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Pollution Notice Law Implementation: Section 403.077, Florida Statutes

July 14th, 2017

The new Pollution Notice Law is now officially in effect as of July 1, 2017. The original rule 62-4.161 was overruled by a local judge stating that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) could not compel facilities to report to the general public.  The new/revised pollution notification is the result of the original rule making its way through the Florida legislature.  The new rule/statue is known as Section 403.077, Florida Statutes, which is summarized below.

Section 403.077, Florida Statutes, defines a “reportable release” and requires the reporting of any “release or discharge of a substance from an installation to the air, land, or waters of the state which is discovered by the owner or operator of the installation, which is not authorized by law, and which is reportable to the State Watch Office within the Division of Emergency Management pursuant to any department rule, permit, order, or variance.” 

Per the statutory requirements, an owner or operator of the installation at which the reportable pollution release occurred must provide notice to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) within 24 hours of discovery and include the information reported to the State Watch Office, which may include:

  • Name and address of the installation where the reportable pollution release occurred.
  • Name and title of reporting person and the nature of his or her relationship to the installation.
  • Identification numbers for any active department permits, registrations, variances, or orders relevant to the pollution release. 
  • Name and phone number of site contact for further information
  • Substance released.
  • Estimated quantity of substance released and estimated quantity recovered, if applicable   
  • Date, time and duration of release
  • Cause and source of the release. 
  • Location of the release.
  • Medium into which the substance was released, including, but not limited to, the outdoor air, land, groundwater, aquifer, or specified waters or wetlands. 
  • Whether substance released has migrated to land or waters of the state outside the property boundaries of the installation and the location of such migration.
  • Owner or operator may include other information he or she wishes in order to assist in the protection of the public health, safety, and welfare.

In addition, after providing notice, an owner or operator determines that a release has migrated outside the property boundaries of the installation, additional notice must be provided to the department within 24 hours after such discovery.

Background Info:

  • Per Governor Scott’s direction, DEP began the public notification process last fall to ensure all Floridians, visitors, media and local government are notified of pollution. 
  • The pollution notification requirement is now codified into law.  DEP will continue to make available on its website all notices received, as well as offer an e-mail subscription service for the public, including local governments, health departments, news media, and other interested persons to be automatically informed of notices submitted for their location(s) of interest.

To receive email notifications when a notice is submitted to the FDEP, sign up here.

Office Locations & #’s:
DEP Northwest District
Phone: 850-595-8300
Mailing Address: 160 W. Government Street, Suite 308
Pensacola, FL 32502

DEP Northeast District
Phone: 904-256-1700
Mailing Address: 8800 Baymeadows Way West, Suite 100
Jacksonville, FL 32256

DEP Central District
Phone: 407- 897-4100 
Mailing Address: 3319 Maguire Boulevard, Suite 232
Orlando, FL 32803

DEP Southwest District
Phone: 813-470-5700 
Mailing Address: 13051 N Telecom Parkway #101
Temple Terrace, FL 33637-0926

DEP Southeast District 
Phone: 561-681-6600
Mailing Address: 3301 Gun Club Road, MSC7210-1
West Palm Beach, FL 33406

DEP South District 
Phone: 239-344-5600
Mailing Address: 2295 Victoria Ave, Rm 364
PO Box 2549 Fort Myers, FL 33902

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