May 25, 2021

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Violates Storm Water Management Rules

East Baton Rouge's storm water system may face fines or even legal action by regulators due to lack of compliance. 

louisiana storm water

Flooded roads and homes in southeastern Baton Rouge, Louisiana, added to the city-parish’s violations of federal environmental laws.

East Baton Rouge's storm water system may face fines or even legal action by regulators due to lack of compliance. 

According to The Advocate, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality has flagged problems with the city-parish’s Stormwater Management Program for years. 

Beyond flood prevention, the parish has also been faulted for how water runs off of construction sites due to tainted water from commercial and industrial sites, reported The Advocate. People also illegally dump contaminants into the drainage system.

Baton Rouge’s storm water plan was last updated in 2016. Since then issues with the plan have been outlined in letters between the two parties since at least 2008. 

According to The Advocate, Baton Rouge has been cited for deficiencies in its program over the past decade. The most recent in a letter dated Apr. 12, when the city-parish failed audits of its SWMP four times during that time period. 

According to the April citation from LDEQ, data about how the parish monitors and reports storm water was missing from Baton Rouge’s 2019 annual report on its program. Other places where the parish is out of compliance which have been flagged are not fixed.

LDEQ gave the city-parish 90 days from the receipt of the letter to correct the issues in its notes, which are also expected to be addressed in the city-parish’s 2020 annual report, which was due May 1. 

According to Mark Armstrong, a spokesman for Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, the city-parish would apply LDEQ’s recommendations to its 2020 annual report, reported The Advocate.

The city-parish also faces action from the U.S. Justice Department and the two parties are negotiating a settlement.

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