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Waste Management Program - Frequently Asked Questions




What licenses or registrations are required for operating storage tanks in Florida and where can I go to get information on this process?


What funding programs are currently available to assist with cleanup of discharges resulting in groundwater or soils contamination?

  • Currently there are no active legislatively funded programs and few circumstances for limited funding resources in the event of a new discharge.  The discharges from regulated storage tanks in Florida should be covered by the financial insurance mechanisms that are required for third-party liability and petroleum cleanup rehabilitation.  For more information, please visit http://www.dep.state.fl.us/waste/categories/tanksfr/default.htm


How do I know if my tank is regulated by the state of Florida and what rules apply?

  • Information on the regulations may be complex.  There are many exemptions that may apply and the type of product, size of tank, year the tanks were installed and use of the product are just a few of the questions that must be pertinent to your storage tanks.  You can begin by reviewing either the underground or above-ground rules for the state of Florida, F.A.C. 62-761 for underground tanks, or F.A.C. 62-762 for above-ground tanks.  If you have further questions, please contact your local agency that is contracted in the storage tank program to learn both local and state requirements.  For more information, please visit http://www.dep.state.fl.us/waste/quick_topics/rules/


Where can I access information about the petroleum storage tanks in my community?  Where can I obtain information about these tanks?


Where can I find a contractor to perform cleanup of a discharge of petroleum?

  • The state of Florida cannot recommend one consulting firm over another.  A list of contractors that perform business in your area may be available at the local agency office or alternatively, you may look up engineering consulting firms in your phone book.


How do you define a "site"?

  • A "site" is anywhere that the contamination plume has spread.  It may extend beyond a property's boundaries.  A contaminated site means any contiguous land, sediment, surface water or groundwater area that contains contaminants that may be harmful to human health or the environment.  (Pursuant to Rule 62-780, F.A.C.)


I have been issued a Global RBCA 780 letter.  What do I do now?


How do I arrange for a file review of an existing file?

  • For the most immediate response to a records request, submit your request via our webform, by e-mail or fax at (561) 681-6755.  Most petroleum cleanup information for facilities in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Okeechobee, St. Lucie and Martin counties is available in Oculus, located at http://depedms.dep.state.fl.us/Oculus/servlet/login.


I am a vendor that has a new and innovative cleanup technology.  How can I get the FDEP to approve it?


I want to use an institutional control to accomplish cleanup goals for a project.  What are some ways I can speed up the process?

  • Please refer to the following link for information we find missing or lacking from our reviews.  A complete submittal will assist in a speedier review which can be reviewed by clicking on the following link: ftp://ftp.dep.state.fl.us/pub/reports/wc/icpg.pdf


What is a Brownfield?

  • A Brownfield is property where expansion, redevelopment or reuse may be complicated by actual or perceived environmental contamination.  Once a site is designated as a Brownfield, the site is eligible for incentives tied to redevelopment of the property, such as low-interest loans and job creation state tax incentives, liability protection and contaminant cleanup if applicable (in the form of a state tax credit equivalent to 35 percent of certain cleanup costs).  Only a local (typically municipal) government can designate a property as a Brownfield.


Are all Brownfields contaminated?

  • No.  Some local governments designated areas as Brownfields that are for community development and enterprise zones.


We discovered pesticide contamination in a property?  Can we clean up the property as a de minimis discharge?

  • It depends.  "De minimis discharge" is a discharge that is removed from the soil, sediment, surface water and groundwater to CTLs or background concentrations pursuant to subsection 62-780.680(1), F.A.C., within a period of 30 from the discovery of the discharge.  Pursuant to 62-780.550, F.A.C.

    • (1) De minimis discharges shall be addressed in an interim source removal and shall be subject to the requirements of Rule 62-780.500, F.A.C., except for the notification and reporting requirements of that section.  De minimis discharges also shall be exempt from the notification requirements of subsection 62-780.220(1), F.A.C.

    • (2) The PRSR shall maintain record of the actions that were taken in response to the discharge, including the information required pursuant to paragraph 62.780.500(7), F.A.C., for five (5) years from the date of the discharge.  The records shall be made available to the FDEP upon request.

I have a contaminated property.  Is soil mixing an allowable remediation strategy?

  • Normally, the FDEP does not recommend mixing of contaminated soils with other "clean soils" on a property.  However, if the contamination is believed to be in a relatively small area, you may want to consider utilizing the 95 percent Upper Confidence Level tool, which is available in Chapter 62-780, F.A.C. - https://www.flrules.org/gateway/ChapterHome.asp?Chapter=62-780


How do I know if a property is contaminated?


Contamination has been discovered on my property.  Am I required to report it?

  • Yes, more than likely.  Please reference Chapters 62-150, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.), 62-730, F.A.C., 62-761, F.A.C., 62-762, F.A.C., 62-780, F.A.C.  You may use the following link to review the FDEP's rules http://www.dep.state.fl.us/waste/quick_topics/rules/.  There are specific requirements for petroleum contamination, dry cleaners and for "off-property" notification.  If this is an emergency, please contact the 24-hour State Watch Office at (800) 320-0519.  Please be aware that some county governments have local regulations that require notification if a release of a hazardous material occurs or of contamination is discovered.  For example, in Broward County, the responsible party must immediately report contamination to the Broward County EPD by calling (954) 519-1499, followed by written notification within seven (7) days.


How do I get a "clean bill of health" letter for my property?

  • The SED does not write letters or give an opinion of this type.


Where can I find the cleanup standards that you use?


I would like to purchase a contaminated property.  Can you advise me on whether or not I should go forward with the transaction?

  • The FDEP cannot advise whether or not you should go forward with the transaction.  Before you purchase contaminated property, please be aware of the following.  As the property owner, you may be responsible for the cleanup of the contamination.  If your plans for the property include construction, local government regulations may not allow you to begin construction until the contamination is cleaned.  Construction involving dewatering may require permitting from the South Florida Water Management District.  Decisions on whether or not the construction may proceed are made by local governments on a case-by-case basis.  If the contamination under your property migrates to neighboring properties, you might be liable to a third party for contaminating their property.  You are urged to contact a qualified attorney for advice and assistance.


If my property is contaminated by the business next door (i.e., their contamination migrated to my property), am I responsible for the cleanup of my property?

  • Possibly.  This site specific determination is based on, among other things, the historic use of your property, hazardous material / hazardous substance handling activities on your property and whether your activities have exacerbated the neighbor's contamination (e.g., via a water production well or soil handling).


How long will it take to clean up my site?  How much will it cost?

  • Cleanup times are difficult to predict.  They depend on a number of factors such as type, concentration, quantity and location of contaminants, site lithology, remediation technology used, diligence of the consultant, permitting, site access, etc.  Duration may vary from weeks to years.  Costs vary as well, from several thousand dollars to over $1 million.





Last updated: December 07, 2016
  Southeast District ~ 3301 Gun Club Road, MSC 7210-1, West Palm Beach, Florida 33406   (561) 681-6600 (phone) / (561) 681-6755 (fax)
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