2021 Florida Statutes (Including 2021B Session)
Public notification of pollution.
Public notification of pollution.
403.077 Public notification of pollution.—
(1) DEFINITION.—As used in this section, the term “reportable pollution release” means the release or discharge of a substance from an installation to the air, land, or waters of the state which is discovered by the owner or operator of the installation, which is not authorized by law, and which is reportable to the State Watch Office within the Division of Emergency Management pursuant to any department rule, permit, order, or variance.
(2) OWNER AND OPERATOR RESPONSIBILITIES.—
(a) In the event of a reportable pollution release, an owner or operator of the installation at which the reportable pollution release occurs must provide to the department information reported to the State Watch Office within the Division of Emergency Management pursuant to any department rule, permit, order, or variance, within 24 hours after the owner’s or operator’s discovery of such reportable pollution release.
(b) If multiple parties are subject to the notification requirements based on a single reportable pollution release, a single notification made by one party in accordance with this section constitutes compliance on behalf of all parties subject to the requirement. However, if the notification is not made in accordance with this section, the department may pursue enforcement against all parties subject to the requirement.
(c) If, after providing notice pursuant to paragraph (a), the owner or operator of the installation determines that a reportable pollution release did not occur or that an amendment to the notice is warranted, the owner or operator may submit a letter to the department documenting such determination.
(d) If, after providing notice pursuant to paragraph (a), the installation owner or operator discovers that a reportable pollution release has migrated outside the property boundaries of the installation, the owner or operator must provide an additional notice to the department that the release has migrated outside the property boundaries within 24 hours after its discovery of the migration outside of the property boundaries.
(3) DEPARTMENT RESPONSIBILITIES.—
(a) The department shall publish on a website accessible to the public all notices submitted by an owner or operator pursuant to subsection (2) within 24 hours after receipt.
(b) The department shall create an electronic mailing list for such notices and allow the public, including local governments, health departments, news media, and other interested persons, to subscribe to and receive periodic direct announcement of any notices submitted pursuant to subsection (2). The department shall establish regional electronic mailing lists, such as by county or district boundaries, to allow subscribers to determine the notices they wish to receive by geographic area.
(c) The department shall establish an e-mail address and an online form as options for owners and operators to provide the notice specified in subsection (2). The online form may not require the submission of information in addition to what is required for submission pursuant to paragraph (2)(a).
(d) The department shall adopt rules necessary to implement the requirements of this subsection.
(4) ADMISSION OF LIABILITY OR HARM.—Providing notice under subsection (2) does not constitute an admission of liability or harm.
(5) VIOLATIONS.—Failure to provide the notification required by subsection (2) shall subject the owner or operator to the civil penalties specified in s. 403.121.
History.—s. 2, ch. 2017-95; s. 26, ch. 2020-158.