Amnesty days are authorized by the state for the purpose of purging small quantities of hazardous waste, free of charge, from the possession of homeowners, farmers, schools, state agencies, and small businesses. These entities have no appropriate economically feasible mechanism for disposing of their hazardous wastes at the present time. In order to raise public awareness on this issue, provide an educational process, accommodate those entities which have a need to dispose of small quantities of hazardous waste, and preserve the waters of the state, amnesty days shall be carried out in the following manner:
(1)(a) The department shall administer and supervise amnesty days and shall contract with a department-approved, bonded waste handling company for implementation. The waste collected from the entities named in this section shall be transported out of the state for proper disposal at a federally approved facility.
(b) If a local government has established a local or regional hazardous waste collection center pursuant to s. 403.7265(2) and such center is in operation, the department and the local government may enter into a contract whereby the local government shall administer and supervise amnesty days. If a contract is entered into, the department shall provide to the local government, from funds appropriated to the department for amnesty days, an amount of money as determined by the department that is equal to the amount of money that would have been spent by the department to administer and supervise amnesty days in the local government’s area. A local government that wishes to administer and supervise amnesty days shall notify the department at least 30 days prior to the beginning of the state fiscal year during which the amnesty days are scheduled to be held in the local government’s area.
(2) The department shall establish maximum amounts of hazardous waste to be accepted from any one entity during amnesty days. Amnesty days shall continue, at no cost to participants reporting with less than 100 pounds of hazardous waste, until funds appropriated by the Legislature for this purpose have been exhausted.
(3) Local governments are required to participate in the program by selecting a highly visible site for amnesty days, publicizing the event, and sending a representative to work at amnesty days activities when they occur.
(4) Regional planning councils shall assist the department in site selection, public awareness, and program coordination. However, the department shall retain full responsibility for the state amnesty days program.
(5) Amnesty days shall be funded on a continuing basis, as needed, from the Water Quality Assurance Trust Fund. The department is authorized to use up to 5 percent of the funds appropriated for amnesty days for administrative costs and up to 5 percent of such funds for public education related to amnesty days.