(1) In addition to the legislative findings provided in s. 376.3071, the Legislature finds and declares: (a) That the inability to conduct site rehabilitation in advance of a site’s priority ranking pursuant to s. 376.3071(5)(a) may substantially impede or prohibit property transactions or the proper completion of public works projects.
(b) While the first priority of the state is to provide for protection of the public health, safety, and welfare, water resources, and the environment, the viability of commerce is of equal importance to the state.
(c) It is in the public interest and of substantial economic benefit to the state to provide an opportunity for site rehabilitation to be conducted on a limited basis at contaminated sites, in advance of the site’s priority ranking, to facilitate property transactions or public works projects.
(d) It is appropriate for a person who is responsible for site rehabilitation to share the costs associated with managing and conducting advanced cleanup, to facilitate the opportunity for advanced cleanup, and to mitigate the additional costs that will be incurred by the state in conducting site rehabilitation in advance of the site’s priority ranking. Such cost sharing will result in more contaminated sites being cleaned up and greater environmental benefits to the state. This section is only available for sites eligible for restoration funding under EDI, ATRP, or PLRIP. This section is available for discharges eligible for restoration funding under the petroleum cleanup participation program for the state’s cost share of site rehabilitation. Applications must include a cost-sharing commitment for this section in addition to the 25-percent-copayment requirement of the petroleum cleanup participation program. This section is not available for any discharge under a petroleum cleanup participation program where the 25-percent-copayment requirement of the petroleum cleanup participation program has been reduced or eliminated pursuant to s. 376.3071(13)(c). (2) The department may approve an application for advanced cleanup at eligible sites, before funding based on the site’s priority ranking established pursuant to s. 376.3071(5)(a), pursuant to this section. Only the facility owner or operator or the person otherwise responsible for site rehabilitation qualifies as an applicant under this section. (a) Advanced cleanup applications may be submitted between May 1 and June 30 and between November 1 and December 31 of each fiscal year. Applications submitted between May 1 and June 30 shall be for the fiscal year beginning July 1. An application must consist of:
1. A commitment to pay 25 percent or more of the total cleanup cost deemed recoverable under this section along with proof of the ability to pay the cost share. An application proposing that the department enter into a performance-based contract for the cleanup of 20 or more sites may use a commitment to pay, a demonstrated cost savings to the department, or both to meet the cost-share requirement. For an application relying on a demonstrated cost savings to the department, the applicant shall, in conjunction with the proposed agency term contractor, establish and provide in the application the percentage of cost savings in the aggregate that is being provided to the department for cleanup of the sites under the application compared to the cost of cleanup of those same sites using the current rates provided to the department by the proposed agency term contractor. The department shall determine whether the cost savings demonstration is acceptable. Such determination is not subject to chapter 120.
2. A nonrefundable review fee of $250 to cover the administrative costs associated with the department’s review of the application.
3. A limited contamination assessment report.
4. A proposed course of action.
The limited contamination assessment report must be sufficient to support the proposed course of action and to estimate the cost of the proposed course of action. Costs incurred related to conducting the limited contamination assessment report are not refundable from the Inland Protection Trust Fund. Site eligibility under this subsection or any other provision of this section is not an entitlement to advanced cleanup or continued restoration funding. The applicant shall certify to the department that the applicant has the prerequisite authority to enter into an advanced cleanup contract with the department. The certification must be submitted with the application.
(b) The department shall rank the applications based on the percentage of cost-sharing commitment proposed by the applicant, with the highest ranking given to the applicant who proposes the highest percentage of cost sharing. If the department receives applications that propose identical cost-sharing commitments and that exceed the funds available to commit to all such proposals during the advanced cleanup application period, the department shall proceed to rerank those applicants. Those applicants submitting identical cost-sharing proposals that exceed funding availability must be so notified by the department and offered the opportunity to raise their individual cost-share commitments, in a period specified in the notice. At the close of the period, the department shall proceed to rerank the applications pursuant to this paragraph.
(3)(a) Based on the ranking established under paragraph (2)(b), the department shall begin negotiation with such applicants. If the department and the applicant agree on the course of action, the department may enter into a contract with the applicant. The department may negotiate the terms and conditions of the contract.
(b) Advanced cleanup shall be conducted pursuant to s. 376.3071(5)(b) and (6) and rules adopted under ss. 287.0595 and 376.3071. If the terms of the advanced cleanup contract are not fulfilled, the applicant forfeits any right to future payment for any site rehabilitation work conducted under the contract.
(c) The department’s decision not to enter into an advanced cleanup contract with the applicant is not subject to chapter 120. If the department cannot complete negotiation of the course of action and the terms of the contract within 60 days after beginning negotiations, the department shall terminate negotiations with that applicant.
(4) The department may enter into contracts for a total of up to $15 million of advanced cleanup work in each fiscal year. However, a facility or an applicant who bundles multiple sites as specified in subparagraph (2)(a)1. may not be approved for more than $5 million of cleanup activity in each fiscal year. For the purposes of this section, the term “facility” includes, but is not limited to, multiple site facilities such as airports, port facilities, and terminal facilities even though such enterprises may be treated as separate facilities for other purposes under this chapter.
(5) All funds collected by the department pursuant to this section shall be deposited into the Inland Protection Trust Fund to be used as provided in this section.