State Legislative Action Update, Apr 15, 2016

State Capital w tree

State Legislative Action Update
Apr 15, 2016

On Wednesday, April 13 the House Natural Resources and Environment Committee (HNR&E) heard three bills from Representative Bobby Carter that are of particular interest to the environmental community. They are HB 526, 527, 528. These three bills propose to protect our state’s groundwater from large withdrawals for industry and protect our Scenic Rivers from withdrawals for fracking. Unfortunately none of these three bills made it out of the very pro industry committee. The good news is that there does appear to be pretty good bipartisan support for our Louisiana Scenic Rivers. And there is a reasonably good cooperation from LDWF under current rules on regulating withdrawal of large quantities of water from Scenic Rivers for fracking.

On Thursday April 14 The House Committee on Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs was scheduled to hear HB 192 by Rep Paul Hollis. This is a dangerous bill seeking to deprive local communities of the option to prohibit plastic bags. But this is not just about plastic bags. it is about local options to prohibit anything including fracking and other industrial insults.
The night before the hearing we found out that HB 192 was pulled from the committee agenda and would not be considered.

Looking forward to next week and later we have the Sierra Club/GreenARMY legislative lobby days on April 20 and May 24. You can see updated info on that at: http://lasierraclub.org/node/369. We expected that on Wed, April 20 HNR&E would hear two of our Sierra Club/GreenARMY priority bills. They are HB 11 by Gene Reynolds to prohibit open burn of munitions or waste explosives. The other priority bill that day was to be HB 469 proposing to require fence-line monitoring of air coming from industrial facilities that are located next to residential areas. But now we are informed that these two bills will not be heard in committee on April 20th. We hope they come up on the agenda in the next week or two. But we will be at the capitol on April 20th to lobby for our bills. Our HQ will be a table in the Capitol cafeteria. We will have info sheets on our bills there. Come and join us.

Please help us and help yourself by engaging as a citizen in the legislative process. You can always contact me for further info at hrmartin2sc@gmail.com or 337-298-8380. Thanks to all who made calls to legislators this week. Your expression of support for our priority bills really matters. Our calls may have helped to get the bad HB 192 pulled from the agenda of the House Municipal committee on Thursday the 14th.

Thanks
Haywood “Woody” Martin, Chair
Sierra Club Delta Chapter

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