Advanced Cleanup Funding Available Notice of Preapproved Advanced Cleanup (PAC) Application Period for Nov. 1st Through Dec. 31st. 2013

The FDEP has announced that it will be receiving requests for up to 75% funding for eligible petroleum cleanups. The Preapproved Advanced Cleanup Program is a cleanup program of chemical pollutants to provide an opportunity for site rehabilitation to be conducted on a limited basis at contaminated sites, in advance of a site’s priority ranking, to facilitate property transactions or public works projects. For more information, contact Steve Hilfiker at ERMI

Assessment Funding available through LSSI

The Low-Scored Site Initiative (LSSI) provides up to $30,000 of assessment funding to assess low scored sites that are eligible for the petroleum cleanup program. The purpose is to sample sites that have not had State-funded work in many years to determine if the contamination file can be closed. Most low scored sites have not had any funding since at least 1995. Petroleum impacts naturally attenuate, and many of these sites are clean. The LSSI… Read More

Increased Options for Underground Storage Tank Closures

By Steve Hilfiker In 2012, the FDEP has emphasized their desire to help facilitate the closure of regulatory files on impacted sites.  This is a great opportunity for many impacted property owners, lenders and prospective purchasers.  The focus on regulatory closure will open opportunities for redevelopment, and enable more cost-effective solutions for parties responsible for previously expensive or cumbersome resolutions. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of General Counsel was on center stage on… Read More

Petroleum Cleanup Program Bill is now Law

By Steve Hilfiker Petroleum Cleanup Program After unanimous approval through both houses last spring, a veto in the summer, and an override in the fall, House Bill 1385 has made it to law. The Florida Legislature voted to override the Governor’s veto of the bill in a Special Session on November 16, 2010. The law amends Florida Statute (FS) section 376.3071 subsection (5)(c), which allows Long Term Natural Attenuation Monitoring (LTNAM) strategies as outlined below,… Read More

Lender Defenses, Tenant Operations, and Transfers to Third Parties

Florida Statutes (FS) Section 376.308 pertains to the liabilities and defenses of facilities at contaminated sites. This article emphasizes lender defenses as outlined in paragraph 3 of the statute. The language in 376.308(3) is similar to the federal language in the 1996 Asset Conservation, Lender Liability, and Deposit Insurance Protection Act and is designed to clarify lender liability protections and make federal law consistent with State law. While this letter focuses on Florida Statutes, the… Read More

Steve Hilfiker Named Chairperson of the ASTM Subcommittee to Help Design ASTM Standards

Steve Hilfiker was elected chairperson of the newly formed ASTM subcommittee for Forensic Environmental Investigations.  The committee is designated E50.06 and was organized to define the ASTM standards for forensic environmental investigations.  Anyone with an interest in contributing to this process is encouraged to contact Steve via email at steve@ermi.net. Title: Subcommittee on Forensic Environmental Investigations E50.06 1.0 Scope and Structure of Activity 1.1 The scope of the activity shall be the development of standards… Read More

New Subcommittee on Forensic Environmental Investigations

The origin of recently established ASTM Subcommittee E50.06 on Forensic Environmental Investigations, part of Committee E50 on Environmental Assessment, Risk Management and Corrective Action, is based in Daubert challenges, in which attorneys challenge their opponent’s expert witnesses. In many cases, experts are competent and their scientific methods credible, but due to the lack of professional standards in the emerging field of environmental forensics, a skilled opposing attorney can use this weakness to have the expert… Read More

Forensic Tools Featuring Deconvolution Of Complicated Mass Spectra

Co-Authors: Stephen Hilfiker, MS, CFEA, REPA and Albert Robbat, PhD, MBA Effective Forensic Tools Effective forensic project management should include an evaluation of multiple forensic tools based on site-specific circumstances.  The process of evaluation and the ultimate selection of the forensic tool are critical to a successful outcome.  When project budgets allow, combining forensic methods for corroborative evidence can substantially strengthen your client’s position in an effort to prevent or support litigation.  The effective forensic… Read More

Environmental Business Opportunities

Prepared By: Stephen F. Hilfiker, President Environmental Risk Management, Inc. Trends in recent environmental regulation, public perception of contamination, and local government interest in redevelopment provide favorable market conditions for redevelopment of contaminated property. There are approximately 30,000 properties in Florida that have reported contamination to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). An additional, larger group of properties is potentially contaminated. There is no shortage of supply (high risk sites) for the environmental business… Read More