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The Florida Senate

2007 Florida Statutes

Section 403.707, Florida Statutes 2007

403.707  Permits.--

(1)  A solid waste management facility may not be operated, maintained, constructed, expanded, modified, or closed without an appropriate and currently valid permit issued by the department. The department may by rule exempt specified types of facilities from the requirement for a permit under this part if it determines that construction or operation of the facility is not expected to create any significant threat to the environment or public health. For purposes of this part, and only when specified by department rule, a permit may include registrations as well as other forms of licenses as defined in s. 120.52 Solid waste construction permits issued under this section may include any permit conditions necessary to achieve compliance with the recycling requirements of this act. The department shall pursue reasonable timeframes for closure and construction requirements, considering pending federal requirements and implementation costs to the permittee. The department shall adopt a rule establishing performance standards for construction and closure of solid waste management facilities. The standards shall allow flexibility in design and consideration for site-specific characteristics.

(2)  Except as provided in s. 403.722(6), a permit under this section is not required for the following, if the activity does not create a public nuisance or any condition adversely affecting the environment or public health and does not violate other state or local laws, ordinances, rules, regulations, or orders:

(a)  Disposal by persons of solid waste resulting from their own activities on their own property, if such waste is ordinary household waste from their residential property or is rocks, soils, trees, tree remains, and other vegetative matter that normally result from land development operations. Disposal of materials that could create a public nuisance or adversely affect the environment or public health, such as white goods; automotive materials, such as batteries and tires; petroleum products; pesticides; solvents; or hazardous substances, is not covered under this exemption.

(b)  Storage in containers by persons of solid waste resulting from their own activities on their property, leased or rented property, or property subject to a homeowners or maintenance association for which the person contributes association assessments, if the solid waste in such containers is collected at least once a week.

(c)  Disposal by persons of solid waste resulting from their own activities on their property, if the environmental effects of such disposal on groundwater and surface waters are:

1.  Addressed or authorized by a site certification order issued under part II or a permit issued by the department under this chapter or rules adopted pursuant to this chapter; or

2.  Addressed or authorized by, or exempted from the requirement to obtain, a groundwater monitoring plan approved by the department.

(d)  Disposal by persons of solid waste resulting from their own activities on their own property, if such disposal occurred prior to October 1, 1988.

(e)  Disposal of solid waste resulting from normal farming operations as defined by department rule. Polyethylene agricultural plastic, damaged, nonsalvageable, untreated wood pallets, and packing material that cannot be feasibly recycled, which are used in connection with agricultural operations related to the growing, harvesting, or maintenance of crops, may be disposed of by open burning if a public nuisance or any condition adversely affecting the environment or the public health is not created by the open burning and state or federal ambient air quality standards are not violated.

(f)  The use of clean debris as fill material in any area. However, this paragraph does not exempt any person from obtaining any other required permits, and does not affect a person's responsibility to dispose of clean debris appropriately if it is not to be used as fill material.

(g)  Compost operations that produce less than 50 cubic yards of compost per year when the compost produced is used on the property where the compost operation is located.

(3)  All applicable provisions of ss. 403.087 and 403.088, relating to permits, apply to the control of solid waste management facilities.

(4)  When application for a construction permit for a Class I solid waste disposal facility is made, it is the duty of the department to provide a copy of the application, within 7 days after filing, to the water management district having jurisdiction where the 1area is to be located. The water management district may prepare an advisory report as to the impact on water resources. This report must contain the district's recommendations as to the disposition of the application and shall be submitted to the department no later than 30 days prior to the deadline for final agency action by the department. However, the failure of the department or the water management district to comply with the provisions of this subsection shall not be the basis for the denial, revocation, or remand of any permit or order issued by the department.

(5)  The department may not issue a construction permit pursuant to this part for a new solid waste landfill within 3,000 feet of Class I surface waters.

(6)  The department may issue a construction permit pursuant to this part only to a solid waste management facility that provides the conditions necessary to control the safe movement of wastes or waste constituents into surface or ground waters or the atmosphere and that will be operated, maintained, and closed by qualified and properly trained personnel. Such facility must if necessary:

(a)  Use natural or artificial barriers 2that are capable of controlling lateral or vertical movement of wastes or waste constituents into surface or ground waters.

(b)  Have a foundation or base that is capable of providing support for structures and waste deposits and capable of preventing foundation or base failure due to settlement, compression, or uplift.

(c)  Provide for the most economically feasible, cost-effective, and environmentally safe control of leachate, gas, stormwater, and disease vectors and prevent the endangerment of public health and the environment.

Open fires, air-curtain incinerators, or trench burning may not be used as a means of disposal at a solid waste management facility, unless permitted by the department under s. 403.087

(7)  Prior to application for a construction permit, an applicant shall designate to the department temporary backup disposal areas or processes for the resource recovery facility. Failure to designate temporary backup disposal areas or processes shall result in a denial of the construction permit.

(8)  The department may refuse to issue a permit to an applicant who by past conduct in this state has repeatedly violated pertinent statutes, rules, or orders or permit terms or conditions relating to any solid waste management facility and who is deemed to be irresponsible as defined by department rule. For the purposes of this subsection, an applicant includes the owner or operator of the facility, or if the owner or operator is a business entity, a parent of a subsidiary corporation, a partner, a corporate officer or director, or a stockholder holding more than 50 percent of the stock of the corporation.

(9)  The department shall establish a separate category for solid waste management facilities that accept only construction and demolition debris for disposal or recycling. The department shall establish a reasonable schedule for existing facilities to comply with this section to avoid undue hardship to such facilities. However, a permitted solid waste disposal unit that receives a significant amount of waste prior to the compliance deadline established in this schedule shall not be required to be retrofitted with liners or leachate control systems.

(a)  The department shall establish reasonable construction, operation, monitoring, recordkeeping, financial assurance, and closure requirements for such facilities. The department shall take into account the nature of the waste accepted at various facilities when establishing these requirements, and may impose less stringent requirements, including a system of general permits or registration requirements, for facilities that accept only a segregated waste stream which is expected to pose a minimal risk to the environment and public health, such as clean debris. The Legislature recognizes that incidental amounts of other types of solid waste are commonly generated at construction or demolition projects. In any enforcement action taken pursuant to this section, the department shall consider the difficulty of removing these incidental amounts from the waste stream.

(b)  The department shall not require liners and leachate collection systems at individual facilities unless it demonstrates, based upon the types of waste received, the methods for controlling types of waste disposed of, the proximity of groundwater and surface water, and the results of the hydrogeological and geotechnical investigations, that the facility is reasonably expected to result in violations of groundwater standards and criteria otherwise.

(c)  The owner or operator shall provide financial assurance for closing of the facility in accordance with the requirements of s. 403.7125 The financial assurance shall cover the cost of closing the facility and 5 years of long-term care after closing, unless the department determines, based upon hydrogeologic conditions, the types of wastes received, or the groundwater monitoring results, that a different long-term care period is appropriate. However, unless the owner or operator of the facility is a local government, the escrow account described in s. 403.7125(2) may not be used as a financial assurance mechanism.

(d)  The department shall establish training requirements for operators of facilities, and shall work with the State University System or other providers to assure that adequate training courses are available. The department shall also assist the Florida Home Builders Association in establishing a component of its continuing education program to address proper handling of construction and demolition debris, including best management practices for reducing contamination of the construction and demolition debris waste stream.

(e)  The issuance of a permit under this subsection does not obviate the need to comply with all applicable zoning and land use regulations.

(f)  A permit is not required under this section for the disposal of construction and demolition debris on the property where it is generated, but such property must be covered, graded, and vegetated as necessary when disposal is complete.

(g)  It is the policy of the Legislature to encourage facilities to recycle. The department shall establish criteria and guidelines that encourage recycling where practical and provide for the use of recycled materials in a manner that protects the public health and the environment. Facilities are authorized to recycle, provided such activities do not conflict with such criteria and guidelines.

(h)  The department shall ensure that the requirements of this section are applied and interpreted consistently throughout the state. In accordance with s. 20.255, the Division of Waste Management shall direct the district offices and bureaus on matters relating to the interpretation and applicability of this section.

(i)  The department shall provide notice of receipt of a permit application for the initial construction of a construction and demolition debris disposal facility to the local governments having jurisdiction where the facility is to be located.

(j)  The Legislature recognizes that recycling, waste reduction, and resource recovery are important aspects of an integrated solid waste management program and as such are necessary to protect the public health and the environment. If necessary to promote such an integrated program, the county may determine, after providing notice and an opportunity for a hearing prior to April 30, 2008, that some or all of the material described in s. 403.703(6)(b) shall be excluded from the definition of "construction and demolition debris" in s. 403.703(6) within the jurisdiction of such county. The county may make such a determination only if it finds that, prior to June 1, 2007, the county has established an adequate method for the use or recycling of such wood material at an existing or proposed solid waste management facility that is permitted or authorized by the department on June 1, 2007. The county is not required to hold a hearing if the county represents that it previously has held a hearing for such purpose, or if the county represents that it previously has held a public meeting or hearing that authorized such method for the use or recycling of trash or other nonputrescible waste materials and that such materials include those materials described in s. 403.703(6)(b). The county shall provide written notice of its determination to the department by no later than April 30, 2008; thereafter, the materials described in s. 403.703(6) shall be excluded from the definition of "construction and demolition debris" in s. 403.703(6) within the jurisdiction of such county. The county may withdraw or revoke its determination at any time by providing written notice to the department.

(k)  Brazilian pepper and other invasive exotic plant species as designated by the department resulting from eradication projects may be processed at permitted construction and demolition debris recycling facilities or disposed of at permitted construction and demolition debris disposal facilities or Class III facilities. The department may adopt rules to implement this paragraph.

(10)  If the department and a local government independently require financial assurance for the closure of a privately owned solid waste management facility, the department and that local government shall enter into an interagency agreement that will allow the owner or operator to provide a single financial mechanism to cover the costs of closure and any required long-term care. The financial mechanism may provide for the department and local government to be cobeneficiaries or copayees, but shall not impose duplicative financial requirements on the owner or operator. These closure costs must include at least the minimum required by department rules and must also include any additional costs required by local ordinance or regulation.

(11)  Before or on the same day of filing with the department of an application for a permit to construct or substantially modify a solid waste management facility, the applicant shall notify the local government having jurisdiction over the facility of the filing of the application. The applicant also shall publish notice of the filing of the application in a newspaper of general circulation in the area where the facility will be located. Notice shall be given and published in accordance with applicable department rules. The department shall not issue the requested permit until the applicant has provided the department with proof that the notices required by this subsection have been given. Issuance of a permit does not relieve an applicant from compliance with local zoning or land use ordinances, or with any other law, rules, or ordinances.

(12)  Construction and demolition debris must be separated from the solid waste stream and segregated in separate locations at a solid waste disposal facility or other permitted site.

(13)  A facility shall not be considered a solid waste disposal facility solely by virtue of the fact that it uses processed yard trash or clean wood or paper waste as a fuel source.

(14)(a)  A permit to operate a solid waste management facility may not be transferred by the permittee to any other entity without the consent of the department. If the permitted facility is sold or transferred, or if control of the facility is transferred, the permittee must submit to the department an application for transfer of permit no later than 30 days after the transfer of ownership or control. The department shall approve the transfer of a permit unless it determines that the proposed new permittee has not provided reasonable assurance that the conditions of the permit will be met. A permit may not be transferred until any proof of financial assurance required by department rule is provided by the proposed new permittee. If the existing permittee is under a continuing obligation to perform corrective actions as a result of a department enforcement action or consent order, the permit may not be transferred until the proposed new permittee agrees in writing to accept responsibility for performing such corrective actions.

(b)  Until the transfer is approved by the department, the existing permittee is liable for compliance with the permit, including the financial assurance requirements. When the transfer has been approved, the department shall return to the transferring permittee any means of proof of financial assurance which the permittee provided to the department and the permittee is released from obligations to comply with the transferred permit.

(c)  An application for the transfer of a permit must clearly state in bold letters that the permit may not be transferred without proof of compliance with financial assurance requirements. Until the permit is transferred, the new owner or operator may not operate the facility without the express consent of the permittee.

(d)  The department may adopt rules to administer this subsection, including procedural rules and the permit transfer form.

History.--s. 1, ch. 74-342; s. 3, ch. 78-387; s. 14, ch. 82-101; s. 63, ch. 83-218; s. 33, ch. 83-310; s. 32, ch. 84-338; s. 1, ch. 85-269; s. 1, ch. 85-334; s. 13, ch. 88-130; s. 1, ch. 91-284; s. 1, ch. 91-301; s. 1, ch. 92-346; s. 17, ch. 93-207; s. 82, ch. 93-213; s. 397, ch. 94-356; s. 4, ch. 96-284; s. 2, ch. 96-381; s. 2, ch. 98-316; s. 25, ch. 2000-197; s. 21, ch. 2000-211; s. 2, ch. 2001-224; s. 6, ch. 2002-291; s. 18, ch. 2002-295; s. 12, ch. 2007-184.

1Note.--Section 12, ch. 2007-184, redesignated the term "solid waste disposal area" as "solid waste disposal facility" elsewhere in this sentence; the word "area" may refer to the facility.

2Note.--The word "which" following the word "that" was deleted by the editors; s. 12, ch. 2007-184, inserted the word "that" but did not remove the word "which" from existing text.