Many cleanup activities require the approval of local, state or federal agencies. It is the responsibility of the Contractor to be aware of these requirements and to obtain the necessary permits. Permits that are commonly required include the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), wastewater, building (including electrical), storm water, water consumptive use, right‑of‑way, and well permits.
The Contractor should provide information to the Site Manager on the permit type, cost and any other information. The permit fee will be paid by the Contractor and will be shown under Pay Item 1-4, “Permit Fees,” or included as part of a subcontractor’s cost. The “Permit Fees” Pay Item (1-4) can be allowed for NPDES, wastewater, building, storm water consumptive use, right‑of‑way permits and well permits. All permit fees should be included in the negotiated price of a PBC cleanup. Per the Amended and Restated Agency Term Contract, “Cost to obtain a permit is included in applicable pay items.” That is, Pay Item 1-4 is for the actual permit cost only and requires an estimate in the SPI for the permit fee and an invoice/receipt for payment.
Drilling Permits (Water Management District Permits)
Well installation, abandonment, and consumptive use permits may be required by the designated water management district (WMD) or the regional water utility. In some situations, the WMDs also require permits for soil borings (including direct push) that extend below the water table. The Contractor is responsible for notifying the Site Manager of the necessary permits and for making sure that all the required permits are obtained and providing copies of all permits with the appropriate deliverable. Well permits are required for well installation performed during assessment and remediation activities.
A consumptive use permit may be required for the installation of recovery wells at remediation sites. A consumptive use permit is typically required even when the groundwater is returned to the aquifer (e.g., infiltration gallery or injection wells). Well abandonment permits may be required when the wells at the site will no longer be used and must be abandoned. Each WMD has its own website with well permitting information and links to rules, permit forms, etc. They can all be accessed through the Florida Water Management Districts Permitting Portal. SPI Pay Item 1-4, "Permit Fees," is used for permit application costs.
The NPDES permit is required when water disposal is to a surface water body (usually via a storm water sewer). NPDES permits are issued by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) district offices. Contacts for Industrial Wastewater Permitting (NPDES) are available on the DEP Wastewater Contacts webpage.
Chapter 62-621, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.), contains requirements for generic permits. Rule 62-621.300(1)(a), F.A.C., was promulgated to address generic permits for discharges from petroleum-contaminated sites. See the following guidance documents:
Upon approval of the remediation system construction Purchase Order, the NPDES Permit Authorization Letter is drafted by the Site Manager and sent to the Contractor so that the NPDES permit application with the $100.00 permit application fee can be submitted to the DEP district office.
The permit application should specify that the annual NPDES permit fee of $2,850.00 (per Rule 62-4.052, F.A.C.) is to be billed to the Contractor (Financial Officer). The DEP district office will process the application and, upon approval, will issue the permit in the Contractor’s or property owner’s name, as applicable.
*Note that the annual permit fee and the $100.00 application fee should be included under Pay Item 1-4, “Permit Fees,” on the Schedule of Pay Items & Other Related Documents (SPI) spreadsheet.
If a change in permitee from a former property owner to a new property owner is required, request for transfer of ownership under the generic permit shall be submitted to the Industrial Wastewater Program at the local DEP office using DEP Form 62-620.910(11) and a $50.00 processing fee pursuant to Rule 62-4.050, F.A.C. Payment of the fee is authorized by the Petroleum Restoration Program (PRP).
It is the responsibility of the Contractor to ensure that the requirements of the NPDES permit are followed and that the appropriate NPDES Discharge Monitoring Reports (DMRs) are submitted to the DEP district office. According to the Agency Term Contracts, Pay Item 19-20 states “pursuant to paragraph (4) of the Generic Permit for Discharges from Petroleum-Contaminated Sites, ‘Monitoring results obtained for each calendar month shall be summarized and reported on a Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) form (DEP form 62-620.910(10)) once each month.’ Contractors are required to utilize the DEP Wastewater Program EzDMR electronic reporting system.” Pay Item 19-20, “Letter/NPDES Report,” is allowed once per quarter, and must include PDF copies of the three monthly EzDMR forms are submitted as a deliverable. The Site Manager should review the DMR to ensure that the Contractor is performing the requirements of the permit. If it appears that there may be violations, you should contact the Contractor immediately for an explanation.
*Note that DMRs must be submitted even when there has been no discharge for that quarter.
The Division of Water Resource Management (DWRM) issues its billing notices for all existing NPDES annual permits in December of each year and has notified the PRP Program that it will no longer process requests for refunds of permit fees after they have been paid. Therefore, it is very important that Site Managers provide written notice of cancellation for any obsolete NPDES permits to the DWRM as soon as possible.
Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Right of Way (ROW) Permits
The FDOT requires permits for activities within its right‑of‑way. These activities may include well installation, trenching or other construction activities. General Use Permits are issued by the FDOT district offices in accordance with Chapter 14-20 F.A.C. The permit requirements vary widely depending upon the type of activity, the location for that activity and the requirements of the FDOT district offices. The permit application is completed by the Contractor and submitted to the appropriate FDOT District office.
FDEP Contractors must attach a copy of the FDOT MOU (first 7 pages) to the general use permit application along with a copy of the PO (Including Attachment A and B). For Low Scored Site Initiative (LSSI) sites, a copy of the LSSI Work Order and LSSI Site Access Agreement must be attached to the MOU with the permit application. See the ROW MOU for more information about complying with its terms. Do not confuse this ROW MOU with FDOT with other MOUs DEP and DOT have entered into.
Permits may be required by a county or municipality for the construction activities and/or the disposal of effluent to the storm sewer or sanitary sewer. The Contractor is responsible for obtaining all necessary permits prior to initiating work on the site. The Contractor should include the costs and details for the required permits when submitting the cost proposal for the remediation system construction. The permit fee should be placed under Pay Item 1-4, “Permit Fees,” on the SPI spreadsheet. Typical permits required by local governments include building, electrical and storm water.
On occasion, a local government may assert that the construction of a remediation system is subject to the Comprehensive Plan Land Development Regulations of Chapter 163, F.S., which could require significant expense and delays. The Florida Department of Community Affairs (DCA) has issued an opinion regarding this issue that Chapter 376, F.S., governs environmental contamination remediation systems and that they are not subject to Chapter 163, F.S. (see DCA Comprehensive Plan Opinion on Remediation Systems).
Effluent Discharge Permits
Permits may be required for the disposal of remediation system effluent to a storm water sewer, sanitary sewer, or to a wastewater treatment plant. It is the responsibility of the Contractor to acquire this permit prior to initiating system operation and abide by all conditions of the permit. The water may be pumped directly from the recovery system to the sewer system or may be processed through the remediation system prior to discharge to the sewer system based on the contaminant levels at the site and restrictions established by the local government. The disposal fee for gallons discharged to the sewer system is a reimbursable pay item using Line Item 22-1 (unless included in the utility bill).
Site Managers should be aware of the allowable petroleum-contaminant concentrations that are permitted by the sewer authority. Some municipalities require that the petroleum-contaminated effluent entering the sewer be treated to drinking water standards. The allowable limits vary widely by municipality, and Site Managers should be aware of the limits in order to determine if an exceedance has occurred or if the treatment equipment can be removed. In some cases, it may be permissible to pump untreated water directly into the sewer system. In other cases, as contaminant concentrations are reduced during the remedial activities at a site, the need for pretreatment (e.g., air stripper, carbon) may be eliminated.
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.