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Louisiana State of Emergency #141JBE2023




WHEREAS,  the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act, La. R.S. 29:721, et seq., confers upon the Governor of the State of Louisiana emergency powers to deal with emergencies and disasters, including those caused by fire, flood, earthquake or other natural or manmade causes, in order to ensure that preparations of this State will be adequate to deal with such emergencies or disasters and to preserve the lives and property of the people of the State of Louisiana;

WHEREAS,  when the Governor determines that a disaster or emergency has occurred, or the threat thereof is imminent, La. R.S. 29:724(B)(I) empowers him to declare a state of emergency by executive order or proclamation, or both;

WHEREAS, the National Weather Service has issued a record number of excessive heat warnings, with heat indices in the 100s, since June 27, 2023;

WHEREAS, in addition to the extreme heat, minimal rainfall has led to drought conditions throughout most of the state, stressing the abilities of water districts and increasing the threat of wildfires;

WHEREAS, the Louisiana State Fire Marshal and the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Forestry issued a statewide burn ban on August 7, 2023, due to the extremely dry conditions;

WHEREAS, the Office of Public Health has advised that several water systems have experienced water outages and boil advisories due to the drought conditions and increased water demand;

WHEREAS,  a state of emergency existed in Plaquemines Parish starting on June 27, 2023, due to a significant drop in the Mississippi River's water level that endangered the drinking water supply of thousands of residents, and the State is continuing to provide support to that parish to maintain the drinking water supply;

WHEREAS,  subsequent to the declaration of emergency in Plaquemines Parish, another water district has reached out to the State seeking similar assistance with their drinking water supply due to low river levels;

WHEREAS, similar heat-related emergencies are imminent throughout Louisiana until these weather conditions change;

WHEREAS,  the parishes affected by these heat-related emergencies will require assistance from the State of Louisiana to provide resources to combat the threats;

WHEREAS,  La. R.S. 29:724 authorizes the governor during a declared state of emergency to suspend the provisions of any state regulatory statute prescribing procedures for conducting state business, or the orders, rules or regulations of any state agency, if strict compliance with the provision of any statute, order, rule, or regulation would in any way prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action in coping with the emergency; and

WHEREAS,  this order is necessary in order to protect the life, safety, and welfare of the citizens of Louisiana.

NOW THEREFORE, I, JOHN BEL EDWARDS, Governor of the State of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and the laws of the State of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:

SECTION 1: Pursuant to the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act, La. R.S. 29:721, et seq., a state of emergency is hereby declared to exist in the State of Louisiana as a result of the imminent threat of emergency conditions that threaten the lives and property of the citizens of the State.

SECTION 2: The Director of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) is hereby authorized to undertake any activity authorized by law which he deems appropriate in response to this declaration.

SECTION 3: Pursuant to La. R.S. 29:732. during a declared state of emergency, the prices charged or value received for goods and services sold within the designated emergency area may not exceed the prices ordinarily charged for comparable goods and services in the same market area at or immediately before the time of the state of emergency, unless the price by the seller is attributable to fluctuations in applicable commodity markets, fluctuations in applicable regional or national market trends, or to reasonable expenses and charges and attendant business risk incurred in procuring or selling the goods or services during the state of emergency.

SECTION 4: Pursuant to La. R.S. 29:724(0)(1), the Louisiana Procurement Code (La. R.S. 39:1551. et seq.) and Louisiana Public Bid Law (La. R.S. 38:2211, et seq.) and their corresponding rules and regulations are hereby suspended for the purpose of the procurement of any good or services necessary to respond to this emergency, including emergency contracts, cooperative endeavor agreements, and any other emergency amendments to existing contracts.

SECTION 5: All departments, commissions, boards, agencies and officers of the State, or any political subdivision thereof, are authorized and directed to cooperate in actions the State may take in response to this event.

SECTION 6: This order is effective upon signature and shall remain in effect from Friday, August 11, 2023, to Saturday, September 9, 2023, unless terminated sooner.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of Louisiana in the City of Baton Rouge, on this 11th day of August, 2023.

John Bel Edwards


Robert Kyle Ardoin

Last updated: Tuesday, August 15, 2023