As noted in the Cleanup Program Summaries, several of the funding assistance programs have a requirement for the property owner/responsible party to share in the cost of the cleanup. In addition to the co‑pay requirements of Petroleum Cleanup Participation Program (PCPP) and Advanced Cleanup (AC) (which are handled under contract), there are also Petroleum Liability and Restoration Insurance Program (PLRIP) deductibles and CAPs (the limit of State funds that can be used on a site) that must be applied and tracked. These amounts are set by statute and cannot be negotiated or waived (except for the PCPP co‑pay that can be modified upon demonstration of inability to pay). Information on the PLRIP CAP and deductible for specific sites, and whether the deductible has been paid or the CAP reached, can be found on the Storage Tank and Contamination Monitoring Database (STCM) screen “CAPs and Deductibles.” Abandoned Tank Restoration Program (ATRP) deductibles, because they are established by rule, may be waived if the applicant applies to the Office of General Council (OGC) and receives a waiver order pursuant to Section 120.542, F.S. Absent such a waiver order issued by Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), ATRP deductibles must be submitted and tracked.
Deductibles must be collected before doing any Petroleum Restoration Program (PRP) work on a site, with the following exceptions:
Free Product Recovery Initiative (FPRI) or Low-Scored Assessment (LSA) - Deductible is postponed until the site is in funding range or No Further Action Proposal is approved for the discharge.
Low-Scored Site Initiative (LSSI) - Deductible is postponed until the site is in funding range and not collect at all if the discharge reaches closure under LSSI.
Deductible solicitation for sites entering the Petroleum Restoration Program is conducted by an Administrative Services Contractor under the direction of the PRP Deductible Collection Coordinator and will be handled prior to site assignment. However, the Site Manager is still responsible for confirmation of the deductible status for all their sites. If deductibles are outstanding, contact the DEP Administrative Services Contract Manager.
The deductible amount should be checked by referring to the STCM screen “CAPs and Deductibles.” If the deductible amount listed on STCM does not agree with the amount in the original eligibility packet in the site file (the cover page of this packet should list the deductible amount [for PLRIP sites only the original deductible plus the highest listed supplemental for each discharge applies]), then the Site Manager should contact the Eligibility Coordinator to resolve the discrepancy. If a site has multiple discharges with deductibles, then the deductibles are cumulative and all the deductibles must be collected before beginning state-funded work on a site. The Site Manager is responsible for verifying the deductible amount and payment before beginning state-funded work on a site. See Deductible Payment section below for details on how to research and verify deductible payments.
The deductible request letters and tracking of the deductible for all PRP sites will be performed by the Administrative Services Contractor, so Site Managers will not be involved in this process. Site owners or responsible parties will receive one notice regarding payment of the required deductible. Note that though requests for a deductible are sent by the Administrative Services Contractor, their instructions stipulate that all payments are to be sent directly to PRP Accounting.
The Administrative Services Contractor sends a deductible request letter providing notification of the amount due and the 60-day response deadline. If a response is not received within the 60-day timeframe, a second (follow-up) notice is sent. If the deductible reaches 120 days, the Administrative Services Contractor must get approval from the PRP Deductible Collection Coordinator and the site is referred to collections. The OGC will pursue cost recovery of the deductible (and possibly the cleanup costs) from the property owner/responsible party(ies) after state funds have been expended.
Confirmation of prior deductible payments for new PRP sites will be performed by the Administrative Services Contractor and be included in the Site Manager Summary Report. To determine if a deductible has been paid, you should check the “CAPs and Deductibles” screen in STCM. If this screen indicates that the deductible has been paid, then you can double-check the file to verify the information. However, if there is no indication of payment in STCM, then you must manually review all reimbursement orders that have been issued for the site. If the file information indicates that the deductible has been paid, then forward copies of the documentation to the Eligibility Coordinator so that STCM will be updated to reflect the payment. If the deductible has not been paid, then the Site Manager should refer the deductible solicitation to the Administrative Services Contractor via the Eligibility Coordinator.
The statutes do not provide for any ‘offset’ or ‘in kind’ payment of the deductible in which the property owner/responsible party pays for some portion of the cleanup (except for “special entity PLRIP” or counties and municipalities in PLRIP). Some property owners or responsible parties will want to spread their deductible payments out over several months. All requests for a deductible payment plan must be made in writing by the property owner/responsible party, submitted to the Administrative Services Contractor, reviewed by the Deductible Coordinator, and approved in advance by the Program Administrator. No payment plan will be approved for a period longer than one year. If a payment plan is approved, then you should note the payment schedule on the deductible invoice. Payment plans will generally be allowed if the person paying the deductible will pay in full in no more than one year. The Site Manager is not responsible for tracking any payment plan. However, a task assignment or purchase order should not be executed until payment of the first installment has been confirmed. Deductible payments can be confirmed on the STCM Discharge CAP and Co-pay Information Screen. In addition, the Section Leader should be notified if the property owner/responsible party fails to comply with the remainder of the payment schedule. In such cases, the cleanup should continue while the site is referred by the Administrative Services Contractor to collections. The OGC may need to initiate cost recovery action.
Deductible payments are entered into STCM for tracking. This data entry is the responsibility of PRP Accounting with support from the Eligibility Coordinator (as needed) and is done in coordination with receipt of the actual payment. When it is discovered that the deductible was paid by way of a deduction from a reimbursement order, but not reflected in STCM, then a copy of that order should be forwarded to PRP Accounting so that STCM can be updated.
There are two situations in which a deductible might be overpaid. The first situation is simply because we billed the property owner/responsible party incorrectly. In such cases, DEP may issue a refund check for the overpaid portion of the deductible. In the second case, the total cost to close the site does not exceed the deductible (e.g., closure after the assessment). In this case, we should refund the amount of the deductible that is more than the cleanup costs. Such refunds should be coordinated with PRP Accounting.
The CAP is the limit of state funds that can be used on a discharge. This limit applies per discharge and not per property owner/responsible party. CAPs are non-negotiable and cannot be exceeded. If the cleanup is not completed before the CAP is reached, then the property owner/responsible party will be responsible for completing the cleanup at their own expense (although we will continue to monitor the cleanup progress). Therefore, the existence of the CAP should be a factor in your decisions regarding the course of action at a site.
The amount spent to date for new PRP sites will be determined by the Administrative Services Contractor before the site is assigned and included in the Site Manager Summary Report. However, if this determination has not already been made, then the Site Manager is responsible for determining the amount spent to date for the discharge before issuing the first task assignment or purchase order for the site. A file review must be performed by the Site Manager to determine all previous expenditures for the site, including reimbursement payments, State Cleanup task assignments, Utilities, Permit Fee Payments and Lump Sum Payments such as Settlement Agreements or Agreements to Compensate. Note, some expenditures are excluded from the CAP including funds expended under the Limited Source Removal Incentive (LSRI) and expenditures associated with the Innovative Technology Initiative (ITECH) bid projects beginning in Fiscal Year 2016-17. Funding priority codes for these exclusions are 2J and 2W, respectively. Once the amount spent to date has been determined, the Site Manager must monitor site expenditures and notify their Section Leader and the property owner/responsible party when a site has completed the site assessment phase or reached 80 percent of the CAP amount, whichever comes first.
It is very important to make sure that owners/responsible parties understand the consequences of not being able to complete the cleanup of the site with available state funding. Site Managers should contact the property owner/responsible party and the Contractor at the earliest possible opportunity to discuss possible courses of action for the cleanup. At sites with low CAPs, it is particularly useful to let owners/responsible parties know about Natural Attenuation Monitoring, LSSI No Further Action (NFA) (priority score dependent), Conditional Closure Agreement (CCA) and the NFA with conditions options (Risk Management Option (RMO) Level II or III criteria as specified in Chapter 62-780, F.A.C.). See memos "Procedures to Contact Site Owners of PLRIP and PCPP Sites" and "Procedures for Management of Eligible Sites with IPTF Funding CAPs and Transition to Non-Program Voluntary or Enforcement Status".In the event the remaining available state funding is not sufficient to create a meaningful and logical scope of work for the final task assignment or purchase order for the property, and the property owner/responsible party is willing to expand the scope of work at their own expense, the Funding Cap Transition Agreement should be used and applied to the final Task Assignment or purchase order only.
If the property owner/responsible party (or their insurance company) continues to pay for the cleanup once the CAP is reached, then the site will continue to be managed in Tallahassee or by the local program. If the property owner/responsible party fails to continue the cleanup, then the site will be turned over to the appropriate DEP district office for enforcement.
The Site Manager is responsible for ensuring that the funding CAP is not exceeded at their site. The Site Manager should always be aware of what CAP(s) apply to a cleanup and how close the funded amount is to the CAP. There is no additional state funding once the CAP is reached, and no task assignment or purchase order can cause the total to exceed the CAP. Note that state funding is not just limited to PRP task assignment or purchase order amounts, but also includes any payments made under reimbursement, any work done under State Cleanup, Preapproval, and any utility payments made or permit fees paid.
The Petroleum Cleanup Funding Cap Encumbrance to Date Report is available from the STCM database that includes the total amount paid to date for each eligible facility under the State Cleanup, Reimbursement, Preapproval and PRP programs, as well as direct payments for utility invoices and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits. This is a useful screening tool, though the total paid does not differentiate subtotals for different discharges (each discharge shows the same facility total) and may require further research. To access this report, click on STCM Database Reports in Highlights Menu at right margin of webpage, then Storage Tank and Petroleum Contamination Cleanup/Monitoring, then Excel Spreadsheet Reports, then Petroleum Contamination/Cleanup by District, and finally Petroleum Cleanup Funding CAP Encumbrance to Data Report.
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