Prior to 2001, there was no statewide groundwater law, other than a 1972 law authorizing the Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) Dept. of Public Works to regulate (registration, reporting, well construction and sealing) wells drawing more than 50,000 gallons per day . [This DOTD authority was transferred to Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (LDNR) in 2009]. A 1974 law created the Capital Area Groundwater Conservation District and gave it permitting and funding authority within five parishes surrounding Baton Rouge.
In 2001, Act 449 provided for a commission and a task force to develop comprehensive groundwater law. Act 449 also defined ‘critical groundwater area’ and provided for a process for designation of these areas.
In 2003, Act 49 (Louisiana Revised Statutes 38:3097.1-3097.6) modified or eliminated provisions of earlier laws and became the basis for groundwater law in Louisiana. Act 225 of 2005 replaced Act 49’s definition of ‘critical groundwater area’ with a new definition and created a new category, ‘area of groundwater concern’.
Some Provisions of Louisiana Groundwater Law (Revised Statutes 38:3091.1-3098.7)
Orders of the Commissioner of Conservation include the following:
Louisiana legislature Act 437 of 2009 transferred responsibility for water well registration, licensing, and regulation from DOTD to DNR, effective January 1, 2010. DNR Office of Conservation tracks the number and use of water wells in the state. [http://dnr.louisiana.gov/cons/groundwater/]
Statewide Comprehensive Groundwater Management Plan
The Louisiana Groundwater Resources Commission, on which the Sparta Commission is represented, is preparing a statewide groundwater management plan, which is projected to be complete by the end of 2010.