Florida Senate - 2020                                     SB 492
       By Senator Cruz
       18-00763-20                                            2020492__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to public notification of pollution;
    3         amending s. 403.077, F.S.; defining the term “local
    4         governmental entity”; redefining the term “reportable
    5         pollution release”; requiring the Department of
    6         Environmental Protection to publish certain notices
    7         received from the Department of Health or a local
    8         governmental entity on a website accessible to the
    9         public; requiring the Department of Environmental
   10         Protection to provide a written notice to certain
   11         homeowners via the United States Postal Service;
   12         requiring the Department of Health and a local
   13         governmental entity to notify the owner or operator of
   14         an installation and the Department of Environmental
   15         Protection of certain releases or discharges within a
   16         specified timeframe; providing an effective date.
   18  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   20         Section 1. Section 403.077, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   21  read:
   22         403.077 Public notification of pollution.—
   23         (1) DEFINITIONS DEFINITION.—As used in this section, the
   24  term:
   25         (a) “Local governmental entity” means a county, a
   26  municipality, or any other entity that independently exercises
   27  governmental authority.
   28         (b) “Reportable pollution release” means the release or
   29  discharge of:
   30         1. A substance from an installation to the air, land, or
   31  waters of the state which is discovered by the owner or operator
   32  of the installation, which is not authorized by law, and which
   33  is reportable to the State Watch Office within the Division of
   34  Emergency Management pursuant to any department rule, permit,
   35  order, or variance;.
   36         2. A measurable level of perfluorooctanoic acid or
   37  perfluorooctanesulfonic acid from an installation to the land or
   38  waters of the state which is discovered by the installation
   39  owner or operator, the department, or a local governmental
   40  entity; or
   41         3.Any other physical, biological, chemical, or
   42  radiological substance or matter in the air, land, or waters of
   43  the state which:
   44         a.Is discovered by the installation owner or operator, the
   45  department, the Department of Health, or a local governmental
   46  entity; and
   47         b.If it impacted a water system, would result in a
   48  violation of water quality standards adopted by the department
   49  or the Department of Health.
   51         (a) In the event of a reportable pollution release, an
   52  owner or operator of the installation at which the reportable
   53  pollution release occurs must provide to the department
   54  information reported to the State Watch Office within the
   55  Division of Emergency Management pursuant to any department
   56  rule, permit, order, or variance, within 24 hours after the
   57  owner’s or operator’s discovery of such reportable pollution
   58  release.
   59         (b) If multiple parties are subject to the notification
   60  requirements based on a single reportable pollution release, a
   61  single notification made by one party in accordance with this
   62  section constitutes compliance on behalf of all parties subject
   63  to the requirement. However, if the notification is not made in
   64  accordance with this section, the department may pursue
   65  enforcement against all parties subject to the requirement.
   66         (c) If, after providing notice pursuant to paragraph (a),
   67  the owner or operator of the installation determines that a
   68  reportable pollution release did not occur or that an amendment
   69  to the notice is warranted, the owner or operator may submit a
   70  letter to the department documenting such determination.
   71         (d) If, after providing notice pursuant to paragraph (a),
   72  the installation owner or operator discovers that a reportable
   73  pollution release has migrated outside the property boundaries
   74  of the installation, the owner or operator must provide an
   75  additional notice to the department that the release has
   76  migrated outside the property boundaries within 24 hours after
   77  its discovery of the migration outside of the property
   78  boundaries.
   80         (a) The department shall publish on a website accessible to
   81  the public all notices submitted by an owner or operator
   82  pursuant to subsection (2) or by the Department of Health or a
   83  local governmental entity pursuant to subsection (4) within 24
   84  hours after receipt.
   85         (b) The department shall create an electronic mailing list
   86  for such notices and allow the public, including local
   87  governments, health departments, news media, and other
   88  interested persons, to subscribe to and receive periodic direct
   89  announcement of any notices submitted pursuant to subsection
   90  (2). The department shall establish regional electronic mailing
   91  lists, such as by county or district boundaries, to allow
   92  subscribers to determine the notices they wish to receive by
   93  geographic area.
   94         (c) The department shall establish an e-mail address and an
   95  online form as options for owners and operators to provide the
   96  notice specified in subsection (2). The online form may not
   97  require the submission of information in addition to what is
   98  required for submission pursuant to paragraph (2)(a).
   99         (d) In addition to the electronic mailing list required
  100  under paragraph (b), the department shall provide direct notice
  101  of the information received under paragraph (a) to homeowners
  102  who have private wells within a 1-mile radius of a reported
  103  release or discharge. Such notice must be in writing and
  104  delivered via the United States Postal Service.
  105         (e)(d) The department shall adopt rules necessary to
  106  implement the requirements of this subsection.
  108  OBLIGATIONS.—If the Department of Health or a local governmental
  109  entity discovers a reportable pollution release, the Department
  110  of Health or the local governmental entity shall notify the
  111  installation owner or operator and the department within 24
  112  hours after such discovery.
  113         (5)(4) ADMISSION OF LIABILITY OR HARM.—Providing notice
  114  under subsection (2) does not constitute an admission of
  115  liability or harm.
  116         (6)(5) VIOLATIONS.—Failure to provide the notification
  117  required by subsection (2) shall subject the owner or operator
  118  to the civil penalties specified in s. 403.121.
  119         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.