Petrogram - Winter 2013 - (Page 11)

Florida's Petroleum Cleanup Program is Undergoing an Overhaul F or more than 27 years now, the state of Florida and property owners have been wrestling with the problem of leaking underBy Bob Fingar ground petroleum storage systems. Ever since state and federal governments first began to create tougher environmental regulations in the 1980s, the industry has adjusted to many changes in the way regulators assign responsibility for cleanups. As 2014 begins, site owners, operators and contractors are facing yet another revision of the state program addressing the legacy problems of the abandoned and leaky tanks installed before the era of secondary containment systems. As you read this, the Legislature's and Florida Department of Environmental Protection's most recent overhaul of the petroleum cleanup program is well underway. While some of the specifics are still being worked out, the foundation for the program's overhaul was laid down in spring 2013 when the Legislature passed the state's annual budget and put in place new requirements for releasing state funds. If you have a site awaiting cleanup, that means things are changing. The biggest change is that the DEP is creating a new system to hire environmental contractors based on competitive procurement. "The changes we're making to the Petroleum Restoration Program will significantly reduce the time and cost associated with site cleanup. We appreciate the assistance of FPMA in helping us understand the industry's concerns," said DEP Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard Jr. "I'm confident that the program changes are in the best interest of site owners, the environment, and taxpayers." WHAT'S NEW IN 2014? Competitive Bidding The 2013 Appropriations Act passed by the Legislature held back $75 million of the 2013-2014 Inland Protection Trust Fund appropriation until DEP submitted a plan to its overseers "to improve the effectiveness and efficiency" of the cleanup program. That plan was approved in September, and DEP now has until January 1 to adopt the rules to implement these plans. The Legislature also specified that cleanup "must be procured through competitive bidding." Priority Ranking DEP proposed amendments in October to the Site Priority Ranking Rule to narrow the definition of "imminent threat" to sites where there is "an immediate exposure risk." The proposed rule would also provide for rescoring of sites based on information gleaned from the site assessment, risk assessment or post-remediation monitoring. While these rules are still under consideration as this issue of Petrogram goes to press, site owners should expect the state to begin re-ranking many sites on the existing cleanup list. Procurement Procedures DEP is moving forward with plans to competitively procure "agency term contractors" who will undergo regular performance reviews. DEP issued an Invitation to Negotiate last October with November deadlines for contractors wishing to participate. Instead of subdividing program phases (site assessment, remedial action, etc.), DEP expects to issue task assignments for the complete phase of cleanup. For work that is estimated at $25,000 or less and for site assessment work, DEP will "directly assign" the work to an agency term contractor in the Florida PETROLEUM RESTORATION Program * ELIGIBLE SITES UNDERWAY 3500 ELIGIBLE SITES AWAITING CLEANUP 6700 Since 1987... 7100 SITES CLEANED UP $200 0 000 000 OVER $2 BILLION SPENT *SOURCE: Florida Department of Environmental Protection region. If the cost exceeds $25,000, DEP will request quotes from all agency term contractors in the region and assign the work to the low bid, while reserving the right to rely on invitations to bid, requests for proposal or invitations to negotiate among all qualified contractors in order to award work. Under these new procedures, the site owner would generally no longer designate a contractor. However, a site owner might still be able to pick a contractor under the LowScored Site Initiative ("LSSI"), provided the qualified contractor provides "best terms" or satisfactory price quotes to DEP. If the owner or responsible party will be paying at least 25 percent of the cleanup costs, then the owner or responsible party may select any agency term contractor. The site owner or Continued on page 21 Petrogram | Winter 2013 | 11

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Petrogram - Winter 2013

Chair’s Perspective
2013 FPMA Patron Members
Florida’s Petroleum Cleanup Program is Undergoing an Overhaul
As C-stores Branch Out, Channel Blurring Blossoms
Just Say No…to (Synthetic) Drugs
Staying Away from Negligent Security Lawsuits
FPMA’s 2013 Scholarship Golf Tournament and Conference of Committees
FPMA Featured Advertiser Marketplace
Calendar of Events
Index of Advertisers/

Petrogram - Winter 2013