WHEREAS, in the city of New Orleans alone, Formosan termites have caused an estimated two billion dollars in property damage over the past decade, jeopardizing many of the city's nationally acclaimed historic buildings because repairs and/or historic restorations have become too costly;
WHEREAS, since all of Louisiana's parishes are at risk of being infested with Formosan termites, it is imperative that this state make an immediate and concerted effort to contain Formosan termites and to eradicate them from infested areas; and
WHEREAS, the interests of the citizens of the state of Louisiana would best be served by the continuation of the Formosan Termite Task Force designed to analyze the extent of Louisiana's infestation of Formosan termites and continue to recommend solutions for the containment of Formosan termites to areas already infested and the eradication of Formosan termites from those areas;
NOW THEREFORE I, KATHLEEN BABINEAUX BLANCO, Governor of the state of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and laws of the state of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:
SECTION 1: The Formosan Termite Task Force (hereafter "Task Force") is hereby reestablished within the executive department, Office of the Governor.
SECTION 2: The duties of the Task Force shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
A. Evaluating the extent of Formosan termite infestations and/or activity in the state of Louisiana and the extent of economic and/or property damage that has resulted from Formosan termite activity and/or infestations in this state;
B. Evaluating the threat that Formosan termites pose to Louisiana's timber and agricultural industries and the mechanisms available to limit and contain infestations in timber and agricultural areas and/or prevent the spread of termite infestations to those areas;
C. Analyzing and evaluating recent developments in and strategies for treating areas infested with Formosan termites and eradicating Formosan termites, including new termiticides, baits, traps, pesticides, biological controls, and/or quarantines; and
D. Analyzing the need for and means to provide adequate funding for treating and/or containing Formosan termite infestations, and eradicating Formosan termites from infested areas.
SECTION 3: The Task Force shall submit a comprehensive written report to the governor and the commissioner of the Department Agriculture and Forestry on its research, analyses, and recommendations by April 1, 2005.
SECTION 4: The Task Force shall consist of twenty (20) members who, unless otherwise specified, shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the governor.
1. The governor, or the governor's designee;
2. The commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Forestry, or the commissioner's designee;
3. The secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals, or the secretary's designee;
4. The secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality, or the secretary's designee;
5. The secretary of the Department of Economic Development, or the secretary's designee;
6. Two (2) members of the Louisiana State Senate designated by the president of the Senate;
7. Two (2) members of the Louisiana House of Representatives designated by the speaker of the House of Representatives;
8. The chancellor of the Louisiana State University Agriculture Center, or the chancellor's designee;
9. The president of Jefferson Parish, or the president's designee;
10. The presiding officer of the Jefferson Parish Council, or the presiding officer's designee;
11. The mayor of the city of New Orleans, or the mayor's designee;
12. The presiding officer of the New Orleans City Council, or the presiding officer's designee;
13. The executive director of the New Orleans Mosquito and Termite Control Board, or the executive director 's designee;
14. The director of the Southern Regional Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, or the director's designee;
15. The president of the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation, or the president's designee;
16. One (1) homeowner in the Greater New Orleans Metropolitan Area;
17. One (1) French Quarter property owner; and
18. One (1) pest control industry specialist.
SECTION 5: The governor and the commissioner of the Department Agriculture and Forestry, or their designees, shall serve as co-chairs of the Task Force. All other officers shall be elected by the membership of the Task Force.
SECTION 6: A. Task Force members shall not receive additional compensation or a per diem from the Office of the Governor for serving on the Task Force.
B. Task Force members who are employees or elected public officials of the state of Louisiana or a political subdivision thereof may seek reimbursement of travel expenses, in accordance with PPM 49, from their employing and/or elected department, agency and/or office.
C. Task Force members who are also members of the Louisiana Legislature may seek a per diem from the Louisiana State Senate or House of Representatives, as appropriate, for their attendance.
SECTION 7 Support staff, facilities, and resources for the Task Force shall be provided by the Department of Agriculture and Forestry.
SECTION 8: All departments, commissions, boards, offices, entities, agencies, and officers of the state of Louisiana, or any political subdivision thereof, are authorized and directed to cooperate with the Task Force in implementing the provisions of this Order.
SECTION 9: This Order is effective upon signature and shall continue in effect until amended, modified, terminated, or rescinded by the governor, or terminated by operation of law.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the city of Baton Rouge, on this 2nd day of September, 2004.
Kathleen Babineaux Blanco
Secretary of State