§354. Powers and duties of secretary of natural resources
A. In addition to the functions, powers, and duties otherwise vested in the secretary
by law, he shall:
(1) Represent the public interest in the administration of this Chapter and shall be
responsible to the governor, the legislature, and the public therefor.
(2) Determine the policies of the department except as otherwise provided by this
(3) Make, alter, amend, and promulgate rules and regulations necessary for the
administration of the functions of the department, except as otherwise provided by this Title.
(4) Organize, plan, supervise, direct, administer, execute, and be responsible for the
functions and programs vested in the department, in the manner and to the extent provided
by this Title.
(5) Advise the governor on problems concerning the administration of the
(6) Study existing energy policies of the state and formulate plans and advise the
governor and the legislature with respect to short and long-term energy policies of the state.
(7) Undertake, or in necessary cases, designate one of the offices within the
department or its assistant secretary to prepare all necessary studies regarding alternate fuel
sources for the state of Louisiana.
(8) Assist the institutions of higher learning in this state desiring to establish
programs dealing with the utilization of the natural resources of this state.
(9) Conduct or cause to be conducted public meetings for the purpose of receiving
suggestions from the public regarding the energy policy of the state.
(10) Act as the sole agent of the state or, in necessary cases, designate one of the
offices within the department or its assistant secretary to cooperate with the federal
government and with other state and local agencies in matters of mutual concern and in the
administration of federal funds granted to the state or directly to the department or an office
thereof to aid in the furtherance of any function of the department and its offices. For this
purpose he may take such actions, in accordance with applicable state law, necessary to meet
such federal standards as are established for the administration and use of such federal funds,
except as otherwise specifically provided in this Title or by the constitution and laws of this
(11) Make reports and recommendations on his own initiative or upon request by the
governor, the legislature, or any committee or member thereof.
(12) Provide for the ongoing merger and consolidation of the agencies and functions
transferred to his department and submit a report thereon to the governor and the legislature,
which report shall accompany the budget request which he submits under provisions of R.S.
39:33. Such report shall include a statement of the goals of the department and of the
programs thereof and shall summarize the accomplishments of the department in meeting
such goals and implementing such programs. The report shall also contain a specific
statement of the reorganization and consolidation plan for the department for the next year
and shall include a report on the implementation of such reorganization and consolidation
plan for the previous year. The report concerning reorganization shall specifically detail the
extent to which the department has achieved goals stated the previous year with respect to
merger and consolidation of functions, abolition of agencies, consolidation of offices,
elimination of job positions, and efficiency and economy in delivery of services. The report
shall contain any recommendations with respect to organization which may require
legislative action under the provisions of this Title. A copy of the report and recommended
legislation shall also be submitted by the secretary to the presiding officer of each house of
the legislature. The presiding officer shall refer the report to the appropriate committee
having jurisdiction of the subject matter as provided in the rules of the respective house.
(13) Contract, if the secretary so desires, or, if the secretary deems necessary,
designate one of the offices within the department or its assistant secretary, under the
secretary's supervision, to do so, with private or public research organizations for the
purchase, out of funds available to the Department of Natural Resources, of services in
scientific, economic, and technological research, including but not limited to surveys,
studies, and experiments with a view toward protecting and replenishing the natural
resources of the state under the jurisdiction of the Department of Natural Resources, toward
preventing the waste, wasteful use, and wasteful utilization thereof, except as defined in R.S.
30:3, toward preventing the use of said natural resources in such a manner and in such
quantities as will threaten with premature exhaustion, extinction, and destruction of the
supply of these resources in the state, and toward the energy policy of this state, and to
prepare and implement plans and programs in relation thereto.
(14) Prepare an analysis of all potential gas prospects in the state and develop a plan
for state owned lands which will promote and encourage the exploration and production of
gas from such prospects for use in Louisiana.
(15) Set priorities for coastal energy impact program funds as provided in R.S.
(16) Review all proposals for the lease or use of state property and resources within
the jurisdiction of the department to determine if they meet current policies regarding the
development and/or use of such property and resources, periodically review the activities of
lessees and users of such property and resources and ascertain if they likewise conform to
such current policies, and formulate programs, and take the necessary action through the
appropriate office of the department to implement his findings with respect thereto.
(17) Deposit or cause to be deposited in the state treasury receipts from royalties,
rentals, and bonuses derived from state lands under mineral leases or any other contract.
(18)(a) On an annual basis, provide all of the following information to the legislature
no later than fifteen days prior to the convening of each regular session:
(i) A full organizational chart for the department which is current as of the date of
submission to the legislature and which shows each staff position, whether filled or vacant,
that comprises the department.
(ii) The current salary of the person occupying each filled position shown on the
(b) The secretary may submit the annual report required by this Paragraph in
electronic format and is further authorized, but is not required, to submit the report at the
time of submission of a report pursuant to Paragraph (11) of this Subsection.
B. The secretary shall have authority to:
(1)(a) Except as otherwise specifically provided in R.S. 36:801, R.S. 36:803, and
(i) Employ, appoint, remove, assign, and promote such personnel as is necessary for
the efficient administration of the executive office of the secretary and the performance of
its powers, duties, functions, and responsibilities and such other personnel, who are not
assigned to an office, as may be necessary for the efficient administration of the department
and for the performance of the responsibilities, powers, duties, and functions of agencies
transferred to it;
(ii) Employ, assign, and remove all personnel employed for the department on a
contractual basis, and
(iii) Transfer the personnel of the department as necessary for the efficient
administration of the department and its programs.
(b) All of the above are to be accomplished in accordance with applicable civil
service laws, rules, and regulations, and with policies and rules of the Department of Natural
Resources, and all are subject to budgetary control and applicable laws.
(2) Appoint, subject to gubernatorial approval, advisory councils, boards, and
commissions necessary in the administration of the department, except as otherwise provided
by law or by executive order.
(3) Employ such officers, agents, employees, and professional personnel, including
legal counsel, as he deems necessary for the performance of his powers and duties and
prescribe the powers and duties and fix the compensation of such officers, agents, employees,
and professional personnel.
(4) Contract upon such terms as he may agree upon, for legal, financial, engineering,
and other professional services necessary or expedient in the conduct of the affairs of the
Department of Natural Resources under the provisions of this Chapter.
(5) Utilize the services of the other executive departments in the executive branch
of the state government upon mutually agreeable terms and conditions.
(6) Represent, or designate the assistant secretary of the office of conservation to
represent, the state in all matters involving or affecting the interest of the state and its
residents, relative to energy and natural resources within the jurisdiction of the Department
of Natural Resources before all federal agencies, offices, and officials, and congressional
committees, and in all judicial actions arising out of the proceedings of such agencies,
offices, and committees or in relation thereto. Those employed or contracted with as
provided by this Section shall be entitled to represent the state and the secretary and to appear
in the courts and before agencies of this state or the agencies, officials, and courts of the
United States and of other states, to carry out the purposes of this Chapter.
(7) Accept and use, in accordance with law, gifts, grants, bequests, and endowments
for purposes consistent with the responsibilities and functions of the department and take
such actions as are necessary to comply with any conditions required for such acceptance.
(8) Obtain from the federal government and its agencies, the offices of the
Department of Natural Resources, and other state agencies any information and data
collected by such entities relating to energy, natural resources, or the environment, upon
mutually agreeable terms and conditions or as required by law; however, information and
data subject to nondisclosure under R.S. 44:4 shall maintain such status while in the custody
of the secretary.
(9) Formulate and promulgate rules of administration for the department relating to
employment and management.
(10) Establish in his office a capacity for policy analysis, development of information
and statistics, and generation of economic information relating to the natural resources and
environmental affairs of the state.
(11) Delegate to the deputy secretary any and all duties, functions, and authority of
the secretary as provided by this Title or other applicable laws.
(12) Do such other things not inconsistent with law, as are necessary to perform
properly the functions vested in him.
C. The provisions of this Chapter are not intended, nor shall they be construed to
affect the statutory duties, functions, and responsibilities of the attorney general with respect
to the department and the agencies reorganized thereunder as provided by R.S. 30:132, R.S.
41:3, and R.S. 56:1477.
D. The procedures set forth in the Administrative Procedure Act shall be utilized for
the adoption, promulgation, amendment, or rescission of rules and regulations authorized in
E. The secretary or his designee shall perform and exercise the following powers,
duties, functions, and responsibilities relative to land, water, and research, all in accordance
(1) Plan and execute an energy research and development program, including but not
limited to research necessary to assist the secretary in the formulation of energy plans and
policy and the administration and implementation of energy conservation programs, and
other energy studies, all in accordance with law. Specifically excluded from these functions
are the functions of the secretary as provided in R.S. 36:354(B)(10). In implementing these
functions the secretary or his designee may conduct a program to disseminate information
relating to energy for the citizens of Louisiana whereby they can be advised of methods to
(2) Administer and implement laws relating to the foregoing, including without
limitation the laws relative to research and development of solar energy sources, building
energy conservation, including the regulation of training, certification, and quality control
of home energy raters throughout the state, and energy impacted area assistance; the laws
relative to coastal energy impact assistance; the laws relative to power plants and industrial
fuel use; the laws relative to the Underwater Obstruction Removal Program and the
Underwater Obstruction Removal Fund; and the laws relative to the Fishermen's Gear
Acts 1976, No. 513, §1. Amended by Acts 1977, No. 83, §1, eff. June 22, 1977; Acts
1983, No. 705, §1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983; Acts 1983, No. 590, §1, eff. July 14, 1983; Acts 1983,
No. 494, §1, eff. Sept 1, 1983; Acts 1986, No. 318, §1; Acts 1987, No. 736, §1; Acts 1989,
No. 282, §§2, 6, eff. June 27, 1989; Acts 1995, No. 95, §1, eff. June 12, 1995; Acts 1997,
No. 666, §1; Acts 2004, No. 219, §1; Acts 2013, No. 220, §14, eff. June 11, 2013; Acts
2016, No. 557, §2.
NOTE: See Acts 1999, No. 599, §2, eff. July 1, 1999, relative to termination
date of Underwater Obstruction Removal Program (See R.S. 36:354(E)(2)
and R.S. 30:101.1 et seq.)