The Louisiana Public Service Commission (“LPSC”) voted at its meeting on September 20, 2017, to reconsider and approve adoption of proposed rules that provide guidelines for certification of motor carriers of waste and create a rebuttal presumption that granting a certificate is in the public interest if the applicant has met the application requirements. Under the new rules, applicants are still required to prove “public convenience and necessity” (“PC&N”), including having third-party shippers provide affidavits in support of the need for the certificate.
The new rules set forth, separately for applicants for contract carrier permits and common carrier certificates, the application minimum requirements, the applicant’s burden of proof, and the process for LPSC Staff review of the application and docketing of the matter. Once an application is reviewed by Staff, a Staff Report will be issued recommending approval, conditional approval or denial of the requested authority. The matter will then be docketed and published in the LPSC Official Bulletin for possible intervention, discovery, and assignment to an Administrative Law Judge, if contested, for setting a hearing on the merits.
As Kean Miller previously reported, earlier this year the Louisiana Legislature passed Act 278, which eliminated the requirement to prove PC&N as an entry requirement to obtaining authority from the LPSC to become an approved “common carrier” of waste within the state. In prior meetings, the LPSC has discussed whether the new legislation is an unconstitutional infringement on the jurisdiction of the LPSC over common carriers and directed its Staff to file suit challenging Act 278 and to take all action necessary to protect the LPSC’s jurisdiction.