Just a quick reminder that in 2007, the Louisiana State Police (“LSP”) adopted regulations requiring special reporting requirements for persons “engaged in the transportation of hazardous materials by railcars, vessels, or barges, or the temporary storage of hazardous materials in any storage vessel not permanently attached to the ground” if that activity is within “a parish affected, or projected to be affected, by a Category 3 or higher hurricane for which a mandatory evacuation order has been issued.”  LAC 33:V.11103.  Hazardous materials are those materials listed in 40 C.F.R. Part 355, Appendix A.  Temporary storage is defined as storage in a portable container, and excludes any storage in pipelines or any other storage vessel permanently attached to the ground.

At the present time (August 25, 2020 at 11:00 AM), Hurricane Laura is a Category 1 storm; however, it is projected by the National Hurricane Center that Hurricane Laura will become a Category 3 storm with maximum sustained winds of 110 to 130 mph.  Landfall is currently projected to occur between Morgan City, Louisiana and San Luis Pass, Texas, as early as the evening of August 26, 2020.  It is projected that the hurricane will affect much of western and central Louisiana parishes.  Hurricane Laura closely follows on the heels of Tropical Storm Marco, which caused  significant rainfall in south Louisiana on Monday, August 24, 2020.  The Governor of Louisiana has issued an executive order that puts the entire State of Louisiana under a declaration of emergency.  On August 23, 2020 three parishes, Jefferson, Lafourche and Plaquemines, issued mandatory evacuation orders for portions of their parishes due to imminent combined impacts from Marco and Laura.  On Monday August 24, Cameron Parish issued a mandatory evacuation order and Calcasieu Parish issued a voluntary evacuation order that may be upgraded to mandatory. We are not aware of any mandatory evacuation orders for any other Louisiana parishes at this time.  The following is a link to all parish emergency response offices which will provide contact information to inquire about any orders issued: http://gohsep.la.gov/about/parishpa.

If a mandatory evacuation order is issued for any Louisiana parishes due to a Class 3 or higher category hurricane, the rules (LAC 33:V.11105) require the following:

  • Notification shall be given to the DPS, via electronic submittal, to the 24-hour Louisiana Emergency Hazardous Materials Hotline email address at emergency@la.gov within 12 hours of a mandatory evacuation order issued by the proper parish authorities (if the storm is not projected Category 3 yet, the LSP indicate that the report should be made “as soon as practical” after the National Hurricane Center upgrades to Category 3).
  • For persons engaged in the transportation activities noted above, the report must include the following information:
    • the exact nature of, and the type, location, and relative fullness of the container (i.e., full, half-full, or empty) of all hazardous materials that are located within a parish subject to the evacuation order;
    • the primary and secondary contact person’s phone, e-mail, and fax number; and
    • whether the facility will be sufficiently manned such that post-event assessments will be performed by company personnel (as soon as safely practicable) and that any releases and/or hazardous situations will be reported in accordance with existing Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) and State Police reporting requirements.

State Police FAQs concerning this rule are posted at the following link: http://www.lsp.org/pdf/ReportingRequirementsFAQ.pdf.

For those materials that are stored, it shall be necessary to only report those hazardous materials that were not reported in the annual SARA inventory report (40 CFR Parts 312/313) and those that are in excess of what is typically stored at the facility.

In addition to the notification to the LSP, “within a reasonable period of time” persons subject to the rule “shall perform a post-event assessment of those hazardous materials that were actually present in the affected area and to what degree, if any, those materials were compromised by said event and their current condition.”  Such information must be available for review by both the LSP and the LDEQ shall have access to this information.