [CAA] enforcement, the [CAMRA] would be inconsistent with federal law.”

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