Petrogram - Spring 2011 - (Page 13)
New State Leadership:
An Environmental “Fresh Start”
Jill Smith, TERRACOM Environmental
ith the recent change in state leadership, the Florida Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association took the opportunity to present a plan that would refocus the Inland Protection Trust Fund (IPTF) to more effectively accomplish its original intent. The steps detailed in this article were presented to the governor’s transition team in December 2010. The goal of the IPTF is to protect Florida’s drinking water from petroleum contamination. In order to accomplish this, the industry supported a tax on petroleum importation to create the trust fund. The ﬁrst step in implementing this plan of accelerating the cleanup process is to ensure that funds generated by the industry-supported tax are used for their intended purpose. The second step is to ensure that these funds are more eﬀectively used to clean up sites faster and cheaper. The third step is to provide an alternative framework (rather than utilizing private insurance) for addressing future contamination, as well as unknown historic contamination. Cleanup needs to be faster and cheaper. • This can be done by privatizing the cleanup process or changing FDEP’s role – just like an insurance company would oversee a claim. • DEP’s review should be limited to whether a site qualiﬁes for No Further Action. • Technical changes such as raising the benzene cleanup target level from 1 ppb to 5 ppb (the federal standard), at least where there is no danger of consumption, would provide huge time- and cost-savings. Once a cleanup is funded, it should proceed to an endpoint. • Stopping and starting cleanup wastes millions of dollars because the assessment needs to start all over. • This is a trust fund funded by an industry-supported tax on petroleum importation, and diverting the trust fund to make up general revenue shortfalls damages property owners, lending institutions, real estate interests and the industry created to assess and remediate contaminated sites. • Continued delays adversely eﬀect both professional and nonprofessional work forces in the petroleum retail and environmental support industries. State cleanup funding caps have
already been raised to address this problem and may have to be raised again. • Most importantly, continued delays in cleanup threaten drinking water supplies. Contaminated sites that do not present an environmental threat should get a short-cut to a No Further Action determination. • The Limited Scope Site Investigation (LSSI) legislation (HB 1385), which recently became law after a veto override, was an eﬀort to try to accomplish this, but the DEP’s initial guidance document throws up roadblocks. • The LSSI process of deed restricting properties that do not present a serious environmental threat is overly complex and diﬃcult to implement. Create a Technical Advisory Committee comprised of government agencies and industry to address a number of matters – complex cleanup, remediation strategy, innovative procedures, etc. • The Technical Advisory Committee would report on progress and be charged with reducing/eliminating fraud and ineﬃciencies. • Technical advisory committees are utilized by several other states Provide an alternative means (other than private insurance) for addressing the financial burden of future and currently undiscovered petroleum contamination. • Florida is one of about 14 states that uses private insurance instead of a trust fund as the primary means of ﬁnancial responsibility. Private
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Petrogram - Spring 2011
Petrogram - Spring 2011
Meet Your New Executive Director
FPMA Chapter Meetings Are a Success!
FPMA Member Spotlight
You’ve Been Sued and Your Insurance Company Denied the Claim: Now What?
Out & About the Industry
How Health Care Reform Will Aff ect Your Business
Create Competitive Disruption Th rough the “8 Ps”
Index of Advertisers/Advertiser.com
FPMA Featured Advertiser Marketplace
Petrogram - Spring 2011
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