(1) Within 30 days after receipt of an application for a permit under this chapter, the department shall review the application and shall request submittal of all additional information the department is permitted by law to require. If the applicant believes any departmental request for additional information is not authorized by law or departmental rule, the applicant may request a hearing pursuant to ss. 120.569 and 120.57. Within 30 days after receipt of such additional information, the department shall review it and may request only that information needed to clarify such additional information or to answer new questions raised by or directly related to such additional information. If the applicant believes the request of the department for such additional information is not authorized by law or departmental rule, the department, at the applicant’s request, shall proceed to process the permit application.
(2)(a) A permit shall be approved or denied within 90 days after receipt of the original application, the last item of timely requested additional material, or the applicant’s written request to begin processing the permit application.
(b) The failure of the department to approve or deny a permit for an underground injection well, within the 90-day time period shall not result in the automatic approval or denial of the permit and shall not prevent the inclusion of specific permit conditions which are necessary to ensure compliance with applicable statutes and rules. If the department fails to approve or deny such a permit within the 90-day period, the applicant may petition for a writ of mandamus to compel the department to act consistently with applicable regulatory requirements.
(c) The failure of the department to approve or deny an application for an operation permit for a major source of air pollution, as defined in s. 403.0872, within the 90-day time period shall not result in the automatic approval or denial of the permit and shall not prevent the inclusion of specific permit conditions which are necessary to ensure compliance with applicable statutes and rules. If the department fails to approve or deny an operation permit for a major source of air pollution within the 90-day period specified in s. 403.0872, the applicant or a party who participated in the public comment process may petition for a writ of mandamus to compel the department to act.
(3)(a) The department shall establish a special unit for permit coordination and processing to provide expeditious processing of department permits which the district offices are unable to process expeditiously and to provide accelerated processing of certain permits or renewals for economic and operating stability. The ability of the department to process applications under this subsection in a more timely manner than allowed by subsections (1) and (2) is dependent upon the timely exchange of information between the applicant and the department and the intervention of outside parties as allowed by law. An applicant may request the processing of its permit application by the special unit if the application is from an area of high unemployment or low per capita income, is from a business or industry that is the primary employer within an area’s labor market, or is in an industry with respect to which the complexities involved in the review of the application require special skills uniquely available in the headquarters office. The department may require the applicant to waive the 90-day time limitation for department issuance or denial of the permit once for a period not to exceed 90 days. The department may require a special fee to cover the direct cost of processing special applications in addition to normal permit fees and costs. The special fee may not exceed $10,000 per permit required. Applications for renewal permits, but not applications for initial permits, required for facilities pursuant to the Electrical Power Plant Siting Act or the Florida Electric Transmission Line Siting Act may be processed under this subsection. Personnel staffing the special unit shall have lengthy experience in permit processing.
(b) At the applicant’s discretion and notwithstanding any other provisions of chapter 120, a permit processed under this subsection is subject to an expedited administrative hearing pursuant to ss. 120.569 and 120.57. To request such hearing, the applicant must notify the Division of Administrative Hearings, the department, and all other parties in writing within 15 days after his or her receipt of notice of assignment of an administrative law judge from the division. The division shall conduct a hearing within 45 days after receipt of the request for such expedited hearing.
History.—s. 2, ch. 80-66; s. 25, ch. 84-338; s. 13, ch. 86-186; s. 14, ch. 88-393; s. 6, ch. 92-132; s. 4, ch. 93-94; s. 73, ch. 93-213; s. 364, ch. 94-356; s. 131, ch. 96-410; s. 1006, ch. 97-103; s. 69, ch. 2006-230.