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2015 Florida Statutes

SECTION 30701
Application of risk-based corrective action principles to contaminated sites; applicability; legislative intent; rulemaking authority; contamination cleanup criteria; limitations; reopeners.
F.S. 376.30701
376.30701 Application of risk-based corrective action principles to contaminated sites; applicability; legislative intent; rulemaking authority; contamination cleanup criteria; limitations; reopeners.
(1) APPLICABILITY.
(a) This section shall not create or establish any new liability for site rehabilitation at contaminated sites. This section is intended to describe a risk-based corrective action process to be applied at sites where legal responsibility for site rehabilitation exists pursuant to other provisions of this chapter or chapter 403. An exceedance of any cleanup target level derived from the cleanup criteria established in subsection (2) shall not, at sites where legal responsibility for site rehabilitation does not exist pursuant to other provisions of this chapter or chapter 403, create liability for site rehabilitation. This section may also apply to other contaminated sites at which a person conducting site rehabilitation elects to have it apply, even where such person does not have legal responsibility for site rehabilitation pursuant to this chapter or chapter 403. This section and any rules adopted pursuant thereto, including the cleanup criteria described in subsection (2), shall not create additional authority to prohibit or limit the legal placement of materials or products on land.
(b) This section shall apply to all contaminated sites resulting from a discharge of pollutants or hazardous substances where legal responsibility for site rehabilitation exists pursuant to other provisions of this chapter or chapter 403, except for those contaminated sites subject to the risk-based corrective action cleanup criteria established for the petroleum, brownfields, and drycleaning programs pursuant to ss. 376.3071, 376.81, and 376.3078, respectively.
(c) This section shall apply to a variety of site rehabilitation scenarios including, but not limited to, site rehabilitation conducted voluntarily, site rehabilitation conducted pursuant to the department’s enforcement authority, or site rehabilitation conducted as a state-managed cleanup by the department.
(d) This section, and any rules adopted pursuant thereto, shall apply retroactively to all existing contaminated sites where legal responsibility for site rehabilitation exists pursuant to other provisions of this chapter or chapter 403, except those sites for which cleanup target levels have been accepted by the department in an approved technical document, current permit, or other written agreement and except at those sites that have received a “No Further Action” order or a “Site Rehabilitation Completion” order from the department. However, the person responsible for site rehabilitation can elect to have the provisions of this section, including cleanup target levels established pursuant thereto, apply in lieu of those in an approved technical document, current permit, or other written agreement.
(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit or delay actions to respond to a discharge of pollutants or hazardous substances prior to any contact with the department. The risk-based corrective action process contemplates appropriate emergency response action or initial remedial action prior to any formal application of the risk-based corrective action process involving site assessment and, if required, subsequent remedial action. Any emergency response actions or initial remedial actions must be conducted in accordance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
(2) INTENT; RULEMAKING AUTHORITY; CLEANUP CRITERIA.It is the intent of the Legislature to protect the health of all people under actual circumstances of exposure. By July 1, 2004, the secretary of the department shall establish criteria by rule for the purpose of determining, on a site-specific basis, the rehabilitation program tasks that comprise a site rehabilitation program, including a voluntary site rehabilitation program, and the level at which a rehabilitation program task and a site rehabilitation program may be deemed completed. In establishing these rules, the department shall apply, to the maximum extent feasible, a risk-based corrective action process to achieve protection of human health and safety and the environment in a cost-effective manner based on the principles set forth in this subsection. These rules shall prescribe a phased risk-based corrective action process that is iterative and that tailors site rehabilitation tasks to site-specific conditions and risks. The department and the person responsible for site rehabilitation are encouraged to establish decision points at which risk management decisions will be made. The department shall provide an early decision, when requested, regarding applicable exposure factors and a risk management approach based on the current and future land use at the site. These rules shall also include protocols for the use of natural attenuation, the use of institutional and engineering controls, and the issuance of “No Further Action” orders. The criteria for determining what constitutes a rehabilitation program task or completion of a site rehabilitation program task or site rehabilitation program, including a voluntary site rehabilitation program, must:
(a) Consider the current exposure and potential risk of exposure to humans and the environment, including multiple pathways of exposure. The physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of each contaminant must be considered in order to determine the feasibility of a risk-based corrective action assessment.
(b) Establish the point of compliance at the source of the contamination. However, the department is authorized to temporarily move the point of compliance to the boundary of the property, or to the edge of the plume when the plume is within the property boundary, while cleanup, including cleanup through natural attenuation processes in conjunction with appropriate monitoring, is proceeding. The department also is authorized, pursuant to criteria provided in this section, to temporarily extend the point of compliance beyond the property boundary with appropriate monitoring, if such extension is needed to facilitate natural attenuation or to address the current conditions of the plume, provided human health, public safety, and the environment are protected. When temporarily extending the point of compliance beyond the property boundary, it cannot be extended further than the lateral extent of the plume, if known, at the time of execution of a cleanup agreement, if required, or the lateral extent of the plume as defined at the time of site assessment. Temporary extension of the point of compliance beyond the property boundary, as provided in this paragraph, must include actual notice by the person responsible for site rehabilitation to local governments and the owners of any property into which the point of compliance is allowed to extend and constructive notice to residents and business tenants of the property into which the point of compliance is allowed to extend. Persons receiving notice pursuant to this paragraph shall have the opportunity to comment within 30 days after receipt of the notice. Additional notice concerning the status of natural attenuation processes shall be similarly provided to persons receiving notice pursuant to this paragraph every 5 years.
(c) Ensure that the site-specific cleanup goal is that all contaminated sites being cleaned up pursuant to this section ultimately achieve the applicable cleanup target levels provided in this subsection. In the circumstances provided in this subsection, and after constructive notice and opportunity to comment within 30 days after receipt of the notice to local government, owners of any property into which the point of compliance is allowed to extend, and residents of any property into which the point of compliance is allowed to extend, the department may allow concentrations of contaminants to temporarily exceed the applicable cleanup target levels while cleanup, including cleanup through natural attenuation processes in conjunction with appropriate monitoring, is proceeding, if human health, public safety, and the environment are protected.
(d) Allow the use of institutional or engineering controls at contaminated sites being cleaned up pursuant to this section, where appropriate, to eliminate or control the potential exposure to contaminants of humans or the environment. The use of controls must be preapproved by the department and only after constructive notice and opportunity to comment within 30 days after receipt of notice is provided to local governments, owners of any property into which the point of compliance is allowed to extend, and residents on any property into which the point of compliance is allowed to extend. When institutional or engineering controls are implemented to control exposure, the removal of the controls must have prior department approval and must be accompanied by the resumption of active cleanup, or other approved controls, unless cleanup target levels under this section have been achieved.
(e) Consider the additive effects of contaminants. The synergistic and antagonistic effects shall also be considered when the scientific data become available.
(f) Take into consideration individual site characteristics, which shall include, but not be limited to, the current and projected use of the affected groundwater and surface water in the vicinity of the site, current and projected land uses of the area affected by the contamination, the exposed population, the degree and extent of contamination, the rate of contaminant migration, the apparent or potential rate of contaminant degradation through natural attenuation processes, the location of the plume, and the potential for further migration in relation to site property boundaries.
(g) Apply state water quality standards as follows:
1. Cleanup target levels for each contaminant found in groundwater shall be the applicable state water quality standards. Where such standards do not exist, the cleanup target levels for groundwater shall be based on the minimum criteria specified in department rule. The department shall apply the following, as appropriate, in establishing the applicable cleanup target levels: calculations using a lifetime cancer risk level of 1.0E-6; a hazard index of 1 or less; the best achievable detection limit; and nuisance, organoleptic, and aesthetic considerations. However, the department shall not require site rehabilitation to achieve a cleanup target level for any individual contaminant that is more stringent than the site-specific, naturally occurring background concentration for that contaminant.
2. Where surface waters are exposed to contaminated groundwater, the cleanup target levels for the contaminants shall be based on the more protective of the groundwater or surface water standards as established by department rule. The point of measuring compliance with the surface water standards shall be in the groundwater immediately adjacent to the surface water body.
3. Using risk-based corrective action principles, the department shall approve alternative cleanup target levels in conjunction with institutional and engineering controls, if needed, based upon an applicant’s demonstration, using site-specific data, modeling results, risk assessment studies, risk reduction techniques, or a combination thereof, that human health, public safety, and the environment are protected to the same degree as provided in subparagraphs 1. and 2. Where a state water quality standard is applicable, a deviation may not result in the application of cleanup target levels more stringent than the standard. In determining whether it is appropriate to establish alternative cleanup target levels at a site, the department must consider the effectiveness of source removal, if any, that has been completed at the site and the practical likelihood of the use of low yield or poor quality groundwater, the use of groundwater near marine surface water bodies, the current and projected use of the affected groundwater in the vicinity of the site, or the use of groundwater in the immediate vicinity of the contaminated area, where it has been demonstrated that the groundwater contamination is not migrating away from such localized source, provided human health, public safety, and the environment are protected. Groundwater resource protection remains the ultimate goal of cleanup, particularly in light of the state’s continued growth and consequent demands for drinking water resources. The Legislature recognizes the need for a protective yet flexible cleanup approach that risk-based corrective action provides. Only where it is appropriate on a site-specific basis, using the criteria in this paragraph and careful evaluation by the department, shall proposed alternative cleanup target levels be approved.
(h) Provide for the department to issue a “No Further Action” order, with conditions, including, but not limited to, the use of institutional or engineering controls where appropriate, when alternative cleanup target levels established pursuant to subparagraph (g)3. have been achieved or when the person responsible for site rehabilitation can demonstrate that the cleanup target level is unachievable with the use of available technologies. Prior to issuing such an order, the department shall consider the feasibility of an alternative site rehabilitation technology at the contaminated site.
(i) Establish appropriate cleanup target levels for soils. Although there are existing state water quality standards, there are no existing state soil quality standards. The Legislature does not intend, through the adoption of this section, to create such soil quality standards. The specific rulemaking authority granted pursuant to this section merely authorizes the department to establish appropriate soil cleanup target levels. These soil cleanup target levels shall be applicable at sites only after a determination as to legal responsibility for site rehabilitation has been made pursuant to other provisions of this chapter or chapter 403.
1. In establishing soil cleanup target levels for human exposure to each contaminant found in soils from the land surface to 2 feet below land surface, the department shall apply the following, as appropriate: calculations using a lifetime cancer risk level of 1.0E-6; a hazard index of 1 or less; and the best achievable detection limit. However, the department shall not require site rehabilitation to achieve a cleanup target level for an individual contaminant that is more stringent than the site-specific, naturally occurring background concentration for that contaminant. Institutional controls or other methods shall be used to prevent human exposure to contaminated soils more than 2 feet below the land surface. Any removal of such institutional controls shall require such contaminated soils to be remediated.
2. Leachability-based soil cleanup target levels shall be based on protection of the groundwater cleanup target levels or the alternate cleanup target levels for groundwater established pursuant to this paragraph, as appropriate. Source removal and other cost-effective alternatives that are technologically feasible shall be considered in achieving the leachability soil cleanup target levels established by the department. The leachability goals shall not be applicable if the department determines, based upon individual site characteristics, and in conjunction with institutional and engineering controls, if needed, that contaminants will not leach into the groundwater at levels that pose a threat to human health, public safety, and the environment.
3. Using risk-based corrective action principles, the department shall approve alternative cleanup target levels in conjunction with institutional and engineering controls, if needed, based upon an applicant’s demonstration, using site-specific data, modeling results, risk assessment studies, risk reduction techniques, or a combination thereof, that human health, public safety, and the environment are protected to the same degree as provided in subparagraphs 1. and 2.

The department shall require source removal as a risk reduction measure if warranted and cost-effective. Once source removal at a site is complete, the department shall reevaluate the site to determine the degree of active cleanup needed to continue. Further, the department shall determine if the reevaluated site qualifies for monitoring only or if no further action is required to rehabilitate the site. If additional site rehabilitation is necessary to reach “No Further Action” status, the department is encouraged to utilize natural attenuation and monitoring where site conditions warrant.

(3) LIMITATIONS.The cleanup criteria established pursuant to this section govern only site rehabilitation activities occurring at the contaminated site. Removal of contaminated media from a site for offsite relocation or treatment must be in accordance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
(4) REOPENERS.Upon completion of site rehabilitation in compliance with subsection (2), additional site rehabilitation is not required unless it is demonstrated that:
(a) Fraud was committed in demonstrating site conditions or completion of site rehabilitation;
(b) New information confirms the existence of an area of previously unknown contamination which exceeds the site-specific rehabilitation levels established in accordance with subsection (2), or which otherwise poses the threat of real and substantial harm to public health, safety, or the environment;
(c) The remediation efforts failed to achieve the site rehabilitation criteria established under this section;
(d) The level of risk is increased beyond the acceptable risk established under subsection (2) due to substantial changes in exposure conditions, such as a change in land use from nonresidential to residential use. Any person who changes the land use of the site, thereby causing the level of risk to increase beyond the acceptable risk level, may be required by the department to undertake additional remediation measures to ensure that human health, public safety, and the environment are protected consistent with this section; or
(e) A new discharge of pollutants or hazardous substances occurs at the site subsequent to the issuance of a “No Further Action” order or a “Site Rehabilitation Completion” order associated with the original contamination being addressed pursuant to this section.
History.s. 1, ch. 2003-173.