Louisiana Environmental Ambassadors Program (LEAP)




The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) invites students to apply for the Louisiana Environmental Ambassadors Program (LEAP). Now more than ever, Louisiana needs dedicated environmental professionals. As an intern in LEAP, you will gain knowledge beyond the classroom, skill development, the opportunity to explore career paths, and the chance to contribute to a sustainable future. Students will experience real-world opportunities in environmental management, accounting, communications, environmental law and more.  This program provides exposure to encourage students to pursue environmental and related careers.

LEAP is open to students at graduate and undergraduate levels in fields of study that will provide students with challenging work experience, and exposure to the environmental regulatory processes and the business operations of a governmental entity.

Programs within LEAP include Environmental Sciences and Engineering including Permitting and Air and Water Assessment; Surveillance, Enforcement and Emergency Response; Accounting and Finance; Legal; Communications; and Audit Services.


Click here to view the LEAP Information Packet



Internship Highlights  

  • Real-world work experience in environmental management: learn how to write a permit, how to perform a facility inspection, and how to deal with environmental emergencies
  • Gain marketable skills valuable to public and private entities
  • Receive mentoring from agency professionals on existing projects
  • Educational seminars with environmental professionals 
  • Periodic educational excursions related to Agency activities
  • Collaborate and network with students from other universities 



LEAP Opportunities

LEAP students will have the opportunity to work in the following LDEQ areas: 


Surveillance inspects facilities for compliance with their permits or other authorizations and responds to complaints. Surveillance activities include mandated compliance inspections, incident and complaint investigations, and water sampling.

  • Assist inspectors with preparations for inspections; perform inspections and complaints including facility tours, documentation and report writing; and conduct regulatory research for compliance
  • Perform water quality sampling, calibrate and maintain equipment
  • Complete incident reports for businesses and facilities


Waste Permitting

Waste Permits Division (WSTPD) ensures the protection of the soil and groundwater resources by issuing permits and standards that are protective of human health and the environment. WSTPD performs comprehensive technical reviews of permit requests and regulatory determinations for generators, processors, and disposers of solid and hazardous waste. 

  • Complete biennial report on hazardous waste management capacity
  • Establish Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for engineering report evaluation
  • Study the impact of waste compaction at Type III Landfills
  • Assist with statistical analysis and groundwater protection standards


Emergency Response

The Emergency and Radiological Services Division responds to chemical and environmental emergencies, provides a Single Point of Contact (SPOC) for reporting spills and complaints to the Department, and provides administrative services for radiation sources. Emergency Response (ER) conducts monitoring at incidents where chemicals have been released or have the potential to be released into the environment or to affect public health.

  • Assist responders with responses and complaints
  • Calibrate and maintain equipment
  • Perform follow-up site visits/clean-up confirmations
  • Transport equipment across the state to other regional offices



Enforcement ensures compliance with the environmental permitting laws and regulations and to deter future non-compliance by issuing the appropriate enforcement actions, thus encouraging a level playing field. Enforcement activity strives to ensure that the government, the private sector, and the public comply with federal and state laws designed to protect human health and the environment and sustain the environmental resources of the state.

  • Tracking and monitoring required by EPA to administer the Louisiana Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (LPDES) program
  • Code permits and enforcement actions in EPA's database
  • Conduct compliance reviews of referrals from the public and divisions within the agency


The Remediation Division (RD) protects the soil, groundwater, and surface water resources of the state from unauthorized future and historical releases to the environment. The RD activity investigates, evaluates, monitors and cleans up contamination at both active facilities and abandoned sites. The RD activity universe includes hazardous waste, solid waste, groundwater, Superfund, and Brownfields sites, as well as large chemical plants and refineries. 

  • Obtain property ownership records from the Clerk of Court or other appropriate offices

  • Acquire Sanborn maps from the State Library

  • Conduct inspections as appropriate, documentation and chain of custody, support services for geologists,  assisting with Field Inspection Forms

  • Assist with Preliminary Evaluation Assessments (PEAs)


Air Quality Planning & Assessment

The Air Planning and Assessment Division (APAD) function is to evaluate the overall quality of the air resources of the state. APAD is responsible for developing and maintaining Louisiana's State Implementation Plan (SIP), which describes control strategies to address all areas within the state with regard to all federally mandated ambient air quality standards. 

  • Research for the State Implementation Plans for SO2, Regional Haze, and PM2.5
  • Generate flow charts for managing responses and actions associated with stack testing


Internal Audit

Audit Services conducts performance, operational, investigative, and financial audits of the operations of the Department. Also, Audit Services audits those private entities that do not appear to be paying fees to the Department on a self-reporting basis.

  • Assist with LDEQ's Annual Risk Assessment survey and report
  • Request, research, and analyze internal data such as....
  • Edit and proofread internal audit reports, briefing memos, presentations, and correspondence



Communications handles all media functions including media inquiries, press releases, the LDEQ website, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. These activities provide valuable information to the public on LDEQ environmental activities that are of interest to or that impact them.

  • Write and edit press releases 
  • Monitor and create content for social media
  • Attend press-related events


Additional Information

The LEAP will begin June 3, 2024 and last for 8-10 weeks with students working 40 hours/week. A GPA or 3.0 or higher and enrollment verification is required. This is an internship offered by LDEQ. Course credit or compensation is provided by and subject to approval by your institution. 

If you have any questions about LEAP, please reach out to our team at leap@la.gov