Florida Senate - 2015                             CS for SB 1538
       By the Committee on Communications, Energy, and Public
       Utilities; and Senator Simpson
       579-02833-15                                          20151538c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to a natural gas rebate program;
    3         amending s. 377.810, F.S.; authorizing the Department
    4         of Agriculture and Consumer Services to award
    5         additional rebates for certain applicants using
    6         unencumbered funds; creating s. 377.811, F.S.;
    7         creating the heavy transportation industry natural gas
    8         rebate program within the department; defining terms;
    9         prescribing powers and duties of the department with
   10         respect to the program; prescribing limits on rebate
   11         awards; providing policies and procedures for
   12         application approval; authorizing the department to
   13         adopt rules by a specified date; requiring the
   14         department to publish on its website the availability
   15         of rebate funds; requiring the department to submit an
   16         annual assessment to the Governor, the Legislature,
   17         and the Office of Program Policy Analysis and
   18         Government Accountability by a specified date;
   19         authorizing an appropriation; providing an effective
   20         date.
   22  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   24         Section 1. Subsection (3) of section 377.810, Florida
   25  Statutes, is amended to read:
   26         377.810 Natural gas fuel fleet vehicle rebate program.—
   27         (3) NATURAL GAS FUEL FLEET VEHICLE REBATE.—The department
   28  shall award rebates for eligible costs as defined in this
   29  section. Forty percent of the annual allocation shall be
   30  reserved for governmental applicants, with the remaining funds
   31  allocated for commercial applicants. A rebate may not exceed 50
   32  percent of the eligible costs of a natural gas fuel fleet
   33  vehicle with a dedicated or bi-fuel natural gas fuel operating
   34  system placed into service on or after July 1, 2013. An
   35  applicant is eligible to receive a maximum rebate of $25,000 per
   36  vehicle up to a total of $250,000 per fiscal year. Any
   37  unencumbered funds remaining after May 1 of each fiscal year may
   38  be used by the department to award an additional rebate of up to
   39  $250,000 for a governmental applicant. Any unencumbered funds
   40  remaining after June 1 of each fiscal year may be used by the
   41  department to award an additional or new rebate of up to
   42  $250,000 for a governmental or commercial applicant. All natural
   43  gas fuel fleet vehicles eligible for the rebate must comply with
   44  applicable United States Environmental Protection Agency
   45  emission standards.
   46         Section 2. Section 377.811, Florida Statutes, is created to
   47  read:
   48         377.811 Heavy transportation industry natural gas rebate
   49  program.—
   50         (1) CREATION AND PURPOSE OF PROGRAM.—There is created
   51  within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services a
   52  heavy transportation industry natural gas rebate program. The
   53  purpose of this program is to help reduce transportation costs
   54  in this state, encourage the use of a domestic fuel source, and
   55  encourage heavy transportation industry investments that
   56  contribute to the economic growth of the state.
   57         (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
   58         (a) “Conversion costs” means the costs associated with
   59  retrofitting a diesel-, gasoline-, or heavy fuel oil- powered
   60  locomotive, waterborne ship, or other high horsepower engine to
   61  a natural gas powered eligible vehicle.
   62         (b) “Department” means the Department of Agriculture and
   63  Consumer Services.
   64         (c) “Eligible costs” means the conversion costs or the
   65  incremental costs incurred by an applicant in connection with an
   66  investment in the conversion, purchase, or lease lasting at
   67  least 10 years of a natural gas-powered eligible vehicle. The
   68  term does not include costs for project development, fueling
   69  stations, or other fueling infrastructure.
   70         (d) “Eligible vehicle” means one or more locomotives,
   71  waterborne ships, or other high horsepower engines used for
   72  transportation purposes registered or licensed in this state and
   73  used for commercial business or governmental purposes. Eligible
   74  vehicles must be newly constructed or repowered and placed into
   75  service on or after July 1, 2015. Waterborne ships must be built
   76  and documented in the United States with a coastwise endorsement
   77  under the Jones Act, 46 U.S.C. s. 55102, and used to provide
   78  regular transportation of merchandise between one or more ports
   79  in this state and other domestic ports. If the eligible vehicle
   80  is registered with a federal regulatory body, the owner must
   81  certify in writing that the eligible vehicle will be used the
   82  majority of the time in this state or a waterborne ship that
   83  uses a port in this state in its rotation, subject to department
   84  review.
   85         (e) “High horsepower engine” means any engine that provides
   86  more than 1,000 horsepower and is used for nonhighway
   87  transportation purposes.
   88         (f) “Incremental costs” means the excess costs associated
   89  with the purchase or lease of a natural gas-powered eligible
   90  vehicle as compared to an equivalent diesel-, gasoline-, or
   91  heavy fuel oil- powered eligible vehicle.
   92         (g) “Natural gas fuel” means any liquefied petroleum gas
   93  product, compressed natural gas product, or combination thereof
   94  used in an eligible vehicle. This term includes, but is not
   95  limited to, all forms of fuel commonly or commercially known or
   96  sold as natural gasoline, butane gas, propane gas, or any other
   97  form of liquefied petroleum gas, compressed natural gas, or
   98  liquefied natural gas. The term does not include natural gas or
   99  liquefied petroleum placed in a separate tank for cooking,
  100  heating, water heating, or electric generation.
  102  department shall award rebates for eligible costs. A rebate may
  103  not exceed 50 percent of the eligible costs of a natural gas
  104  eligible vehicle with a dedicated or bi-fuel natural gas fuel
  105  operating system placed into service on or after July 1, 2015.
  106  An applicant is eligible to receive a maximum rebate of $500,000
  107  per eligible vehicle up to a total of $1 million per fiscal
  108  year. All eligible vehicles must comply with applicable United
  109  States Environmental Protection Agency emission standards.
  110         (4) APPLICATION PROCESS.—
  111         (a) An applicant seeking to obtain a rebate shall submit an
  112  application to the department by a specified date each year as
  113  established by department rule. The application must require a
  114  complete description of all eligible costs, proof of purchase or
  115  lease of the eligible vehicle for which the applicant is seeking
  116  a rebate, a copy of the vehicle registration certificate or
  117  equivalent documentation, a description of the total rebate
  118  sought by the applicant, and any other information deemed
  119  necessary by the department. The application form adopted by
  120  department rule must include an affidavit from the applicant
  121  certifying that all information contained in the application is
  122  true and correct.
  123         (b) The department shall determine the rebate eligibility
  124  of each applicant in accordance with the requirements of this
  125  section and department rule. The total amount of rebates
  126  allocated to certified applicants in each fiscal year may not
  127  exceed the amount appropriated for the program in a fiscal year.
  128  Rebates shall be allocated to eligible applicants on a first
  129  come, first-served basis, determined by the date and time the
  130  application is received, until all appropriated funds for the
  131  fiscal year are expended or the program ends, whichever comes
  132  first. Incomplete applications submitted to the department may
  133  not be accepted and do not secure a place in the first-come,
  134  first-served application process.
  135         (5) RULES.—The department may adopt rules to implement and
  136  administer this section by December 31, 2015, including rules
  137  relating to the forms required to claim a rebate under this
  138  section, the required documentation and basis for establishing
  139  eligibility for a rebate, procedures and guidelines for claiming
  140  a rebate, and the collection of economic impact data from
  141  applicants.
  142         (6) PUBLICATION.—The department shall determine and publish
  143  on its website on an ongoing basis the amount of available
  144  funding for rebates remaining in each fiscal year.
  145         (7) ANNUAL ASSESSMENT.—By December 1, 2016, and each year
  146  thereafter that the program is funded, the department shall
  147  provide an annual assessment of the use of the rebate program
  148  during the previous fiscal year to the Governor, the President
  149  of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and
  150  the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government
  151  Accountability. The assessment shall include, at a minimum, the
  152  following information:
  153         (a) The name of each applicant awarded a rebate under this
  154  section;
  155         (b) The amount of the rebates awarded to each applicant;
  156         (c) The type and description of each eligible vehicle for
  157  which each applicant applied for a rebate; and
  158         (d) The aggregate amount of funding awarded for all
  159  applicants claiming rebates under this section.
  160         (8) APPROPRIATION.—Beginning in the 2015-2016 fiscal year
  161  and each year thereafter through the 2019-2020 fiscal year, the
  162  General Appropriations Act may provide a specific appropriation
  163  in each fiscal year from the General Revenue Fund to the
  164  Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for the purpose
  165  of funding the heavy transportation industry natural gas rebate
  166  program.
  167         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2015.