On January 20, 2019, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) published proposed revisions to the State's water quality regulations through two separate actions.

Proposed Rule WQ099 seeks to establish and administer a water quality trading (WQT) program in Louisiana. The proposed WQT program would be voluntary and would only apply to sources that choose to participate in WQT. Under the WQT, LDEQ may authorize the generation, registration, use, and trading of credits for the following purposes:

  • to maintain or improve water quality in non-impaired waters, including but not limited to, trading to offset new or increased discharges;
  • to improve water quality and make progress toward attaining water quality standards for impaired waters pending a total maximum daily load (TMDL), a TMDL alternative, or a state water quality management plan in cases where water quality is limited but the waterbody is not subject to a TMDL; and
  • to meet the goals of a TMDL.

A public hearing will be held on March 1, 2019 at 1:30 p.m. at LDEQ. Comments are due no later than March 8, 2019.

Proposed Rule WQ100ft adds water transfer discharges to the list of exclusions for requiring a Louisiana Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (LPDES) permit. The addition of this exemption would mirror the federal regulations that are already applicable in Louisiana. Per the proposed regulation, water transfer means an activity that conveys or connects waters of the United States without subjecting the transferred water to intervening industrial, municipal, or commercial use. This exclusion will not apply to pollutants introduced by the water transfer activity itself to the water being transferred.

A public hearing will be held on March 1, 2019, at 1:30 p.m. at LDEQ. Comment are due no later than March 1, 2019.