Legislative Alert – Please help to stop House Bill 597, the Louisiana Regulatory Compliance Escape Act

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May 18, 2015 Update - HB 597 appears to be dead for the 2015 legislative session. Congratulations and thanks to everyone for your help to keep this bad bill from going anywhere.

The Louisiana Regulatory Compliance Escape Act (our name for it) is the stinker bill of the 2015 legislative session. HB 597 by Representative Stuart Bishop of Lafayette is the latest attempt by industry to get around monitoring and enforcement of environmental standards. The bill would allow an industry to conduct a voluntary audit of compliance with environmental laws and regulations and would protect the industry from having to disclose any information during the audit. The proposed law further provides that no penalty can be imposed by a state entity for violations discovered during a voluntary environmental audit.

HB 597 prevents public agencies or citizens from finding out anything once a facility decides to conduct a voluntary audit and provides extended exemption from compliance with regulations or imposition of penalties.

HB 597 might as well be called The Louisiana Regulatory Compliance Escape Act. This legislation is assigned to the House Committee on Natural Resources and Environment. We understand that the bill may be put on the agenda this week for its first hearing on May 6. The primary purpose of this alert is to ask you to call the offices of Representatives on the House Natural Resources and Environment Committee.

Tell them Do Not to Pass HB 597. Tell them that There is an industrial boom going on in Louisiana. This is no time to drop our environmental and health protections against industrial pollution.

Contact information for legislators is at the following link. Please call as many as you can early this week, especially any legislator who represents your legislative district: http://house.louisiana.gov/H_Cmtes/NaturalResources.aspx

Thank you so much for your help to stop this awful legislation.

Woody Martin, Chair, Sierra Club Delta Chapter

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