The Inland Protection Trust Fund (IPTF) was created by the Legislature in 1986 to enable the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to respond to incidents of contamination without delay. This trust fund is the source of the majority of the state’s petroleum restoration funding. The IPTF is funded by an excise tax on every barrel of petroleum or petroleum product produced in or imported into the state. The tax is tiered based upon the amount of unencumbered cash in the fund. At its top tier of $0.80 per barrel, the tax generates over $200 million a year. See Subsection 206.9935(3), Florida Statutes (F.S.), for more information on the tax.
Facilities, Sites and Discharges
These three terms have special meanings when used in the Petroleum Restoration Program. Proper use of these terms greatly enhances program understanding. The definitions are:
Facility - "Facility" means a nonresidential location containing, or that contained, any underground stationary tank or tanks which contain hazardous substances or pollutants and have individual storage capacities greater than 110 gallons, or any aboveground stationary tank or tanks that contain pollutants which are liquids at standard ambient temperature and pressure and have individual storage capacities greater than 550 gallons. This subsection shall not apply to facilities covered by Chapter 377, or containers storing solid or gaseous pollutants, and agricultural tanks having storage capacities of less than 550 gallons [Subsection 376.301(15), F.S.]. In other words, the Facility is the location where the storage system is or was.
Site - "Petroleum contamination site" means any contiguous land, sediment, surface water or groundwater area upon or into which a discharge of petroleum or petroleum products has occurred or for which evidence exists that such a discharge has occurred [Subsection 62-780.200, F.A.C.]. In other words, the Site is the full extent of the contamination, regardless of property boundaries.
Discharge - "Discharge" includes, but is not limited to, any spilling, leaking, seeping, pouring, misapplying, emitting, emptying, releasing or dumping of any pollutant or hazardous substance that occurs and which affects lands and the surface and groundwaters of the state not regulated by ss. 376.011-376.21 [Subsection 376.301(13), F.S.]. In other words, the Discharge is the actual release of contaminants into the environment. One facility can have multiple discharges, and eligibility is assigned at the discharge level but applies to the site.
It is important to review the actual Eligibility Order, Consent Order, PCPP Cost Share Agreement, Advanced Cleanup Agreement and/or Site Rehabilitation Funding Allocation Agreement, as applicable, because they may include site specific details on certain areas of the site, contaminants, sources of contamination, cost shares that may apply.
The brief program descriptions and "Table 1 - Program Eligibility Summary" (please see below) summarize the most important of these points but this information is by no means everything you need to know. In particular, you will need to verify the amount of the PLRIP and ATRP deductibles (all ATRP deductibles are $500) and the CAPs on coverage for PLRIP, AC (when applicable), and PCPP discharges. Also, the ending dates for the programs may be changed by the Legislature.
If a discharge occurred or was discovered after December 31, 1998, at a facility that already has an eligible discharge, then DEP may enter into a “Site Rehabilitation Funding Allocation Agreement” with the responsible party. This agreement establishes the relative cost shares for the combined cleanup of the discharges. Please visit the Site Rehabilitation Funding Allocation (SRFA) page.
Program Eligibility & Funding Authorization
Generally, cleanup program funding eligibility is assigned to the discharge and remains with the discharge regardless of changes in real property or storage tank ownership. However, DEP looks first to the current real property owner for payment of any required deductible or co-payment and for the completion of cleanup once state funding is exhausted. Sometimes a previous owner or operator is also responsible for the cleanup and, likewise, deductibles or cost shares. In these cases, documentation of a prior owner’s/operator’s responsibility (typically such responsibility is addressed in the contract for sale of the storage tanks or the real property) should be provided to DEP after which DEP will look first to that party (hereinafter referred to as the “responsible party”) for fulfillment of all eligibility requirements. A Consent Order is generally not transferable to a new real property owner because this specific legal agreement is only with the party named within the Consent Order.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.