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Corner tab of content windowSoutheast District Waste Management - Waste Cleanup Section


The Southeast District's Waste Cleanup section is managed by Bill Rueckert, P.G.  Bill Rueckert can be contacted by phone at (561) 681-6679 or via e-mail.


Contaminated Groundwater


The Waste Cleanup section is responsible for managing about 200 responsible party cleanup sites through voluntary cleanup agreements and enforcement action.  These include Dry Cleaner cleanup sites, Hazardous Waste cleanup sites, Brownfield designated sites and sites administering Chapter 62-780, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.), also known as Global "RBCA".  This section provides technical assistance review for the Solid Waste Section, along with select RCR Hazardous Waste and Storage Tank sites, as well as the Watershed Management and Planning Program within the Southeast District (SED) office.  The Waste Cleanup section also assists the public, local governments, consultants and others with access to FDEP files for "due diligence" reviews.  The overall mission is to oversee cleanup and to protect groundwater quality.


Three Main Steps of the Cleanup Process

  • 1. Assessment of the contaminated site

    • During the assessment phase, soil and water samples from within and around the site are collected and analyzed to determine the type and extent of contamination and what cleanup may be required.

  • 2. Selection of the remedy to clean up the site

    • During this phase, registered and licensed professionals develop a plan to clean up the site or manage the risk posed by the site.  At some sites where the potential for exposure to contamination is minimal, it may be possible to simply monitor the site as natural process clean up the site.  In other cases, active cleanup may be necessary to treat contaminated soil or water in its place, or remove it for treatment and disposal.

  • 3. Cleaning up the site (remedial action)

    • If active cleanup is required, the first step is to build the system that will clean up your site.  There are many different types of cleanup systems.  Some pump water from the ground for treatment to remove contaminants, while others may be designed to remove contaminants from groundwater without pumping.  The cleanup system design is determined by the geology of the site, the contaminants present, and time and cost considerations.  Once the system is built, it is time to operate and maintain it. 

    • The Operation and Maintenance (O&M) component of the cleanup process may consist of site visits by a consultant on a routine basis to make sure the system performs as designed.  These site visits may include collection of more soil, water and air samples to make sure the treatment system is functioning properly and that progress is being made toward cleaning up the site.  The O&M phase of the cleanup continues for months, in some cases years, depending on the extent of contamination. 

    • The final component of the site cleanup is the monitoring phase.  After the cleanup appears complete, the remediation system is temporarily shut down and the site is monitored for a period of about one year.  This is done to make sure the site meets remediation goals and no further action needs to be taken.  Sometimes contamination reappears during this monitoring period, making it necessary to restart the active cleanup for a period of time.


Types of Technical Documents Reviewed by the Waste Cleanup Section

  • site assessment plans and reports

  • source removal plans and reports

  • "off site" notifications

  • remedial action plans

  • laboratory data

  • monitoring plans

  • landfill groundwater monitoring plans and submittals

  • certain South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) properties for acquisition

  • developments of regional impact


Cleanup Procedures

  • Chapter 62-780, F.A.C., provides the cleanup criteria for site rehabilitation pursuant to Chapter 376 or Chapter 403, Florida Statutes, for cleanup sites including petroleum, dry cleaning solvent contamination, and brownfield sites.

  • Chapter 62-777, F.A.C., provides cleanup target levels

  • For comprehensive information regarding all applicable rules please visit the Rules section of our main Web site.  Facilities regulated under the above specified rules include agricultural properties, dry cleaning facilities, manufacturing plants, construction and development entities.


Contamination Case Management Includes the Following Activities

  • Enforcement (Non-compliance Letters, Warning Notices, Notices of Violation, Case Reports, Consent Orders)

  • Meetings with Responsible Parties, Water Management Districts, EPA, Local Governments

  • Frequent Interaction with the Office of General Counsel

  • Negotiate Voluntary Cleanup Agreements and Brownfield Site Rehabilitation Agreements

  • Track and follow up cleanups with Responsible Parties and consultants

  • Database Updates

  • Field Inspections


Compliance Assistance

If a responsible party is not taking action to remediate the site, the Waste Cleanup Section is authorized by the Environment Litigation Reform Act (ELRA), referenced in Section 403.121, F.S., to take enforcement action against responsible parties for Site Rehabilitation.  This includes issuing Warning Letters, Notices of Violation (NOV) and Orders for Corrective Action, Final Orders, filing a case in Circuit Courts after preparing Case Reports and Consent Orders, as well as enforcing penalty payments for each stated violation.  In many instances, a case begins with a non-compliance letter issued when the FDEP becomes area of contamination of soil or groundwater from suspected or confirmed sites.

You may wish to reference the FDEP's Enforcement Manual at http://www.dep.state.fl.us/legal/Enforcement/enforcement.htm for further information about Enforcement options, Inspections and Investigations, Administrative Process and Remedies, the Judicial Process and Remedies, Litigation Procedures, etc.


Waste Cleanup Strategic Partners

The Waste Cleanup section of the SED may work with the county agencies stated below in regulating cleanup activities on some occasions.  The county programs supplement but do not substitute for the FDEP's program and authority under the Florida Statutes 403 and 376.


Source Removal and Surface Water Treatment


Waste Cleanup Related Links


Helpful information is also available on the FDEP's main Web site for Waste Cleanup


To make a records request, contact the SED via e-mail at Southeast.District@dep.state.fl.us or for fastest service submit your request online here.  Please provide the following information: name of facility, address of facility, type of facility (e.g., dry cleaner, gas station), county and a date and time for when you would like to review the files.  This is to be sure that we will have the file(s) available for you to review when you arrive.

Please note that almost all petroleum cleanups in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties are overseen by those respective counties.  Most petroleum cleanup information for facilities located in the Southeast District is available in Oculus at http://dwmedms.dep.state.fl.us/Oculus/servlet/login.





Last updated: May 28, 2014
  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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