Today’s launch of the Health Permit Compliance Program by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) marks the latest endeavor to support the seafood industry with upgrading their equipment and facilities. The new program gives eligible docks or processers with a wholesale/retail dealer license the opportunity to purchase and install equipment in order to meet Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) permitting standards. Participants in this program may qualify for 50 percent of any authorized equipment costs, up to $20,000.
The Health Permit Compliance Program follows the release of the Louisiana Wild Seafood Certification Program (LWSCP), a voluntary program for Louisiana wild seafood that was passed by the Louisiana Legislature in 2010. LWSCP was developed with the intention of establishing a more professional seafood industry with better handling practices and higher quality products. In order for docks and processors to participate in the LWSCP, they must meet certain DHH permit requirements. The goal of the Health Permit Compliance Program is to assist docks and dealers with making necessary improvements required by DHH in order to meet LWSCP participation requirements.
The Health Permit Compliance Program will be open to any wholesale/retail dealer license holder currently participating in the Louisiana Wild Seafood Certification Program. In order for an applicant to be eligible, one of the following situations must apply: 1) the applicant does not currently have a DHH permit; or 2) the applicant currently has a DHH permit that was obtained after October 2012 and has receipts for equipment dated after October 2012; or 3) the applicant has a current DHH permit and has received documented notification from DHH for some form of equipment upgrade or repair.
Applicants must complete a separate application for each LDWF license and each business physical location. Successful applicants will receive an equipment approval letter notifying them when to purchase the eligible equipment and will be given a deadline to submit receipts for the purchased equipment. Final approval of funds disbursement may be subject to an inspection or DHH permit approval.
Equipment approval is based on DHH permit requirements. DHH permits are administered by the LA/DHH/Commercial seafood section following the Louisiana Administrative Code Title 51 Part IX Section 311, Public Health Sanitary Code.
For information specific to DHH permitting requirements, please contact DHH at (225) 342-7641.
Application packets will be mailed to all docks and processors with a wholesale/retail dealer’s license currently participating or applied for LWSCP who are required to meet DHH permit requirements. For more information regarding this program, contact LDWF at 225-765-3980.