(1) In addition to the legislative findings provided in s. 376.30711, 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 water resources of the state, human health, 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 persons responsible for site rehabilitation to share the costs associated with managing and conducting preapproved advanced cleanup, to facilitate the opportunity for preapproved 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. The provisions of this section shall only be available for sites eligible for restoration funding under EDI, ATRP, or PLIRP. 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 shall 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 is authorized to approve an application for preapproved advanced cleanup at eligible sites, prior to funding based on the site’s priority ranking established pursuant to s. 376.3071(5)(a), in accordance with the provisions of this section. Persons who qualify as an applicant under the provisions of this section shall only include the facility owner or operator or the person otherwise responsible for site rehabilitation. (a) Preapproved 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 shall consist of:
1. A commitment to pay no less than 25 percent of the total cleanup cost deemed recoverable under the provisions of this section along with proof of the ability to pay the cost share.
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 shall be sufficient to support the proposed course of action and to estimate the cost of the proposed course of action. Any 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, shall not constitute an entitlement to preapproved advanced cleanup or continued restoration funding. The applicant shall certify to the department that the applicant has the prerequisite authority to enter into a preapproved advanced cleanup contract with the department. This certification shall 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 that proposes the highest percentage of cost sharing. If the department receives applications that propose identical cost-sharing commitments and which exceed the funds available to commit to all such proposals during the preapproved advanced cleanup application period, the department shall proceed to rerank those applicants. Those applicants submitting identical cost-sharing proposals which exceed funding availability shall be so notified by the department and shall be offered the opportunity to raise their individual cost-share commitments, in a period of time specified in the notice. At the close of the period, the department shall proceed to rerank the applications in accordance with this paragraph.
(3)(a) Based on the ranking established under paragraph (2)(b) and the funding limitations provided in subsection (4), the department shall commence 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 is authorized to negotiate the terms and conditions of the contract.
(b) Preapproved advanced cleanup shall be conducted under the provisions of ss. 376.3071(5)(b) and 376.30711. If the terms of the preapproved 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 a preapproved advanced cleanup contract with the applicant shall not be subject to the provisions of chapter 120. If the department is not able to complete negotiation of the course of action and the terms of the contract within 60 days after commencing negotiations, the department shall terminate negotiations with that applicant.
(4) The department is authorized to enter into contract for a total of up to $10 million of preapproved advanced cleanup work in each fiscal year. However, no facility shall be preapproved for more than $500,000 of cleanup activity in each fiscal year. For the purposes of this section the term “facility” shall include, but not be 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.