BATON ROUGE – The Department of Natural Resources claims it will need additional staff to process cases if "legacy lawsuit" bill HB618 passes.
In a Senate Natural Resources Committee held earlier this week Jim Welsh, Commissioner of Conservation, said the department's current five member staff would only be capable of handling remediation plans for one per month. There are approximately 280 legacy cases pending in the state.
HB618, sponsored by Rep. Neil Abramson of (D-New Orleans), would require DNR to provide remediation plans for sites where liability is admitted by energy companies for past activities that resulted in pollution.
Welsh said the department's need for more staff could easily be filled by contracting private companies.
HB618 is scheduled for debate on the House floor today.