Florida Senate - 2018                                     SB 656
       By Senator Rodriguez
       37-00060A-18                                           2018656__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to public utility environmental
    3         remediation costs; creating s. 366.8256, F.S.;
    4         defining the term “county”; authorizing a municipality
    5         or a county operating under a home rule charter to
    6         file a request with the Public Service Commission for
    7         a hearing for a determination of prudence on
    8         environmental damage caused by a public utility;
    9         prohibiting the commission from conducting any hearing
   10         regarding recovery for remediation of such
   11         environmental damage until after the commission makes
   12         such a determination or until the request is
   13         dismissed; requiring that pending hearings regarding
   14         recovery for remediation of such environmental damage
   15         be stayed until after the commission makes its
   16         determination or until the request is dismissed;
   17         requiring the public utility to submit a cost estimate
   18         for certain remediation expenses; requiring the
   19         commission to make a determination as to the prudence
   20         of a utility’s actions leading up to and in response
   21         to the environmental damage; prohibiting the utility
   22         from recovering expenditures to remedy the damage upon
   23         a finding that the utility did not act prudently;
   24         requiring the utility to develop a plan to remedy
   25         damages under certain circumstances; requiring the
   26         utility to specify how certain expenditures will be
   27         internalized; providing an effective date.
   29  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   31         Section 1. Section 366.8256, Florida Statutes, is created
   32  to read:
   33         366.8256 Remediation costs of environmental damage;
   34  determination of prudence; recovery.
   35         (1)For purposes of this section, the term “county” has the
   36  same meaning as in s. 125.011(1).
   37         (2)If the Department of Environmental Protection makes a
   38  determination that a public utility has caused environmental
   39  damage within the state, a municipality or county in which such
   40  damage occurred may file a request for a hearing with the
   41  commission for a determination of prudence on the environmental
   42  damage the public utility caused within the boundaries of the
   43  municipality or county or adjacent bodies of water. Such request
   44  must be submitted by the municipality or county as prescribed by
   45  the commission. Upon the filing of this request:
   46         (a)The commission may not conduct any hearing regarding
   47  recovery for remediation of such environmental damage until
   48  after the commission makes its determination pursuant to
   49  subsection (4) or the request is dismissed; and
   50         (b)Any pending hearing regarding recovery for remediation
   51  of such environmental damage must be stayed until after the
   52  commission makes its determination pursuant to subsection (4) or
   53  the request is dismissed.
   54         (3)At the hearing requested by the municipality or county
   55  under subsection (2), the public utility shall disclose an
   56  estimate of the full cost to remedy the environmental damage.
   57         (4)After the hearing, the commission shall determine:
   58         (a)If the public utility acted prudently in the events
   59  leading up to or causing the environmental damage.
   60         (b)If the public utility, upon becoming aware of the
   61  environmental damage or at such time as the utility should have
   62  been aware of such damage, acted prudently to remedy the damage.
   63         (5)Notwithstanding s. 366.8255, if the commission
   64  determines that the public utility failed to act prudently, the
   65  public utility may not recover any expenditures to remedy the
   66  environmental damage from ratepayers. If so determined, the
   67  public utility must:
   68         (a)Timely develop a plan, acting in good faith and in
   69  conjunction with the local municipality or county, to remedy any
   70  remaining environmental damage. The plan must be approved by the
   71  commission. The commission may specify reasonable deadlines for
   72  the submission of the plan to the commission for approval.
   73         (b)Specify to the commission how any costs incurred for
   74  environmental remediation, including costs incurred in
   75  implementing the plan, will be internalized by the public
   76  utility.
   77         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2018.