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The Florida Senate

2012 Florida Statutes

Abatement of imminent hazard caused by hazardous substance.
F.S. 403.726
403.726 Abatement of imminent hazard caused by hazardous substance.
(1) The Legislature finds that hazardous waste which has been improperly generated, transported, disposed of, stored, or treated may pose an imminent hazard to the public health, safety, and welfare and the environment.
(2) The department shall take any action necessary pursuant to s. 403.121 or s. 403.131 to abate or substantially reduce any imminent hazard caused by a hazardous substance, including a spill into the environment of a hazardous substance. The department is authorized to use moneys from the Water Quality Assurance Trust Fund to finance such actions, and such expenditures from the fund shall be recoverable pursuant to s. 376.307.
(3) An imminent hazard exists if any hazardous substance creates an immediate and substantial danger to human health, safety, or welfare or to the environment. The department may institute action in its own name, using the procedures and remedies of s. 403.121 or s. 403.131, to abate an imminent hazard. However, the department is authorized to recover a civil penalty of not more than $25,000 for each day of continued violation. Whenever serious harm to human health, safety, and welfare; the environment; or private or public property may occur prior to completion of an administrative hearing or other formal proceeding which might be initiated to abate the risk of serious harm, the department may obtain, ex parte, an injunction without paying filing and service fees prior to the filing and service of process.
(4) The department may implement the provisions of chapter 386 in its own name whenever a hazardous substance is being generated, transported, disposed of, stored, or treated in violation of those provisions of law.
(5) The department may issue a permit or order requiring prompt abatement of an imminent hazard.
(6) The department may remove or dispose of any hazardous substance which has become an imminent hazard, or take any other emergency action, when the owner or operator of a hazardous waste facility or a generator or transporter of a hazardous substance does not take appropriate action to abate or neutralize the hazard.
(7) Where a hazardous substance is discharged into waters of the state and abatement action is taken pursuant to this section, the department may require that the affected body of water be restored to meet, but not exceed, either the standards established by department rule for that particular body of water or ambient water quality prior to the discharge, whichever is higher. However, under no circumstances would the subject water have to be restored to a more pure state than ambient water quality prior to the discharge.
History.s. 8, ch. 80-302; s. 36, ch. 84-338; s. 4, ch. 95-144; s. 68, ch. 96-321; s. 38, ch. 2000-153; s. 25, ch. 2007-184.