Individual Wastewater Treatment Systems Task Force

WHEREAS: the State of Louisiana has a duty to protect the health of its inhabitants and to prevent damage from occurring to the environment;

WHEREAS: serious environmental and health threats may exist due to the individual wastewater treatment systems in use in both urban and rural areas of the state which are inadequate or malfunctioning;

WHEREAS: epidemics, health risks, disease control problems, and environmental damage may be caused by and/or attributable to individual wastewater treatment systems which are discharging inadequately treated wastewater into the waters of the state; and

WHEREAS: it is in the best interest of the state for an in-depth study to be conducted on the health and environmental risks associated with individual wastewater treatment systems and on any corrective action which should be considered for uniform implementation throughout the State of Louisiana;

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: The Governor's Task Force on Individual Wastewater Treatment Systems (hereafter "Task Force") is established within the Executive Department, Office of the Governor.

SECTION 2: The duties of the Task Force shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • A. preparing a preliminary report, due no later than March 24, 1997, which identifies potential health and environmental problems associated with individual wastewater treatment systems, which are those systems with a capacity of less than 1500 gallons per day, and the various concerns raised by those problems; and sets forth a review of the regulations concerning individual wastewater treatment systems in use in the region of the southern states, and a plan to study and address the identified potential health and environmental problems;

  • B. conducting in-depth studies of and compiling information on individual wastewater treatment systems;

  • C. preparing a comprehensive report based on the results of the in-depth studies and compiled information, due no later than July 1, 1997, which addresses all matters associated with individual wastewater treatment systems, including the impact such systems may have on the environment and public health and the need for uniform statewide regulation of such systems; and

  • D. recommending legislation and/or regulatory provisions.
  • SECTION 3: The Task Force shall consist of at least 16 members who shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the governor. The membership of the Task Force shall be selected as follows:

  • A. the secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals, or the secretary's designee;

  • B. the secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality, or the secretary's designee;

  • C. the secretary of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, or the secretary's designee;

  • D. the assistant secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals, Office of Public Health, or the assistant secretary's designee;

  • E. two members of the Louisiana Senate, nominated by the President of the Senate;

  • F. two members of the Louisiana House of Representatives, nominated by the Speaker of the House;

  • G. a representative of the Louisiana Police Jury Association;

  • H. a representative of the Federation of Wastewater Treatment Specialists;

  • I. an expert in the field of Environmental Health Science;

  • J. an environmental or civil engineer with expertise in the area of wastewater;

  • K. an attorney with expertise in environmental law, particularly on wastewater issues;

  • L. a representative of environmental/conservation organizations;

  • M. a representative of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation; and

  • N. a representative of consumer organizations or groups.
  • SECTION 4: The secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals shall chair the Task Force. The membership of the Task Force shall select its vice-chairs and/or other officers.

    SECTION 5: Support staff for the Task Force and facilities for its meetings shall be provided by the Department of Health and Hospitals.

    SECTION 6: Task Force members shall not receive compensation or a per diem. Nonetheless, contingent upon the availability of funds, members who are not an employee of the State of Louisiana or one of its political subdivisions, or an elected state-wide public official, may receive reimbursement from the Office of the Governor for actual travel expenses incurred, in accordance with state guidelines and procedures, and upon the approval of the commissioner of Administration.

    SECTION 7: All departments, commissions, boards, agencies, and officers of the state, or any political subdivision thereof, are authorized and directed to cooperate with the Task Force in implementing the provisions of this Order.

    SECTION 8: The provisions of this Order are effective upon signature and shall remain in effect until July 1, 1997.

    IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the City of Baton Rouge, on this 31st day of January, 1997.

    M.J. "Mike" Foster, Jr.

    Fox McKeithen
    Secretary of State