Florida Senate - 2015 SB 1538 By Senator Simpson 18-00899A-15 20151538__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to a natural gas rebate program; 3 creating s. 377.811, F.S.; creating the heavy 4 transportation industry natural gas rebate program 5 within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer 6 Services; defining terms; prescribing powers and 7 duties of the department with respect to the program; 8 providing rebate eligibility requirements; providing 9 limits on rebate awards; specifying policies and 10 procedures for the application process; requiring the 11 department to adopt rules by a specified date; 12 requiring the department to publish on its website the 13 availability of rebate funds; requiring the department 14 to submit an annual assessment to the Governor, the 15 Legislature, and the Office of Program Policy Analysis 16 and Government Accountability by a specified date; 17 requiring the office to submit a report to the 18 Governor and the Legislature by a specified date; 19 providing reporting requirements; providing an 20 effective date. 21 22 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 23 24 Section 1. Section 377.811, Florida Statutes, is created to 25 read: 26 377.811 Heavy transportation industry natural gas rebate 27 program.— 28 (1) CREATION AND PURPOSE OF PROGRAM.—A heavy transportation 29 industry natural gas rebate program is created within the 30 department for the purpose of helping to reduce transportation 31 costs in this state and encouraging freight mobility investments 32 that contribute to the economic growth of the state. 33 (2) DEFINITIONS.—For purposes of this section, the term: 34 (a) “Conversion costs” means the excess cost associated 35 with retrofitting a diesel or gasoline powered locomotive or 36 ship to a natural gas fuel powered motor vehicle. 37 (b) “Department” means the Department of Agriculture and 38 Consumer Services. 39 (c) “Eligible costs” means the cost of conversion or the 40 incremental cost incurred by an applicant in connection with an 41 investment in the conversion, purchase, or lease lasting at 42 least 5 years, of a locomotive or ship placed into service on or 43 after January 1, 2015. The term does not include costs for 44 project development, fueling stations, or other fueling 45 infrastructure. 46 (d) “Fleet vehicles” means three or more locomotives or 47 ships registered in this state and used for commercial business 48 or governmental purposes. 49 (e) “Incremental costs” means the excess costs associated 50 with the purchase or lease of a natural gas fuel powered 51 locomotive or ship as compared to an equivalent diesel- or 52 gasoline-powered locomotive or ship. 53 (f) “Natural gas fuel” means any liquefied petroleum gas 54 product, compressed natural gas product, or combination thereof 55 used in a motor vehicle as defined in s. 206.01(23). This term 56 includes, but is not limited to, all forms of fuel commonly or 57 commercially known or sold as natural gasoline, butane gas, 58 propane gas, or any other form of liquefied petroleum gas, 59 compressed natural gas, or liquefied natural gas. This term does 60 not include natural gas or liquefied petroleum placed in a 61 separate tank of a motor vehicle for cooking, heating, water 62 heating, or electric generation. 63 (3) HEAVY TRANSPORTATION INDUSTRY NATURAL GAS REBATE.—The 64 department shall award rebates for eligible costs. A rebate may 65 not exceed 50 percent of the eligible costs of a natural gas 66 locomotive or ship with a dedicated or bi-fuel natural gas fuel 67 operating system placed into service on or after January 1, 68 2015. An applicant is eligible to receive a maximum rebate of 69 $500,000 per vehicle up to a total of $1,000,000 per fiscal 70 year. All fuel powered natural gas locomotives and ships 71 eligible for the rebate must comply with applicable United 72 States Environmental Protection Agency emission standards. 73 (4) APPLICATION PROCESS.— 74 (a) An applicant seeking to obtain a rebate shall submit an 75 application to the department by a specified date each year as 76 established by department rule. The application shall require a 77 complete description of all eligible costs, proof of purchase or 78 lease of the locomotive or ship for which the applicant is 79 seeking a rebate, a copy of the vehicle registration 80 certificate, a description of the total rebate sought by the 81 applicant, and any other information deemed necessary by the 82 department. The application form adopted by department rule must 83 include an affidavit from the applicant certifying that all 84 information contained in the application is true and correct. 85 (b) The department shall determine the rebate eligibility 86 of each applicant in accordance with the requirements of this 87 section and department rule. The total amount of rebates 88 allocated to certified applicants in each fiscal year may not 89 exceed the amount appropriated for the program in the fiscal 90 year. Rebates shall be allocated to eligible applicants on a 91 first-come, first-served basis, determined by the date the 92 application is received, until all appropriated funds for the 93 fiscal year are expended or the program ends, whichever comes 94 first. Incomplete applications submitted to the department will 95 not be accepted and do not secure a place in the first-come, 96 first-served application process. 97 (5) RULES.—The department shall adopt rules to implement 98 and administer this section by January 1, 2016, including rules 99 relating to the forms required to claim a rebate under this 100 section, the required documentation and basis for establishing 101 eligibility for a rebate, procedures and guidelines for claiming 102 a rebate, and the collection of economic impact data from 103 applicants. 104 (6) PUBLICATION.—The department shall determine and publish 105 on its website on an ongoing basis the amount of available 106 funding for rebates remaining in each fiscal year. 107 (7) ANNUAL ASSESSMENT.—By October 1, 2016, and each year 108 thereafter that the program is funded, the department shall 109 provide an annual assessment of the use of the rebate program 110 during the previous fiscal year to the Governor, the President 111 of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and 112 the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government 113 Accountability. The assessment must include, at a minimum, the 114 following information: 115 (a) The name of each applicant awarded a rebate under this 116 section; 117 (b) The amount of the rebates awarded to each applicant; 118 (c) The type and description of each eligible locomotive or 119 ship for which each applicant applied for a rebate; and 120 (d) The aggregate amount of funding awarded for all 121 applicants claiming rebates under this section. 122 (8) REPORT.—By January 31, 2017, the Office of Program 123 Policy Analysis and Government Accountability shall release a 124 report reviewing the rebate program to the Governor, the 125 President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of 126 Representatives. The review shall include an analysis of the 127 economic benefits resulting to the state from the program. 128 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2015.