WHEREAS, environmental contamination occurs from both manmade and natural sources and sometimes can have adverse health impacts on people;
WHEREAS, several agencies within the executive branch of state government may determine that environmental contamination exists within a certain geographic area;
WHEREAS, the health, safety, and welfare of the people of Louisiana would be improved, and the government would better fulfill its public trust obligations, if those executive branch agencies notified, or caused to be notified, people who may be exposed to environmental contamination when such agency has sound scientific knowledge of environmental contamination that exceeds the applicable federal and state health standards and that may cause adverse health effects;
NOW THEREFORE, I, M.J. "MIKE" FOSTER, JR., Governor of the state of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and laws of the state of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:
SECTION 1: DefinitionsSECTION 2: Whenever any affected agency has confirmed, through sound scientific methods, the presence of an environmental contaminant which exceeds the applicable federal or state health and safety standards and poses a risk of adverse health effects, then such agency shall give or cause to be given reasonable notice to individuals within that area of the contamination and provide information regarding any potential adverse health effects posed by the contamination.
SECTION 3: All affected agencies shall, to the best of their ability, immediately begin to conduct or cause to be conducted searches of their existing records and give notice of any existing conditions as required by Section 2 of this Order. Such searches shall be completed as soon as is practicable under the circumstances.
SECTION 4: The notice requirements provided in Sections 2 and 3 of this Order are effective immediately. In addition, all affected agencies shall issue emergency rules and shall, without undue delay, begin the process to adopt permanent rules to further implement such notice requirements as are necessary to fulfill the public trust requirements of the 1974 Louisiana Constitution. All affected agencies shall cooperate with each other to ensure that each of their individual notice requirements are similar to and complement those of the other agencies to the fullest extent practicable, and that each agency will share information regarding the presence of environmental contaminants with the others in a timely manner.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the city of Baton Rouge, on this 1st day of October, 2001.
M.J. "Mike" Foster, Jr.
Secretary of State