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2013 Florida Statutes

CHAPTER 527
CHAPTER 527
SALE OF LIQUEFIED PETROLEUM GAS
527.01 Definitions.
527.02 License; penalty; fees.
527.0201 Qualifiers; master qualifiers; examinations.
527.021 Registration of transport vehicles.
527.03 Annual renewal of license.
527.04 Proof of insurance required.
527.055 General powers and duties.
527.06 Rules.
527.0605 Liquefied petroleum gas bulk storage locations; jurisdiction.
527.061 Inspection of buildings, systems, equipment, vehicles, or premises.
527.062 Investigation and safety promotion; authority of department.
527.065 Notification of accidents; leak calls.
527.067 Responsibilities of persons engaged in servicing liquefied petroleum gas equipment and systems and consumers, end users, or owners of liquefied petroleum gas equipment or systems.
527.07 Restriction on use of containers.
527.08 Penalty for violation.
527.09 Injunction.
527.10 Restriction on use of unsafe container or system.
527.11 Minimum storage.
527.12 Cease and desist orders; administrative fines.
527.13 Administrative fines and warning letters.
527.14 Suspension and revocation of license.
527.15 Conduct of proceedings; record costs.
527.16 Witnesses and evidence.
527.20 Short title and purpose.
527.21 Definitions relating to Florida Propane Gas Education, Safety, and Research Act.
527.22 Florida Propane Gas Education, Safety, and Research Council established; membership; duties and responsibilities.
527.23 Marketing orders; referendum requirements; assessments.
527.01 Definitions.As used in this chapter:
(1) “Liquefied petroleum gas” means any material which is composed predominantly of any of the following hydrocarbons, or mixtures of the same: propane, propylene, butanes (normal butane or isobutane), and butylenes.
(2) “Person” means any individual, firm, partnership, corporation, company, association, organization, or cooperative.
(3) “Ultimate consumer” means the person last purchasing liquefied petroleum gas in its liquid or vapor state for industrial, commercial, or domestic use.
(4) “Department” means the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
(5) “Qualifier” means any person who has passed a competency examination administered by the department and is employed by a licensed business in one or more of the following classifications:
(a) Category I liquefied petroleum gas dealer.
(b) Category II liquefied petroleum gas dispenser.
(c) LP gas installer.
(d) Specialty installer.
(e) Requalifier of cylinders.
(f) Fabricator, repairer, and tester of vehicles and cargo tanks.
(g) Category IV liquefied petroleum gas dispensing unit operator and recreational vehicle servicer.
(h) Category V liquefied petroleum gases dealer for industrial uses only.
(6) “Category I liquefied petroleum gas dealer” means any person selling or offering to sell by delivery or at a stationary location any liquefied petroleum gas to the ultimate consumer for industrial, commercial, or domestic use; any person leasing or offering to lease, or exchanging or offering to exchange, any apparatus, appliances, and equipment for the use of liquefied petroleum gas; any person installing, servicing, altering, or modifying apparatus, piping, tubing, appliances, and equipment for the use of liquefied petroleum or natural gas; any person installing carburetion equipment; or any person requalifying cylinders.
(7) “Category II liquefied petroleum gas dispenser” means any person engaging in the business of operating a liquefied petroleum gas dispensing unit for the purpose of serving liquid products to the ultimate consumer for industrial, commercial, or domestic use, and selling or offering to sell, or leasing or offering to lease, apparatus, appliances, and equipment for the use of liquefied petroleum gas, including maintaining a cylinder storage rack at the licensed business location for the purpose of storing cylinders filled by the licensed business for sale or use at a later date.
(8) “Category III liquefied petroleum gas cylinder exchange operator” means any person operating a storage facility used for the purpose of storing filled propane cylinders of not more than 43.5 pounds propane capacity or 104 pounds water capacity, while awaiting sale to the ultimate consumer, or a facility used for the storage of empty or filled containers which have been offered for exchange.
(9) “Category IV liquefied petroleum gas dispenser and recreational vehicle servicer” means any person engaging in the business of operating a liquefied petroleum gas dispensing unit for the purpose of serving liquid product to the ultimate consumer for industrial, commercial, or domestic use, and selling or offering to sell, or leasing or offering to lease, apparatus, appliances, and equipment for the use of liquefied petroleum gas, and whose services include the installation, service, or repair of recreational vehicle liquefied petroleum gas appliances and equipment.
(10) “LP gas installer” means any person who is engaged in the liquefied petroleum gas business and whose services include the installation, servicing, altering, or modifying of apparatus, piping, tubing, tanks, and equipment for the use of liquefied petroleum or natural gas and selling or offering to sell, or leasing or offering to lease, apparatus, appliances, and equipment for the use of liquefied petroleum or natural gas.
(11) “Specialty installer” means any person involved in the installation, service, or repair of liquefied petroleum or natural gas appliances and equipment, and selling or offering to sell, or leasing or offering to lease, apparatus, appliances, and equipment for the use of liquefied petroleum gas, whose activities are limited to specific types of appliances and equipment as designated by department rule.
(12) “Dealer in appliances and equipment for use of liquefied petroleum gas” means any person selling or offering to sell, or leasing or offering to lease, apparatus, appliances, and equipment for the use of liquefied petroleum gas.
(13) “Manufacturer of liquefied petroleum gas appliances and equipment” means any person in this state manufacturing and offering for sale or selling tanks, cylinders, or other containers and necessary appurtenances for use in the storage, transportation, or delivery of such gas to the ultimate consumer, or manufacturing and offering for sale or selling apparatus, appliances, and equipment for the use of liquefied petroleum gas to the ultimate consumer.
(14) “Wholesaler” means any person, as defined by subsection (2), selling or offering to sell any liquefied petroleum gas for industrial, commercial, or domestic use to any person except the ultimate consumer.
(15) “Requalifier of cylinders” means any person involved in the retesting, repair, qualifying, or requalifying of liquefied petroleum gas tanks or cylinders manufactured under specifications of the United States Department of Transportation or former Interstate Commerce Commission.
(16) “Fabricator, repairer, and tester of vehicles and cargo tanks” means any person involved in the hydrostatic testing, fabrication, repair, or requalifying of any motor vehicles or cargo tanks used for the transportation of liquefied petroleum gases, when such tanks are permanently attached to or forming a part of the motor vehicle.
(17) “Recreational vehicle” means a motor vehicle designed to provide temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, or travel use, which has its own propulsion or is mounted on or towed by another motor vehicle.
(18) “Pipeline system operator” means any person who owns or operates a liquefied petroleum gas pipeline system that is used to transmit liquefied petroleum gas from a common source to the ultimate customer and that serves 10 or more customers.
(19) “Category V liquefied petroleum gases dealer for industrial uses only” means any person engaged in the business of filling, selling, and transporting liquefied petroleum gas containers for use in welding, forklifts, or other industrial applications.
(20) “License year” means the period from September 1 through the following August 31, or April 1 through the following March 31, depending upon the type of license.
History.s. 1, ch. 24302, 1947; s. 11, ch. 25035, 1949; s. 1, ch. 57-174; s. 1, ch. 61-158; ss. 13, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 202, ch. 71-377; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 1, 6, ch. 80-390; ss. 1, 18, 19, ch. 81-175; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 1, 2, ch. 82-6; s. 124, ch. 83-218; s. 1, ch. 86-69; ss. 2, 3, ch. 87-34; s. 1, ch. 90-215; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 1, ch. 92-324; s. 7, ch. 93-142; ss. 1, 7, ch. 93-248; s. 1, ch. 2000-269; s. 23, ch. 2001-63; s. 1, ch. 2003-132; s. 31, ch. 2013-251.
Note.Former s. 526.12.
527.02 License; penalty; fees.
(1) It is unlawful for any person to engage in this state in the activities of a pipeline system operator, category I liquefied petroleum gas dealer, category II liquefied petroleum gas dispenser, category III liquefied petroleum gas cylinder exchange operator, category IV liquefied petroleum gas dispenser and recreational vehicle servicer, category V liquefied petroleum gas dealer for industrial uses only, LP gas installer, specialty installer, dealer in liquefied petroleum gas appliances and equipment, manufacturer of liquefied petroleum gas appliances and equipment, requalifier of cylinders, or fabricator, repairer, and tester of vehicles and cargo tanks without first obtaining from the department a license to engage in one or more of these businesses. The sale of liquefied petroleum gas cylinders with a volume of 10 pounds water capacity or 4.2 pounds liquefied petroleum gas capacity or less is exempt from the requirements of this chapter. It is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, to intentionally or willfully engage in any of said activities without first obtaining appropriate licensure from the department.
(2) Each business location of a person having multiple locations shall be separately licensed and must meet the requirements of this section. Such license shall be granted to any applicant determined by the department to be competent, qualified, and trustworthy who files with the department a surety bond, insurance affidavit, or other proof of insurance, as hereinafter specified, and pays for such license the following original application fee for new licenses and annual renewal fees for existing licenses:
License CategoryOriginal
Application Fee
Renewal
Fee
 
Category I liquefied
petroleum gas
dealer..........
$525$425
Category II liquefied
petroleum gas
dispenser..........
525375
Category III
liquefied petroleum
gas cylinder
exchange unit
operator..........
10065
Category IV
liquefied petroleum
gas dispenser and
recreational vehicle
servicer..........
525400
Category V liquefied
petroleum gases
dealer for industrial
uses only..........
300200
LP gas
installer..........
300200
Specialty
installer..........
300200
Dealer in appliances
and equipment
for use of liquefied
petroleum gas..........
5045
Manufacturer of
liquefied petroleum
gas appliances and
equipment..........
525375
Requalifier of
cylinders..........
525375
Fabricator, repairer,
and tester of
vehicles and
cargo tanks..........
525375
(3) Any applicant for original license whose application is submitted during the last 6 months of the license year may have the original license fee reduced by one-half for the 6-month period. This provision shall apply only to those companies applying for an original license and shall not be applied to licensees who held a license during the previous license year and failed to renew the license. The department may refuse to issue an initial license to any applicant who is under investigation in any jurisdiction for an action that would constitute a violation of this chapter until such time as the investigation is complete.
(4) Any person applying for a liquefied petroleum gas license as a specialty installer, as defined by s. 527.01(11), shall upon application to the department identify the specific area of work to be performed. Upon completion of all license requirements set forth in this chapter, the department shall issue the applicant a license specifying the scope of work, as identified by the applicant and defined by rule of the department, for which the person is authorized.
(5) The license fee for a pipeline system operator shall be $100 per system owned or operated by the person, not to exceed $400 per license year. Such license fee applies only to a pipeline system operator who owns or operates a liquefied petroleum gas pipeline system that is used to transmit liquefied petroleum gas from a common source to the ultimate customer and that serves 10 or more customers.
(6) The department shall promulgate rules specifying acts deemed by the department to demonstrate a lack of trustworthiness to engage in activities requiring a license or qualifier identification card under this section.
(7) Any license issued by the department may be transferred to any person, firm, or corporation for the remainder of the current license year upon written request to the department by the original licenseholder. Prior to approval of any transfer, all licensing requirements of this chapter must be met by the transferee. A license transfer fee of $50 shall be charged for each such transfer.
History.s. 2, ch. 24302, 1947; s. 2, ch. 57-174; s. 2, ch. 61-119; s. 1, ch. 61-158; ss. 13, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 70-35; s. 1, ch. 70-439; s. 1, ch. 74-296; s. 1, ch. 76-120; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 2, 6, ch. 80-390; ss. 2, 18, 19, ch. 81-175; s. 401, ch. 81-259; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 1, 2, ch. 82-6; s. 1, ch. 84-126; s. 2, ch. 86-69; ss. 2, 3, ch. 87-34; s. 2, ch. 90-215; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 1, ch. 92-6; s. 2, ch. 92-324; s. 2, ch. 93-248; s. 6, ch. 94-335; s. 340, ch. 96-406; s. 2, ch. 2000-269; s. 24, ch. 2001-63; s. 2, ch. 2003-132.
Note.Former s. 526.13.
527.0201 Qualifiers; master qualifiers; examinations.
(1) In addition to the requirements of s. 527.02, any person applying for a license to engage in the activities of a pipeline system operator, category I liquefied petroleum gas dealer, category II liquefied petroleum gas dispenser, category IV liquefied petroleum gas dispenser and recreational vehicle servicer, category V liquefied petroleum gases dealer for industrial uses only, LP gas installer, specialty installer, requalifier of cylinders, or fabricator, repairer, and tester of vehicles and cargo tanks must prove competency by passing a written examination administered by the department or its agent with a grade of 75 percent or above in each area tested. Each applicant for examination shall submit a $20 nonrefundable fee. The department shall by rule specify the general areas of competency to be covered by each examination and the relative weight to be assigned in grading each area tested.
(2) Application for examination for competency may be made by an individual or by an owner, a partner, or any person employed by the license applicant. Upon successful completion of the competency examination, the department shall issue a qualifier identification card to the examinee.
(a) Qualifier identification cards, except those issued to category I liquefied petroleum gas dealers and liquefied petroleum gas installers, shall remain in effect as long as the individual shows to the department proof of active employment in the area of examination and all continuing education requirements are met. Should the individual terminate active employment in the area of examination for a period exceeding 24 months, or fail to provide documentation of continuing education, the individual’s qualifier status shall automatically expire. If the qualifier status has expired, the individual must apply for and successfully complete an examination by the department in order to reestablish qualifier status.
(b) Every business organization shall employ at all times a full-time qualifier who has successfully completed an examination in the corresponding category of the license held by the business organization. A person may not act as a qualifier for more than one licensed location.
(3) Qualifier cards issued to category I liquefied petroleum gas dealers and liquefied petroleum gas installers shall expire 3 years after the date of issuance. All category I liquefied petroleum gas dealer qualifiers and liquefied petroleum gas installer qualifiers holding a valid qualifier card upon the effective date of this act shall retain their qualifier status until July 1, 2003, and may sit for the master qualifier examination at any time during that time period. All such category I liquefied petroleum gas dealer qualifiers and liquefied petroleum gas installer qualifiers may renew their qualification on or before July 1, 2003, upon application to the department, payment of a $20 renewal fee, and documentation of the completion of a minimum of 16 hours approved continuing education courses, as defined by department rule, during the previous 3-year period. Applications for renewal must be made 30 calendar days before expiration. Persons failing to renew before the expiration date must reapply and take a qualifier competency examination in order to reestablish category I liquefied petroleum gas dealer qualifier and liquefied petroleum gas installer qualifier status. If a category I liquefied petroleum gas qualifier or liquefied petroleum gas installer qualifier becomes a master qualifier at any time during the effective date of the qualifier card, the card shall remain in effect until expiration of the master qualifier certification.
(4) A qualifier for a business organization involved in installation, repair, maintenance, or service of liquefied petroleum gas appliances, equipment, or systems must actually function in a supervisory capacity of other company employees installing, repairing, maintaining, or servicing liquefied petroleum gas appliances, equipment, or systems. A separate qualifier shall be required for every 10 such employees. Additional qualifiers are required for those business organizations employing more than 10 employees that install, repair, maintain, or service liquefied petroleum gas equipment and systems.
(5) In addition to all other licensing requirements, each category I liquefied petroleum gas dealer and liquefied petroleum gas installer must, at the time of application for licensure, identify to the department one master qualifier who is a full-time employee at the licensed location. This person shall be a manager, owner, or otherwise primarily responsible for overseeing the operations of the licensed location and must provide documentation to the department as provided by rule. The master qualifier requirement shall be in addition to the requirements of subsection (1).
(a) In order to apply for certification as a master qualifier, each applicant must be a category I liquefied petroleum gas dealer qualifier or liquefied petroleum gas installer qualifier, must be employed by a licensed category I liquefied petroleum gas dealer, liquefied petroleum gas installer, or applicant for such license, must provide documentation of a minimum of 1 year’s work experience in the gas industry, and must pass a master qualifier competency examination. Master qualifier examinations shall be based on Florida’s laws, rules, and adopted codes governing liquefied petroleum gas safety, general industry safety standards, and administrative procedures. The applicant must successfully pass the examination with a grade of 75 percent or above. Each applicant for master qualifier status must submit to the department a nonrefundable $30 examination fee before the examination.
(b) Upon successful completion of the master qualifier examination, the department shall issue the examinee a certificate of master qualifier status which shall include the name of the licensed company for which the master qualifier is employed. A master qualifier may transfer from one licenseholder to another upon becoming employed by the company and providing a written request to the department.
(c) Master qualifier status shall expire 3 years after the date of issuance of the certificate and may be renewed by submission to the department of documentation of completion of at least 16 hours of approved continuing education courses during the 3-year period; proof of employment with a licensed category I liquefied petroleum gas dealer, liquefied petroleum gas installer, or applicant; and a $30 certificate renewal fee. The department shall define, by rule, approved courses of continuing education.
(d) Each category I liquefied petroleum gas dealer or liquefied petroleum gas installer licensed as of August 31, 2000, shall identify to the department one current category I liquefied petroleum gas dealer qualifier or liquefied petroleum gas installer qualifier who will be the designated master qualifier for the licenseholder. Such individual must provide proof of employment for 3 years or more within the liquefied petroleum gas industry, and shall, upon approval of the department, be granted a master qualifier certificate. All other requirements with regard to master qualifier certificate expiration, renewal, and continuing education shall apply.
(6) A vacancy in a qualifier or master qualifier position in a business organization which results from the departure of the qualifier or master qualifier shall be immediately reported to the department by the departing qualifier or master qualifier and the licensed company.
(a) If a business organization no longer possesses a duly designated qualifier, as required by this section, its liquefied petroleum gas licenses shall be suspended by order of the department after 20 working days. The license shall remain suspended until a competent qualifier has been employed, the order of suspension terminated by the department, and the license reinstated. A vacancy in the qualifier position for a period of more than 20 working days shall be deemed to constitute an immediate threat to the public health, safety, and welfare. Failure to obtain a replacement qualifier within 60 days after the vacancy occurs shall be grounds for revocation of licensure or eligibility for licensure.
(b) Any category I liquefied petroleum gas dealer or LP gas installer who no longer possesses a master qualifier but currently employs a category I liquefied petroleum gas dealer or LP gas installer qualifier as required by this section, shall have 60 days within which to replace the master qualifier. If the company fails to replace the master qualifier within the 60-day time period, the license of the company shall be suspended by order of the department. The license shall remain suspended until a competent master qualifier has been employed, the order of suspension has been terminated by the department, and the license reinstated. Failure to obtain a replacement master qualifier within 90 days after the vacancy occurs shall be grounds for revocation of licensure or eligibility for licensure.
(7) The department may deny, refuse to renew, suspend, or revoke any qualifier card or master qualifier certificate for any of the following causes:
(a) Violation of any provision of this chapter or any rule or order of the department;
(b) Falsification of records relating to the qualifier card or master qualifier certificate; or
(c) Failure to meet any of the renewal requirements.
(8) Any individual having competency qualifications on file with the department may request the transfer of such qualifications to any existing licenseholder by making a written request to the department for such transfer. Any individual having a competency examination on file with the department may use such examination for a new license application after making application in writing to the department. All examinations are confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1).
(9) If a duplicate license, qualifier card, or master qualifier certificate is requested by the licensee, a fee of $10 must be received before issuance of the duplicate license or card. If a facsimile transmission of an original license is requested, upon completion of the transmission a fee of $10 must be received by the department before the original license may be mailed to the requester.
(10) All revenues collected herein shall be deposited in the General Inspection Trust Fund for the purpose of administering the provisions of this chapter.
History.s. 3, ch. 2003-132; s. 32, ch. 2013-251.
527.021 Registration of transport vehicles.
(1) Each liquefied petroleum gas bulk delivery vehicle owned or leased by a liquefied petroleum gas licensee must be registered with the department annually.
(2) For the purposes of this section, a “liquefied petroleum gas bulk delivery vehicle” means any vehicle that is used to transport liquefied petroleum gas on any public street or highway as liquid cargo in a cargo tank, which tank is mounted on a conventional truck chassis or is an integral part of a transporting vehicle in which the tank constitutes, in whole or in part, the stress member used as a frame and is a permanent part of the transporting vehicle.
(3) Vehicle registrations shall be submitted by the vehicle owner or lessee in conjunction with the annual renewal of his or her liquefied petroleum gas license, but no later than August 31 of each year. A dealer who does not submit the required vehicle registration by August 31 of each year is subject to the penalties in s. 527.13.
(4) An inspection fee of $50 shall be assessed for each registered vehicle inspected by the department pursuant to s. 527.061. All inspection fees collected in connection with this section shall be deposited in the General Inspection Trust Fund for the purpose of administering the provisions of this chapter.
(5) The department shall issue a decal to be placed on each vehicle that is inspected by the department and found to be in compliance with applicable codes.
History.s. 3, ch. 90-215; s. 16, ch. 91-201; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 3, ch. 92-324; s. 7, ch. 94-335; s. 723, ch. 97-103.
527.03 Annual renewal of license.All licenses required under this chapter shall be renewed annually subject to the license fees prescribed in s. 527.02. All licenses, except Category III Liquefied Petroleum Gas Cylinder Exchange Unit Operator licenses and Dealer in Appliances and Equipment for Use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas licenses, shall be renewed for the period beginning September 1 and shall expire on the following August 31 unless sooner suspended, revoked, or otherwise terminated. Category III Liquefied Petroleum Gas Cylinder Exchange Unit Operator licenses and Dealer in Appliances and Equipment for Use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas licenses shall be renewed for the period beginning April 1 and shall expire on the following March 31 unless sooner suspended, revoked, or otherwise terminated. Any license allowed to expire shall become inoperative because of failure to renew. The fee for restoration of a license is equal to the original license fee and must be paid before the licensee may resume operations.
History.s. 3, ch. 24302, 1947; s. 1, ch. 25105, 1949; s. 11, ch. 25035, 1949; s. 1, ch. 29667, 1955; s. 1, ch. 61-158; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 18, 19, ch. 81-175; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 1, 2, ch. 82-6; s. 2, ch. 84-126; ss. 2, 3, ch. 87-34; s. 4, ch. 90-215; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 33, ch. 2013-251.
Note.Former s. 526.14.
527.04 Proof of insurance required.
(1) Before any license is issued, except to a dealer in appliances and equipment for use of liquefied petroleum gas or a category III liquefied petroleum gas cylinder exchange operator, the applicant must deliver to the department satisfactory evidence that the applicant is covered by a primary policy of bodily injury liability and property damage liability insurance that covers the products and operations with respect to such business and is issued by an insurer authorized to do business in this state for an amount not less than $1 million and that the premium on such insurance is paid. An insurance certificate, affidavit, or other satisfactory evidence of acceptable insurance coverage shall be accepted as proof of insurance. In lieu of an insurance policy, the applicant may deliver a good and sufficient bond in the amount of $1 million, payable to the Governor of Florida, with the applicant as principal and a surety company authorized to do business in this state as surety. The bond must be conditioned upon the applicant’s compliance with this chapter and the rules of the department with respect to the conduct of such business and shall indemnify and hold harmless all persons from loss or damage by reason of the applicant’s failure to comply. However, the aggregated liability of the surety may not exceed $1 million. If the insurance policy is canceled or otherwise terminated or the bond becomes insufficient, the department may require new proof of insurance or a new bond to be filed, and if the licenseholder fails to comply, the department shall cancel the license issued and give the licenseholder written notice that it is unlawful to engage in business without a license. A new bond is not required as long as the original bond remains sufficient and in force. If the licenseholder’s insurance coverage as required by this subsection is canceled or otherwise terminated, the insurer must notify the department within 30 days after the cancellation or termination.
(2) Before any license is issued to a class III liquefied petroleum gas cylinder exchange operator, the applicant must deliver to the department satisfactory evidence that the applicant is covered by a primary policy of bodily injury liability and property damage liability insurance that covers the products and operations with respect to the business and is issued by an insurer authorized to do business in this state for an amount not less than $300,000 and that the premium on the insurance is paid. An insurance certificate, affidavit, or other satisfactory evidence of acceptable insurance coverage shall be accepted as proof of insurance. In lieu of an insurance policy, the applicant may deliver a good and sufficient bond in the amount of $300,000, payable to the Governor, with the applicant as principal and a surety company authorized to do business in this state as surety. The bond must be conditioned upon the applicant’s compliance with this chapter and the rules of the department with respect to the conduct of such business and must indemnify and hold harmless all persons from loss or damage by reason of the applicant’s failure to comply. However, the aggregated liability of the surety may not exceed $300,000. If the insurance policy is canceled or otherwise terminated or the bond becomes insufficient, the department may require new proof of insurance or a new bond to be filed, and if the licenseholder fails to comply, the department shall cancel the license issued and give the licenseholder written notice that it is unlawful to engage in business without a license. A new bond is not required as long as the original bond remains sufficient and in force. If the licenseholder’s insurance coverage required by this subsection is canceled or otherwise terminated, the insurer must notify the department within 30 days after the cancellation or termination.
(3) Any person having a cause of action on the bond may bring suit against the principal and surety, and a copy of such bond duly certified by the department shall be received in evidence in the courts of this state without further proof. The department shall furnish a certified copy of such bond upon payment to it of its lawful fee for making and certifying such copy.
History.ss. 3, 4, ch. 24302, 1947; s. 1, ch. 25105, 1949; s. 11, ch. 25035, 1949; s. 1, ch. 29667, 1955; s. 1, ch. 61-158; ss. 13, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 3, 18, 19, ch. 81-175; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 1, 2, ch. 82-6; s. 125, ch. 83-218; s. 3, ch. 84-126; ss. 2, 3, ch. 87-34; s. 5, ch. 90-215; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 724, ch. 97-103; s. 3, ch. 2000-269; s. 8, ch. 2007-232.
Note.Former ss. 526.14, 527.05.
527.055 General powers and duties.
(1) The department is empowered to enforce all provisions of this chapter and rules promulgated pursuant to this chapter relating to:
(a) The safe handling, installing, storing, selling, utilizing, transporting, servicing, testing, repairing, or maintaining of liquefied petroleum gas, liquefied petroleum gas equipment, and liquefied petroleum gas systems.
(b) Reasonable standards of competency required of persons to safely engage in the business of handling, installing, storing, selling, utilizing, transporting, servicing, testing, repairing, or maintaining liquefied petroleum gas, liquefied petroleum gas equipment, or liquefied petroleum gas systems, including, but not limited to, the training, licensure, testing, and qualifying of such persons.
(2) The department shall have the powers and authority expressly conferred on it by, or reasonably implied from, the provisions of this chapter.
(3) The department may conduct such investigations as it may deem proper to determine whether any person has violated any provision of this chapter or rule promulgated pursuant to this chapter or to secure information useful in the lawful administration of any such provision or rule promulgated pursuant to this chapter.
(4) The department may collect, propose, publish, and disseminate information relating to the subject matter of any duties imposed upon it by law.
History.ss. 3, 10, ch. 86-69; ss. 2, 3, ch. 87-34; s. 6, ch. 90-215; s. 4, ch. 91-429.
527.06 Rules.
(1) The department may adopt rules necessary to effectuate any of the statutory duties of the department in the interest of public health, safety, and welfare and to promote the safe handling of liquefied petroleum gas and proper installation, storing, selling, utilizing, transporting, servicing, testing, repairing, and maintaining of liquefied petroleum gas equipment and systems. The department shall adopt rules reasonably necessary to assure the competence of persons to safely engage in the business of liquefied petroleum gas, including, but not limited to, the licensure, testing, and qualifying of such persons for the protection of the health, welfare, and safety of the public and persons using such materials. These rules shall be in substantial conformity with generally accepted standards of safety concerning the same subject matter and shall not extend, modify, or conflict with any laws of this state or the reasonable implications of such laws.
(2) The department shall promulgate and enforce rules setting forth minimum general standards covering the design, construction, location, installation, and operation of equipment for storing; handling; transporting by tank truck, tank trailer, or pipeline; and utilizing liquefied petroleum gases and specifying the odorization of such gases and the degree thereof. The rules shall be such as are reasonably necessary for the protection of the health, welfare, and safety of the public and persons using such materials and shall be in substantial conformity with the generally accepted standards of safety concerning the same subject matter.
1(3)(a) Rules in substantial conformity with the published standards of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) are deemed to be in substantial conformity with the generally accepted standards of safety concerning the same subject matter.
(b) Notwithstanding any other law, the department or other state agency may not require compliance with the minimum separation distances of NFPA 58 for separation between a liquefied petroleum gas tank and a building, adjoining property line, other liquefied petroleum gas tank, or any source of ignition, except in compliance with the minimum separation distances of the 2011 edition of NFPA 58. This paragraph expires upon the last effective date of rules adopted, directly or incorporated by reference, by the department, the Florida Building Commission as part of the Florida Building Code, and the Office of State Fire Marshal as part of the Florida Fire Prevention Code of these minimum separation distances contained in the 2011 edition of NFPA 58, promulgated by the National Fire Protection Association.
(4) Rules in substantial conformity with the published standards in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations relative to liquefied petroleum gas pipelines shall be deemed to be in substantial conformity with the generally accepted standards of safety concerning the same subject matter. Violation of any provision of the rules adopted pursuant to this subsection may be enjoined under the provisions of s. 527.09. Any person who violates any provision of the rules adopted pursuant to this subsection shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $25,000 for each such violation for each day that such violation persists, except that the maximum civil penalty shall not exceed $500,000, in aggregate, for any related series of violations. Any such civil penalty may be compromised by the department. In determining the amount of such penalty or the amount agreed upon in compromise, the appropriateness of such penalty to the size of the business of the person charged, the gravity of the violation, and the good faith of the person charged in attempting to achieve compliance after notification of a violation shall be considered. Each penalty shall be a lien upon the real and personal property of such person and enforceable by the department as statutory liens under chapter 85, the proceeds of which shall be deposited in the General Inspection Trust Fund, as provided in s. 527.0201.
History.s. 5, ch. 24302, 1947; s. 1, ch. 61-158; ss. 10, 13, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 73-286; ss. 1, 2, ch. 75-83; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; s. 21, ch. 78-95; ss. 3, 6, ch. 80-390; ss. 4, 18, 19, ch. 81-175; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 1, 2, ch. 82-6; s. 4, ch. 86-69; ss. 2, 3, ch. 87-34; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 8, ch. 94-335; s. 4, ch. 2000-269; s. 4, ch. 2003-132; s. 1, ch. 2011-106; s. 19, ch. 2011-222.
1Note.As amended by s. 1, ch. 2011-106. For a description of multiple acts in the same session affecting a statutory provision, see preface to the Florida Statutes, “Statutory construction.” Subsection (3) was also amended by s. 19, ch. 2011-222, and that version reads:

(3)(a) Rules in substantial conformity with the published standards of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) are deemed to be in substantial conformity with the generally accepted standards of safety concerning the same subject matter.

(b) Notwithstanding any other law, the department or other state agency may not require compliance with the minimum separation distances of NFPA 58 for separation between a liquefied petroleum gas tank and a building, adjoining property line, other liquefied petroleum gas tank, or any source of ignition, except in compliance with the minimum separation distances of the 2011 edition of NFPA 58.

(c) If the department, the Florida Building Commission as part of the Florida Building Code, and the Office of the State Fire Marshal as part of the Florida Fire Prevention Code each adopt the minimum separation distances of the 2011 edition of NFPA 58 as rules, whether adopted by setting out the minimum separation distances in the text of the rules or through incorporation by reference, this subsection is repealed upon the last effective date of such rules.

Note.Former s. 526.16.
527.0605 Liquefied petroleum gas bulk storage locations; jurisdiction.
(1) The provisions of this chapter shall apply to liquefied petroleum gas bulk storage locations when:
(a) A single container in the bulk storage location has a capacity of 2,000 gallons or more;
(b) The aggregate container capacity of the bulk storage location is 4,000 gallons or more; or
(c) A container or containers are installed for the purpose of serving the public the liquid product.
(2) Prior to the installation of any bulk storage container, the licensee must submit to the department a site plan of the facility which shows the proposed location of the container and must obtain written approval of such location from the department.
(3) A fee of $200 shall be assessed for each site plan reviewed by the division. The review shall include preconstruction inspection of the proposed site, plan review, and final inspection of the completed facility.
(4) No newly installed container may be placed in operation until it has been inspected and approved by the department.
History.ss. 3, 6, ch. 80-390; ss. 5, 19, ch. 81-175; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 1, 2, ch. 82-6; s. 4, ch. 84-126; ss. 2, 3, ch. 87-34; s. 7, ch. 90-215; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 4, ch. 92-324.
527.061 Inspection of buildings, systems, equipment, vehicles, or premises.The department may inspect, at any reasonable hour, any facility, building, system, equipment, vehicle, or premises where liquefied petroleum gas or equipment therefor is offered for sale, stored, transported, or being repaired or installed, to determine if there is any violation of this chapter or of any rules of the department.
History.ss. 4, 6, ch. 80-390; ss. 6, 19, ch. 81-175; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 1, 2, ch. 82-6; ss. 2, 3, ch. 87-34; s. 8, ch. 90-215; s. 4, ch. 91-429.
527.062 Investigation and safety promotion; authority of department.
(1) The department may investigate the cause and circumstances of any accident involving loss of life, personal injury, or property damage when there is reasonable cause to believe that liquefied petroleum gas or equipment was involved. The department shall have the authority to take samples or evidence on or about the site of an accident in conjunction with an investigation. The department shall make a written report of each investigation it conducts. All information compiled by the department pursuant to an investigation is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) until the investigation is completed or ceases to be active. For purposes of this section, an investigation shall be considered “active” so long as the department is proceeding with reasonable dispatch and has a reasonable good faith belief that additional information is necessary and likely to be discovered which will allow the department to make a final determination of the cause and circumstances of the accident.
(2) The department shall have the authority to assist the state, county, municipal, and other local governments of this state and their agencies in promoting safety.
(3) The department shall have the authority to publish and disseminate information consistent with this chapter and the rules promulgated thereunder which it considers to be in the public interest for liquefied petroleum gas safety.
History.ss. 5, 6, ch. 80-390; ss. 7, 19, ch. 81-175; s. 402, ch. 81-259; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 1, 2, ch. 82-6; ss. 2, 3, ch. 87-34; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 2, ch. 92-6; s. 341, ch. 96-406.
527.065 Notification of accidents; leak calls.
(1) Immediately upon discovery, all liquefied petroleum gas licensees shall notify the department of any liquefied petroleum gas-related accident involving a liquefied petroleum gas licensee or customer account:
(a) Which caused a death or personal injury requiring professional medical treatment;
(b) Where uncontrolled ignition of liquefied petroleum gas resulted in death, personal injury, or property damage exceeding $1,000; or
(c) Which caused estimated damage to property exceeding $1,000.
(2) “Uncontrolled ignition” means any ignition of liquefied petroleum gas that occurs outside normal maintenance, service testing, or operation of LP gas equipment or appliances.
(3) All licensees who maintain bulk storage of liquefied petroleum gas shall supply their local fire department with the name and phone number of an emergency contact for after-hour emergencies. This shall also be posted in a prominent location on the premises. If this number is answered by a service or machine, the message must be relayed to the appropriate person within an hour of receipt.
(4) Upon notification by a consumer, the supplier shall physically respond to any verifiable leak call within a reasonable time, not to exceed 24 hours.
(5) In the event that the licensee is contacted by an emergency response unit which requires the licensee’s presence at the scene because the incident involves the licensee’s equipment, the licensee shall physically respond within 2 hours.
History.ss. 5, 10, ch. 86-69; ss. 2, 3, ch. 87-34; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 3, ch. 93-248; s. 5, ch. 2003-132.
527.067 Responsibilities of persons engaged in servicing liquefied petroleum gas equipment and systems and consumers, end users, or owners of liquefied petroleum gas equipment or systems.
(1) All persons engaged in the business of servicing, testing, repairing, maintaining, or installing liquefied petroleum gas equipment and systems shall initially present proof of licensure to consumers, owners, or end users prior to working on said equipment or system and shall subsequently present proof of licensure upon the request of consumers, owners, end users, or persons who have authorized such work.
(2) Any consumer, owner, end user, or person who alters or modifies his or her LP gas equipment or system in any way shall, for informational purposes, notify the licensed dealer who next fills or otherwise services his or her LP gas system that such work has been performed. The department may promulgate rules prescribing the method of notification. Such notification shall be made within a reasonable time prior to the date the liquefied petroleum gas equipment or system is next filled or otherwise serviced in order that the equipment or system may be serviced in a safe manner.
History.ss. 7, 10, ch. 86-69; ss. 1, 2, 3, ch. 87-34; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 725, ch. 97-103.
527.07 Restriction on use of containers.A person, other than the owner and those authorized by the owner, may not sell, fill, refill, remove gas from, deliver, permit to be delivered, or use in any manner any liquefied petroleum gas container or receptacle for any gas or compound, or for any other purpose.
History.s. 6, ch. 24302, 1947; s. 1, ch. 61-158; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 8, 18, 19, ch. 81-175; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 1, 2, ch. 82-6; ss. 2, 3, ch. 87-34; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 9, ch. 2007-232.
Note.Former s. 526.17.
527.08 Penalty for violation.It is unlawful for any person to violate any of the provisions of this chapter or of the rules of the department made pursuant to this chapter. Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter or such rule is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.083.
History.s. 7, ch. 24302, 1947; s. 1, ch. 61-158; ss. 13, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 510, ch. 71-136; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 9, 18, 19, ch. 81-175; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 1, 2, ch. 82-6; ss. 2, 3, ch. 87-34; s. 4, ch. 91-429.
Note.Former s. 526.18.
527.09 Injunction.In addition to the penalties and other enforcement provisions of this chapter, in the event any person violates any provision of this chapter or any rule of the department, the department is authorized to resort to proceedings for injunction in the circuit court of the county where such person resides or has her or his principal place of business. The department may apply for such temporary and permanent orders as it deems necessary to restrain such person from engaging in any such businesses until such person has complied with the provisions of this chapter and such rules.
History.s. 7, ch. 24302, 1947; s. 1, ch. 61-158; ss. 13, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 10, 18, 19, ch. 81-175; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 1, 2, ch. 82-6; ss. 2, 3, ch. 87-34; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 726, ch. 97-103.
Note.Former s. 526.18.
527.10 Restriction on use of unsafe container or system.No liquefied petroleum gas shall be introduced into or removed from any container or system in this state that has been identified by the department or its duly authorized inspectors as not complying with the rules pertaining to such container or system, until such violations as specified have been satisfactorily corrected and authorization for continued service or removal granted by the department. A statement of violations of the rules that render such a system unsafe for use shall be furnished in writing by the department to the ultimate consumer or dealer in liquefied petroleum gas.
History.s. 1, ch. 29742, 1955; s. 1, ch. 61-158; ss. 13, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 11, 18, 19, ch. 81-175; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 1, 2, ch. 82-6; ss. 2, 3, ch. 87-34; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 4, ch. 93-248.
Note.Former s. 526.181.
527.11 Minimum storage.
(1) Every person who engages in the distribution of liquefied petroleum gas for resale to domestic, commercial, or industrial consumers as a prerequisite to obtaining a liquefied petroleum gas license shall install, own, or lease a bulk storage filling plant of not less than 18,000 gallons (water capacity) within the state and shall be located within a 75-mile radius of the licensed company’s business location. This bulk storage filling plant must have loading and unloading provisions solely for the licenseholder and be operated and maintained in compliance with this chapter for the duration of the license.
(2) A dealer in liquefied petroleum gas licensed as of August 31, 2000, who has entered or who enters into a written agreement with a wholesaler that the wholesaler will provide liquefied petroleum gas to the dealer for a period of 12 continuous months is exempt from the requirements of subsection (1), if the wholesaler has at least 18,000 gallons (water capacity) of bulk storage within this state permanently connected for storage, which is used as such for each dealer to whom gas is sold, and if the wholesaler has loading and unloading provisions. Such dealer must provide certification of this agreement on a form provided by the department to the department before her or his license may be issued. The form must be signed by both the wholesaler or his or her agent and the dealer or his or her agent and must be submitted annually with the license renewal application. A dealer who does not provide written proof of minimum storage may have her or his license denied, suspended, or revoked. A wholesaler may not enter into written agreements that allocate an amount of storage that exceeds the wholesaler’s total storage capacity minus 18,000 gallons (water capacity).
(3) A dealer in liquefied petroleum gas operating a single dispensing unit for the sole purpose of direct product sale to customers, including delivery of cylinders of 40 pounds or less of propane gas capacity for use with outdoor equipment or appliances that are not connected to or part of the permanent interior piping of a structure, or an operator of a cylinder exchange unit is exempt from the requirements of this section. A person may not deliver liquefied petroleum gas by cargo vehicle unless the person complies with requirements for minimum storage.
History.ss. 1, 2, ch. 57-219; s. 1, ch. 61-158; ss. 13, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 18, 19, ch. 81-175; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 1, 2, ch. 82-6; s. 5, ch. 84-126; ss. 2, 3, ch. 87-34; s. 9, ch. 90-215; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 727, ch. 97-103; s. 5, ch. 2000-269; s. 6, ch. 2003-132; s. 8, ch. 2006-165.
Note.Former s. 526.21.
527.12 Cease and desist orders; administrative fines.Whenever the department shall have reason to believe that any person is or has been violating provisions of this chapter or any rules adopted pursuant thereto, it may issue a cease and desist order or impose a civil penalty or may issue such cease and desist order and impose a civil penalty.
History.s. 3, ch. 57-174; s. 1, ch. 61-158; ss. 13, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 2, ch. 73-286; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; s. 21, ch. 78-95; ss. 12, 18, 19, ch. 81-175; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 1, 2, ch. 82-6; ss. 2, 3, ch. 87-34; s. 4, ch. 91-429.
Note.Former s. 526.22.
527.13 Administrative fines and warning letters.
(1) If any person violates any provision of this chapter or any rule adopted pursuant thereto or a cease and desist order, the department may impose civil or administrative penalties not to exceed $3,000 for each offense, suspend or revoke the license or qualification issued to such person, or any of the foregoing. The cost of the proceedings to enforce this chapter may be added to any penalty imposed. The department may allow the licensee a reasonable period, not to exceed 90 days, within which to pay to the department the amount of the penalty so imposed. If the licensee fails to pay the penalty in its entirety to the department at its office at Tallahassee within the period so allowed, the licenses of the licensee shall stand revoked upon expiration of such period.
(2) If any license expires while administrative charges are pending against the license, the proceedings against the license shall continue to conclusion as if the license were still in effect.
(3) In lieu of an administrative or civil penalty in subsection (1) of this section, the department may issue a warning letter to the licenseholder, master qualifier, qualifier, or any person for a first violation.
(4) All such fines, monetary penalties, and costs received by the department shall be deposited in the General Inspection Trust Fund for the purpose of administering the provisions of this chapter.
History.s. 3, ch. 57-174; s. 1, ch. 61-158; s. 2, ch. 61-119; ss. 13, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 3, ch. 73-286; s. 2, ch. 74-296; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; s. 21, ch. 78-95; ss. 13, 18, 19, ch. 81-175; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 1, 2, ch. 82-6; s. 8, ch. 86-69; ss. 2, 3, ch. 87-34; s. 10, ch. 90-215; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 5, ch. 93-248; s. 9, ch. 94-335; s. 7, ch. 2003-132.
Note.Former s. 526.22(9).
527.14 Suspension and revocation of license.
(1) The violation by any person possessed of a license or required to possess a license as provided in s. 527.02 of any provision of this chapter or any rule adopted pursuant thereto or of a cease and desist order shall be cause for revocation or suspension of such license or eligibility for licensure by the department after the department determines such person guilty of such violation.
(2) An order of suspension shall state the period of time of such suspension which period shall not be in excess of 1 year from the date of such order. An order of revocation may be entered for a period of not exceeding 2 years; and such order shall effect revocation of license then held by such person and during such period of time no license shall be issued such person. If during the period between the beginning of proceedings and entry of an order of suspension or revocation by the department a new license has been issued the person so charged, any order of suspension or revocation shall operate effectively with respect to the new license held by such person.
(3) The provisions of this section are cumulative and shall not affect the penalty and injunctive provisions of ss. 527.08 and 527.09.
History.s. 2, ch. 29742, 1955; s. 1, ch. 61-158; ss. 13, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 4, ch. 73-286; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; s. 21, ch. 78-95; ss. 14, 18, 19, ch. 81-175; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 1, 2, ch. 82-6; s. 6, ch. 86-69; ss. 2, 3, ch. 87-34; s. 4, ch. 91-429.
Note.Former s. 526.181(2).
527.15 Conduct of proceedings; record costs.The state’s portion of the cost of the stenographic record and transcription of department proceedings shall be paid out of the General Inspection Trust Fund. Any sums received from parties for copies of the stenographic record shall be deposited by the department into the State Treasury to the credit of such trust fund.
History.s. 1, ch. 61-158; s. 2, ch. 61-119; ss. 13, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 3, ch. 74-296; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 1, ch. 77-457; s. 21, ch. 78-95; ss. 15, 18, 19, ch. 81-175; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 1, 2, ch. 82-6; s. 9, ch. 86-69; ss. 2, 3, ch. 87-34; s. 11, ch. 90-215; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 10, ch. 94-335.
527.16 Witnesses and evidence.
(1) As to the subject of any examination or investigation being conducted by the department, or an examiner appointed by it, the department may administer oaths, examine and cross-examine witnesses, and receive oral and documentary evidence and shall have the power to subpoena witnesses, compel their attendance and testimony, and require by subpoena the production of documents or other evidence which it deems relevant to the inquiry.
(2) If any person refuses to comply with such subpoena or to testify as to any relevant matter, the Circuit Court of Leon County, or the circuit court of the county wherein such examination or investigation is being conducted or wherein such person resides, on the department’s application, may issue an order requiring such person to comply with the subpoena and to testify. Any failure to obey such an order of the court may be punished by the court as a contempt thereof.
(3) Subpoenas shall be served and proof of such service made in the same manner as if issued by a circuit court. Witness fees and mileage if claimed shall be allowed the same as for testimony in a circuit court.
(4) Any person willfully testifying falsely under oath as to any matter material to any such examination, investigation, or hearing shall, upon conviction thereof, be guilty of perjury and shall be punished accordingly.
(5) If any person asks to be excused from attending or testifying or from producing any documents or other evidence in connection with any examination, hearing, or investigation being conducted on the ground that the testimony or evidence required may tend to incriminate him or her or subject him or her to a penalty or forfeiture and shall notwithstanding be directed to give such testimony or produce such evidence, he or she shall, if so directed by the department and the Department of Legal Affairs, nonetheless comply with such direction. The person shall not thereafter be prosecuted or subjected to any penalty or forfeiture for or on account of any transaction, matter, or thing concerning which he or she may have testified or produced evidence, and no testimony given or evidence produced shall be received against him or her in any criminal action, investigation, or proceeding. However, no person so testifying shall be exempt from prosecution or punishment for any perjury committed by him or her in such testimony, and the testimony or evidence given or produced shall be admissible against him or her in any criminal action, investigation, or proceeding concerning such perjury; nor shall the person be exempt from the refusal, suspension, or revocation of any license, permission, or authority conferred or to be conferred pursuant to this chapter.
(6) Any such individual may execute, acknowledge, and file in the office of the department a statement expressly waiving such immunity or privilege in respect to any transaction, matter, or thing specified in such statement; and thereupon the testimony of such individual or such evidence in relation to such transaction, matter, or thing may be received or produced before any judge or justice, court, tribunal, grand jury, or otherwise; and, if so received or produced, such individual shall not be entitled to any immunity or privileges on account of any testimony he or she may so give or evidence so produced.
(7) Any person who refuses or fails without lawful cause to testify relative to the affairs of any person, when subpoenaed and requested by the department to so testify, is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.083.
History.s. 1, ch. 61-158; ss. 11, 13, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 511, ch. 71-136; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; s. 21, ch. 78-95; ss. 16, 18, 19, ch. 81-175; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 1, 2, ch. 82-6; ss. 2, 3, ch. 87-34; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 728, ch. 97-103.
527.20 Short title and purpose.
(1) Sections 527.20-527.23 may be cited as the “Florida Propane Gas Education, Safety, and Research Act.”
(2) It is the finding of the Legislature that:
(a) Educating propane gas producers, distributors, and consumers about propane gas and about the mechanical, technical, and safety practices related to propane gas and propane gas equipment furthers the public interest by reducing accidents and improving safety.
(b) Improved and increased marketing of propane gas will increase the consumption and use of propane gas, thereby furthering the public interest by creating additional employment opportunities in the state and expanding revenue.
(3) The purposes of the act are to:
(a) Establish the Florida Propane Gas Education, Safety, and Research Council to study problems arising in the production, transportation, marketing, and use of propane gas and to formulate and provide to the commissioner recommendations and policy alternatives. The council is to investigate, research, study, or perform other activities in order to advance the safety, efficiency, desirability, usage, and marketability of propane gas and propane gas use equipment.
(b) Provide for education of propane gas producers, distributors, and consumers about:
1. Propane gas and its uses;
2. Safety issues related to propane gas and the mechanical, technical, and safety practices related to propane gas and propane gas equipment; and
3. Other issues related to propane gas which the council determines would be beneficial to producers, distributors, and consumers.
(c) Provide a method of funding for the activities established in the act.
History.s. 1, ch. 97-105.
527.21 Definitions relating to Florida Propane Gas Education, Safety, and Research Act.As used in ss. 527.20-527.23, the term:
(1) “Council” means the Florida Propane Gas Education, Safety, and Research Council created by this act.
(2) “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Agriculture or the commissioner’s designee.
(3) “Dealer” means a business engaged primarily in selling propane gas and its appliances and equipment to the ultimate consumer or to retail propane gas dispensers.
(4) “Department” means the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
(5) “Education” means any action to provide information to consumers and to members of the propane gas industry concerning propane gas, propane gas use equipment, mechanical and technical practices, and propane gas uses.
(6) “Manufacturer and distributor of propane gas use equipment” means any person or firm engaged in manufacturing, assembling, and marketing appliances, containers, and products used in the propane gas industry, and any person or firm engaged in the wholesale marketing of appliances, containers, and products used in the propane gas industry.
(7) “Marketing” means the establishment of plans and programs for advertising, sales promotion, and education to maintain present markets or to create new or larger markets for propane gas without reference to a private brand or trade name.
(8) “Marketing order” means an order issued by the department prescribing rules governing the distribution, or handling in any manner, of propane gas in the state during any specified period or periods.
(9) “Person” means any individual, group of individuals, association, cooperative, corporation, firm, or other entity.
(10) “Producer” means the owner of propane gas at the time it is recovered at a manufacturing facility, irrespective of the state where production occurs.
(11) “Propane” includes propane, butane, mixtures, and liquefied petroleum gas as defined by National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 58, Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code.
(12) “Public member” means a state resident, citizen-at-large member of the council who is representative of the views of the general public toward propane gas use and selected from among private nonindustrial or noncommercial users of propane gas.
(13) “Qualified industry organization” means the National Propane Gas Association, the Florida Propane Gas Association, or a successor association.
(14) “Research” means any type of study, investigation, or other activity designed to advance the image, desirability, usage, marketability, efficiency, and safety of propane gas and propane gas use equipment and to further the development of such information and products.
(15) “Retail marketer class” means those persons who sell or produce propane gas.
(16) “Transporter” means any person involved in the commercial transportation of propane gas by pipeline, truck, rail, or water.
(17) “Wholesaler” or “reseller” means a seller of propane gas who is not a producer and who does not sell propane gas to the ultimate consumer.
History.s. 1, ch. 97-105; s. 2, ch. 2011-106; s. 20, ch. 2011-222.
527.22 Florida Propane Gas Education, Safety, and Research Council established; membership; duties and responsibilities.
(1) The Florida Propane Gas Education, Safety, and Research Council is established.
(2)(a) Within 90 days after the effective date of this act, the commissioner shall make a call to qualified industry organizations for nominees to the council. The commissioner shall appoint members of the council from a list of nominees submitted by qualified industry organizations. The commissioner may require such reports or documentation as is necessary to document the nomination process for members of the council. Qualified industry organizations, in making nominations, and the commissioner, in making appointments, shall give due regard to selecting a council that is representative of the industry and the geographic regions of the state. Other than the public member, council members must be full-time employees or owners of propane gas producers or dealers doing business in this state.
(b) The council shall consist of 15 members, as follows:
1. Ten members representing dealers of propane gas, but not more than two dealer members may be from any one company;
2. Two members representing producers of propane gas;
3. Two members representing manufacturers and distributors of propane gas use equipment, wholesalers or resellers, and transporters; and
4. One public member.
(c) Council members shall be appointed to terms of 4 years. Vacancies in unexpired terms of council members may be filled by the council subject to approval of the commissioner.
(d) The council shall elect from among its members a chair, a vice chair, and a secretary, and shall use accepted rules of procedure. The terms of such officers shall be for 1 year.
(3)(a) The council shall meet at least annually. The council shall meet at the call of its chair, at the request of a majority of its membership, at the request of the department, or at such times as may be prescribed by its rules of procedure. The commissioner shall receive notice of all meetings. Meetings of the council are subject to the provisions of chapter 286.
(b) A majority of the members of the council constitutes a quorum for all purposes, and an act by a majority of a quorum at any meeting constitutes an official act of the council.
(c) The council secretary shall keep a complete record of the proceedings of each meeting, which record shall include the names of the members present and the actions taken.
(4) The council shall keep minutes, accounting records, and other records as necessary to clearly reflect all of the acts and transactions of the council and regularly report such information to the commissioner, along with such other information as the commissioner requires. All records of the council shall be kept on file with the department, and these records and other documents about matters within the jurisdiction of the council shall be subject to the review and inspection of the department’s Inspector General, the Auditor General, and the members of the council, or other interested parties upon request. All records of the council are subject to the provisions of s. 119.07.
(5) Council members shall receive no compensation or honorarium for their services.
(6) At the beginning of each fiscal period, the council shall prepare and submit to the commissioner for approval a business plan and a budget plan that includes the estimated costs of all recommended programs and projects and states a recommended rate of assessment to cover such costs.
(7) The members and employees of the council shall not be held responsible individually in any way whatsoever to any producer or dealer or any other person for errors in judgment, mistakes, or other acts, either of commission or omission, as principal, agency, person, or employee, except for their own individual acts of dishonesty or crime. No such member or employee shall be held responsible individually for any act of any other member of the council.
History.s. 1, ch. 97-105; s. 6, ch. 2000-269; s. 8, ch. 2003-132; s. 30, ch. 2011-206.
527.23 Marketing orders; referendum requirements; assessments.
(1) Subject to the legislative restrictions and limitations set forth in this act, any marketing order issued by the department may contain any or all of the following provisions:
(a) Provisions for the establishment of plans and programs for advertising, sales promotion, and education to maintain present markets or to create new or larger markets for propane gas produced or marketed in the state. The department is authorized to prepare, issue, administer, and enforce plans and programs for promoting the sale of propane gas; however, any plan or program shall be directed toward increasing the sale of the commodity without reference to a private brand or trade name.
(b) Provisions for carrying on research studies in the production, marketing, or distribution of propane gas; for economic research or environmental research related to propane gas; and for the expenditure of moneys for such purposes. In any research carried on pursuant to this paragraph, the department, upon recommendation of the council, shall select the research project or projects to be carried on. These projects may be carried out by any research agency the department chooses, based upon recommendations of the council.
(c) Provisions incidental to and not inconsistent with the terms, conditions, and provisions specified and necessary to effectuate the other provisions of the marketing order.
(2) Upon request of the council, the department shall conduct a referendum of all producers and dealers of propane gas who are in the state to levy an assessment upon producers and dealers of propane gas who are in the state based upon the gallonage of odorized propane gas sold and based upon the rate of assessment recommended by the council.
(3) Due notice of any hearing shall be given to all persons who may be directly affected by any action of the department. These hearings shall be open to the public. All testimony shall be received under oath, and a full and complete record of all proceedings at any hearing shall be made and filed by the department in its office. All interested persons shall have a period of not less than 7 days following the public hearing for filing written briefs with the department concerning such action.
(4) After notice and hearing, the department shall issue a marketing order if it finds and sets forth that the order will tend to accomplish the objectives and purposes of this act.
(5)(a) With respect to any referendum conducted under this act, the department shall, before calling and announcing a referendum, determine and publicly announce, at least 15 days in advance of the date on which ballots and copies of the proposed order are mailed to all producers or dealers of propane gas who are in the state and whose names and addresses are known, the date by which ballots must be returned to the department.
(b) It is the duty of the producers or dealers of propane gas who vote in each referendum to send their marked ballots to the department, which shall have the ballots counted by qualified and impartial personnel in its office, and the department shall, within 10 days after the closing date for submitting ballots in any referendum, certify in writing and publish the results of such referendum on the front page of their website and shall send notice via e-mail to all publications of general circulation and all news departments of broadcast network affiliates located within the state.
(6)(a) No marketing order or amendments thereto directly affecting and regulating producers or dealers of propane gas in this state shall become effective unless the department finds that the order has been approved by ballot by persons representing two-thirds of the total gallonage of odorized propane gas voting in the retail marketer class.
(b) All percentages determined by the department as required in this section shall be computed on the basis of persons voting in the referendum.
(7) From assessments collected, the council shall reimburse the department for costs incurred in holding the referendum establishing the council, making appointments to the council, and other expenses directly related to the council, development, marketing, and consumer awareness.
(8) Before issuing any marketing order, or any suspension, amendment, or termination thereof, the department shall provide notice to the producers and dealers affected by the marketing order.
(9)(a) To provide funds to defray the necessary expenses incurred by the department in the formulation, issuance, administration, and enforcement of any marketing order, producers and dealers in propane gas shall pay to the department an assessment, at such times and in such installments as the department prescribes. The department, after receiving the recommendations of the council, shall fix the rate of assessment on propane gas dealers and producers.
(b) The collected assessments shall be deposited into the General Inspection Trust Fund and shall be used for the sole purpose of implementing the marketing order for which the assessment was collected. Four percent of all income of a revenue nature deposited in this fund, including transfers from any subsidiary accounts thereof and any interest income, shall be deposited in the General Revenue Fund pursuant to chapter 215. The department is not subject to the procedures found in s. 287.057 in the expenditure of these funds. However, the director of the Division of Marketing and Development shall file with the internal auditor of the department a certification of conditions and circumstances justifying each contract or agreement entered into without competitive bidding.
(10) The council, or producers or dealers representing 35 percent of the total gallonage of odorized propane gas sold in the state, may petition the commissioner to suspend or terminate an order levying an assessment. The commissioner may not suspend or terminate an order levying the assessment unless the suspension or termination is approved in a referendum by those persons representing more than one-half of the total gallonage of odorized propane gas in the dealer class.
(11) The initial assessment shall be set at no greater than one-tenth of 1 cent per gallon. Thereafter, annual assessments shall be sufficient to cover the costs of the plans and programs developed by the council and approved by the commissioner. The assessment shall not be greater than one-half of 1 cent per gallon of odorized propane gas. The assessment may not be raised by more than one-tenth of 1 cent per gallon annually.
(12) The owner of propane gas immediately prior to odorization in this state or the owner at the time of import into this state of odorized propane gas is responsible for the payment of the assessment on the volume of propane gas at the time of import or odorization, whichever is later. Nonodorized propane gas shall not be subject to assessment until odorized.
(13) The department shall adopt rules necessary for administering, collecting, reporting, and the payment of assessments collected under this act.
History.s. 1, ch. 97-105; s. 2, ch. 2009-78; s. 17, ch. 2012-212.