A business is required to have a permit if they release pollution into the air or water or generate, store, or dispose of toxic material. The business will apply for a permit before building the facility that will release the pollutants or when modifications are made to a facility that releases pollutants. The Louisiana DEQ is tasked with analyzing, issuing and overseeing environmental permits. However it is also important for local residents to be aware of existing permitted facilities in their area as well as new permit applications. As mentioned previously, citizens have an opportunity and responsibility to participate in the permitting process. So how do you keep up with local environmental permits and what should you know about them?
TO STAY INFORMED OF PERMIT APPLICATIONS NEAR YOU:
- View all current permit applications online: http://www.deq.louisiana.gov/apps/pubNotice/default.asp
- Sign up to receive permit applications by email. You can choose to receive applications statewide or for a particular parish: http://louisiana.gov/Services/Email_Notifications_DEQ_PN/
- Sign up to receive permit applications by mail: Call LDEQ Customer Service Center at: (225) 219-LDEQ (219-5337)
Anatomy of a Permit Application Notice
- Type of permit being applied for.
- Company name, facility, and Agency Interest number (AI number).
- Facility location.
- Brief description of what the permit will be for.
- Table that shows which pollutants will be released, the quantity that is currently being released (Before) if applicable, the quantity that will be released under the new permit (After), and the change in emissions if applicable.
- Information about submitting comments and where to submit them.
- If enough people ask for a public hearing about the proposed permit then DEQ will hold one. Be sure to ask for a public hearing.
- Information about where the full permit application can be viewed.
- Information about additional locations that the full permit application can be viewed, typically near the facility location.
- Facility AI Number, Permit Number, and Activity Number. Should be included on . all correspondence about permit application.
- Date that permit application notice was published. This is the beginning of the public comment period which is usually 30 days. More information about public comment periods for LADEQ permit applications can be found here: http://www.deq.louisiana.gov/portal/Default.aspx?tabid=2271.
- Any attachments of additional documents available with application notice.NOTE: only available on electronic notices found on the DEQ website or received via email.
Questions to keep in mind:
- How close is the facility to your community?
- What pollutants are/will be emitted?
- Will any emissions be increasing?
- How will this permit/facility affect your community?
- Would you like a public hearing about this application?
- How long do you have until the public comment period is over?
- Do you need additional help to organize the community, understand the permit application, or develop comments?
The Louisiana Citizens’ Guide To Environmental Engagement