Gov. Jeff Landry's office is soliciting public comments on his proposal to consolidate the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and several other agencies with the Department of Energy and Natural Resources.?
An online portal for public comments on the potential consolidations has been created at the?Governor's Office website.??
Comments can also be submitted by email to DriveInitiative@la.gov with the subject line "EO-JML-13 COMMENTS." Comments must be received by Feb. 21.
Landry's comment site says public meetings where comments will also be collected will be announced in the near future.?
The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority is now part of the Governor's Office of Coastal Activities. The proposal also calls for moving the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinantor's Office, now in the Department of Public Safety, and the Office of State Lands, now part of the state Division of Administration, into DENR, according to a Landry executive order.?
The state agency overseeing coastal restoration and hurricane protection could be merged with the Department of Energy and Natural Resources u…
Landry's administration has also recommended reducing the size of the 21-person CPRA board of directors and the 35-person Governor's Advisory Commission on Coastal Protection, Restoration and Conservation.?
The executive order recommends DENR secretary Tyler Gray review numerous state boards and commissions that also deal with natural resources and energy issues, with a goal of eliminating some of them.
Included are the Climate Initiatives Task Force and the Capital Area Groundwater Conservation District.?
Other boards and commissions to be reviewed include:?
Advisory Commission for Louisiana's Energy Environment; Emerging Energy Codification Task Force; Governor's Advisory Task Force on Atchafalaya River Basin Restoration and Enhancement; Oilfield Site Restoration Commission; State Mineral and Energy Board; Oyster Lease Damage Evaluation Board; Sparta Groundwater Conservation District; and the Water Resources Commission.?
Moving CPRA into the agency that regulates oil and gas has been criticized by several environmental groups. U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, R-Baton Rouge, also opposes the move because it would downplay the agency's role by moving its leadership out of the governor's office.?
New CPRA chairman Gordon Dove has said the consolidation efforts and other moves to restructure the agency will help speed its development and construction of coastal restoration and levee projects.?
The form on the comment page asks for "specific details, suggestions, citations (if possible), context, history, and rationale for a change or concerns to assist in the review process."
The form asks if individuals or organizations have been impacted; and for information on the legal framework of issues the commenter is raising, including if it's something that might be addressed in the state Constitution or existing state laws or regulations.?