Understanding New Environmental Legislation, Part 5 of 5: PCPP provides yet another option for cleaning up petroleum-contaminated properties.

This last entry in my five-part series on new environmental laws spotlights Florida’s Petroleum Cleanup Participation Program (PCPP), a cost-sharing program in which the state provides 75% of cleanup funds for an authorized property. Under this year’s legislation, the former statutory application deadline of December 31, 1998 has been removed.  This opens up the possibility of participation for all applicants who can demonstrate that they meet the statutory requirements. While the program’s funding cap of… Read More

Understanding New Environmental Legislation, Part 4 of 5: “Case Closed” — or is it?

What happens when the matter of contamination on a given property has officially been declared closed… but then additional contamination is discovered on that same property? The answer to that question has not been completely clear. A new clause added with 2016 legislation adds some clarity by stating that a property may still be eligible for cleanup assistance — even after the issuance of a Site Rehabilitation Completion Order (SRCO) or a No Further Action… Read More

Understanding New Environmental Legislation, Part 3 of 5: New opportunities to clean up properties burdened by abandoned petroleum tanks.

Thanks to this year’s Florida Legislative Session, a door that’s been closed for 20 years has been reopened. The statutory application deadline for the Abandoned Tank Restoration Program (ATRP)—previously frozen at June 30, 1996—has been removed. This means the ATRP eligibility program (which provides 100% state funding with no cap, and has a $500 deductible for petroleum site remediation) is once again open to all applicants who can demonstrate: that they meet the established statutory… Read More

Understanding New Environmental Legislation, Part 2 of 5: Advancements in the Advanced Cleanup Program

This is the second installment in my five-part series summarizing environmental highlights from the 2016 Florida Legislative Session. This session saw a significant expansion to Florida’s Advanced Cleanup Program (ACP), which is designed to provide remedial funding to address petroleum contamination in advance of priority order. It is an excellent option for pending real estate transactions or for owners who want to close the regulatory file on individual or multiple sites. Senate Bill 100, effective… Read More

Low-Scored Site Initiative Scores Some Big Improvements: Understanding New Environmental Legislation, Part 1 of 5

The 2016 Florida Legislative Session brought about some significant changes in the area of environmental legislation. This is the first in a series of five quick recaps I’ll give you, focusing mainly on amendments to Florida Statute 376—particularly as those amendments impact the Petroleum Restoration Program (PRP). One of the biggest developments is that this year’s new legislation ushers in a whole series of expansions to the Low-Scored Site Initiative (LSSI). LSSI, originally established for… Read More

ERMI gets a visual update

Our company turns 17 this month. As technology and legislation have evolved over the years, we’ve changed our methods and our organizational structure. However, one thing that hasn’t really changed along the way has been our visual branding: it’s been bypassed as all the other advances were taking place around it. So after 17 years with the existing designs, we felt it was time to freshen up our logo and corporate identity a little. We haven’t made a drastic… Read More

2016 LSSI Expansion

2016 Legislative Session Includes Expansion to LSSI (Effective July 1, 2016) The Low Scored Site Initiative (LSSI) has now been expanded through the approval of Senate Bill 100 to include limited remediation activities. The cap expenditure for each site has been raised from $30,000 to $35,000. The total amount that can be spent on the LSSI program has also been raised from $10 million to $15 million per year. The time limitation for completion of… Read More

Phase I ESAs are not a Commodity

Phase I Environmental Site Assessments are not a commodity, although many hiring decisions are based solely on price.  Consulting is critical to the due diligence process.  An innocent land owner defense based on a thorough Phase I ESA is necessary for defending liability for the borrower/investor, and when issues arise, expert consulting is often required to save a transaction.  A rare but more important issue is the potential health impact that exists when human beings… Read More

The Value of Consulting

DEP Agency-Term Contractors (ATCs) should maintain their role as consultants with site owners and responsible parties even though their contract is with the DEP.  This is most significantly highlighted on sites with funding caps. Many owners are not aware of the amount remaining in their cap, and some do not even know there is a limit to their funding.  Some project managers do not know or consider the cap.  Planning the best strategy for a… Read More

Turning Point

The mood of the Petroleum Restoration Program presentation at the Florida Remediation Conference this year was much more positive than it was one year ago. Contractors seem to have much less frustration and much more hope. The FDEP developments, ability to encumber more projects and streamline some of the procedures appears to be working. On October 20, 2015, the Department had a teleconference with agency term contractors and presented the latest information regarding work distribution, change orders and other technical developments within the… Read More