State Agencies Supporting Water System Partnerships
Louisiana Department of Health (LDH)
Louisiana Public Service Commission
Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
State Policies and Programs Regarding Water System Partnerships
DWSRF PRIORITIZATION OF CONSOLIDATION PROJECTS
Louisiana’s DWSRF encourages consolidation of two or more systems, and also encourages other options, such as contract management or partnerships with other communities in their area. Consolidation projects earn 1-4 priority points depending on the size of the system.
STRICT CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT REQUIREMENTS FOR NEW AND EXISTING SYSTEMS
Consolidation of water systems is an objective for the Capacity Development Program. According to the 2014 Triennial Report the Governor, stricter Capacity Development requirements for new systems have helped direct potential new small systems toward consolidation with existing water systems. Also, the Capacity Development Program encourages and assists existing systems that wish to merge with another system.
STATE ORDERED CONSOLIDATION OR RECEIVERSHIP
The LDH State Health Officer can bring a civil action against a PWS to carry out the provisions of the state statutes and regulations. The court, on its own or upon application of the state health officer, can appoint a receiver to collect the assets of the system if the system has been abandoned or service has ceased; the operator of the system has failed or refused to comply with administrative orders; or circumstances necessitate the appointment of a receiver based on the state’s rules. The court, upon a showing by the system owner or operator of good cause, can dissolve the receivership. The PSC recognize that some small water systems are facing significant financial and operational obstacles, and acknowledged that these systems are not always easily acquired by larger systems. Therefore, flexible enforcement of PSC’s rules and streamlined economic regulations for small systems (e.g., expedited rate-making), may be necessary to keep these small systems viable (RS 40 §5.9C).
Helpful Links to State Resources
- DWSRF: http://new.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/page/431/n/285
- Drinking Water Program: http://new.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/page/963
- Drinking Water Protection Program (DEQ): https://www.deq.louisiana.gov/page/drinking-water-protection-program
- Capacity Development: http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/page/433
- Water System Operators Page: http://dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/page/416