Florida DEP Publishes Notice of Pollution Emergency Rule and Rulemaking Proposal
On September 27 and 28, 2016 the Florida Department of Environmental Protection published a pollution emergency rule in addition to a proposal for a rule covering pollution notices. The emergency rule and rule proposal will effect Chapter 62-4 F.A.C.
Both rules essentially have the same effect. The emergency rule is effective immediately whereas the proposed permanent rule will become effective once it completes the rulemaking process.
The rule requires that owners and operators of any installation who has knowledge of any pollution at their installation provide notifications to the Department, local government officials, and the public whenever there is an incident or discovery of pollution at an installation within 24 hours.
In addition, the owner and operator would be required to provide subsequent notice within 48 hours that describes any potentially affected areas beyond the property boundary of the installation, and the potential risk to public health, safety, or welfare.
The owners and operators are required to notify the Department, local government officials, and the property, and the property owner within 24 hours of becoming aware that pollution from an installation has affected areas beyond the property boundaries of the installation.
Any contact to the DEP regarding these two rules can be sent to Robert A. Williams, Chief Deputy General Counsel, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, 3900 Commonwealth Blvd., MS-35 Tallahassee, FL 32399.
The Department will also be holding a number of rulemaking workshops regarding the final rule proposal. The dates of the workshops are as follows and locations can be found in the rulemaking docket: October 17, 2016; October 18, 2016; October 19, 2016; October 20, 2016; October 24, 2016; October 25, 2016; October 26, 2016.