Florida Senate - 2015 SB 1582 By Senator Richter 23-01893A-15 20151582__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to public records; amending s. 377.45, 3 F.S.; providing an exemption from public records 4 requirements for proprietary business information 5 relating to high pressure well stimulations obtained 6 by the Department of Environmental Protection in 7 connection with the department’s online high pressure 8 well stimulation chemical disclosure registry; 9 providing procedures and requirements with respect to 10 the granting of confidential and exempt status; 11 providing for disclosure under specified 12 circumstances; providing for future legislative review 13 and repeal of the exemption under the Open Government 14 Sunset Review Act; providing a statement of public 15 necessity; providing a contingent effective date. 16 17 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 18 19 Section 1. Subsection (4) is added to section 377.45, 20 Florida Statutes, as created by SB 1468, 2015 Regular Session, 21 to read: 22 377.45 High pressure well stimulation chemical disclosure 23 registry.— 24 (4)(a) Proprietary business information, as defined in s. 25 377.24075(1)(a)-(e) and relating to high pressure well 26 stimulations, submitted to the department as part of a permit 27 application or held by the department in connection with the 28 online high pressure well stimulation chemical disclosure 29 registry, is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 30 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution if the person submitting 31 such proprietary business information to the department: 32 1. Requests that the proprietary business information be 33 kept confidential and exempt; 34 2. Informs the department of the basis for the claim of 35 proprietary business information; and 36 3. Clearly marks each page of a document or specific 37 portion of a document containing information claimed to be 38 proprietary business information as “proprietary business 39 information.” 40 (b) If the department receives a public records request for 41 a document that is marked proprietary business information under 42 this section, the department must promptly notify the person who 43 submitted the information as proprietary business information. 44 The notice must inform the person that he or she has 30 days 45 after receipt of the notice to file an action in circuit court 46 seeking a determination as to whether the document in question 47 contains proprietary business information and an order barring 48 public disclosure of the document. If the person files an action 49 within 30 days after receipt of notice of the public records 50 request, the department may not release the document pending the 51 outcome of the legal action. The failure to file an action 52 within 30 days constitutes a waiver of any claim of 53 confidentiality, and the department shall release the document 54 as requested. 55 (c) Confidential and exempt proprietary business 56 information may be disclosed: 57 1. To another governmental entity if the receiving entity 58 agrees in writing to maintain the confidential and exempt status 59 of the information and has verified in writing its legal 60 authority to maintain such confidentiality; or 61 2. When relevant in any proceeding under this part. A 62 person involved in any proceeding under this section, including, 63 but not limited to, an administrative law judge, a hearing 64 officer, or a judge or justice, must maintain the 65 confidentiality of any proprietary business information revealed 66 at such proceeding. 67 (d) This subsection is subject to the Open Government 68 Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand 69 repealed on October 2, 2020, unless reviewed and saved from 70 repeal through reenactment by the Legislature. 71 Section 2. The Legislature finds that it is a public 72 necessity that proprietary business information, as defined in 73 s. 377.24075(1)(a)-(e), Florida Statutes, and relating to high 74 pressure well stimulations, submitted to the Department of 75 Environmental Protection as part of a permit application or held 76 by the department in connection with the online high pressure 77 well stimulation chemical disclosure registry, be made 78 confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1), Florida Statutes, and 79 s. 24(a), Article I of the State Constitution. Proprietary 80 business information must be held confidential and exempt from 81 public records requirements because the disclosure of such 82 information would create an unfair competitive advantage for 83 persons receiving such information and would adversely impact 84 the service company, chemical supplier, or well owner or 85 operator that provides chemical ingredients for a well on which 86 high pressure well stimulations are performed. If such 87 confidential and exempt information regarding proprietary 88 business information were released pursuant to a public records 89 request, others would be allowed to take the benefit of the 90 proprietary business information without compensation or 91 reimbursement to the service company, chemical supplier, or well 92 owner or operator. 93 Section 3. This act shall take effect on the same date that 94 SB 1468 or similar legislation takes effect, if such legislation 95 is adopted in the same legislative session or an extension 96 thereof and becomes a law.