Petrogram - Fall 2009 - (Page 31)
Enviro CORNER It’s Not Over ’Til We Say it’s Over know that most of us are still in shock regarding the budget the governor signed months ago and the implications it had upon Irv Heath our retail and environmental industries. Yes, the sacred Inland Petroleum Trust Fund (IPTF) was raided and swept in its entirety. In 2008 the legislature appropriated $137.6 million from the IPTF for the Florida Petroleum Cleanup Preapproval Program. However, because these funds are no longer available, a bond for $90 million must be secured at an additional cost and annual debt of $10.3 million. Further the bonding process will delay both program and project work thus potentially slowing property transfers while increasing third-party and off-site litigation as contamination spreads from current sites to off-site properties. Also, retail site owners within various programs will now see their sites placed on hold or “parked” as the priority score threshold was raised from 45 to 60 effective May 14, 2009. The DEP now requires that all unperformed elements in executed and underway work orders and task assignments where scores are lower than 60, excluding O&M be cancelled. Also, systems are to be shut down for O&M sites scored 49 and lower. This further exacerbates site owner issues and concerns as their work will be further delayed and current remediation systems will be “moth balled.” The legislators also make it necessary that no Limited Source Removal Initiatives will be funded and this program provided $50,000 in cleanup I funds allowing a consultant to excavate only impacted soils from the tank farm area, no Preapproved Advanced Cleanup (PAC) agreements will be renewed where the cleanup scope has not been completed within four years. There are many other issues impacted by the apparent lack of understanding by the voting legislative bodies even though we understand they were faced with dire economics that affect the world, Florida and each of every business in the state. All retail site owners were also impacted by the increased $1.00 per pack cigarette tax increase effective July, 1, 2009, that will surely, along with increasing pump prices, act to further reduce both vehicle and foot traffic into our facilities. While we don’t argue with the potential health benefits of such a tax and that it may generate some $900 million for Medicaid costs and cancer research, we are concerned about the potential business impact. When compared to its neighboring states (Georgia: 37 cents; Alabama: 42 cents; South Carolina: seven cents), Florida’s tax ranking changed from sixth-lowest to slightly above the nation’s highest of $1.23 a pack. We must immediately join forces to better educate and inform the legislators of the need for the IPTF and share our issues over the tax and other decisions they have implemented. Also, next year when stimulus money is not available, we may face even deeper funding cuts and higher taxes if we do not act now. We therefore ask that you begin to contact your local legislators and share our mutual concerns and the need for their support of the funding needed for the IPTF. It is our turn to speak out for the future and protection of both Florida and its waters, and we will be joining with you over the next few months as we contact all legislators and increase their understanding. Feel free to contact FPMA if you need additional materials to fully and easily explain our mutual concerns. ❍ Irv Heath is president of HCR, SE, LLC, and also serves as the chair of the FPMA Environmental Committee. You can contact Irv at firstname.lastname@example.org or 352-735-1800. Florida’s [cigarette] tax ranking changed from sixth-lowest to slightly above the nation’s highest of $1.23 a pack. Petrogram | Fall 2009 | ©iStockphoto.com/JimLarkin
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Petrogram - Fall 2009
Petrogram - Fall 2009
Welcome, New Board Members
Spotlight on FPMA’s 2009 Convention & Trade Show!
Protecting Your Business
Impacts of the American Clean Energy and Security Act
Out & About the Industry
SPECIAL REPORT: U.S. Petroleum Industry Statistics
Why (Your Insurance Company Thinks) Your Tank Insurance Policy Is Worthless
Index of Advertisers/Advertiser.com
Petrogram - Fall 2009
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