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. 21 22 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 23 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. 101 (3) HEAVY TRANSPORTATION INDUSTRY NATURAL GAS REBATE.—The 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.