If you own an old petroleum storage tank site that is eligible for cleanup under Florida's Petroleum Restoration Program, you need to be aware of some important changes now taking place. In fact, you may have recently received a letter, phone call or email from DEP about the program.
I understand that a message from DEP regulators does not always contain welcome news for a business, but in this case I encourage you to receive it with an open mind.
FPMA has been working closely with the state regulators at the Department of Environmental Protection as they modernize the Petroleum Restoration Program. DEP has been willing to accommodate our requests to resolve many issues we have brought to their attention, and we are confident that DEP is working on a shared goal to benefit us all - to preserve the viability of the underground petroleum storage tank cleanup program and make sure it has enough funding to work through the long backlog of sites awaiting cleanup.
If you have a site awaiting cleanup, that means things are changing for you. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is creating a new system to hire environmental contractors based on competitive bidding. This means the state government will be hiring the environmental contractors who conduct the cleanup, but not without your agreement to participate.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection wants to get the approval of a site owner before it issues bids, to make sure the property owner supports the cleanup. That's why the department is contacting site owners to get permission.
Whether you're being asked to allow a site assessment, or whether you're ready for remedial action, you need to contact the DEP to communicate your willingness to remain eligible for funding from Florida's Petroleum Restoration Program.
By Ned Bowman