376.80 Brownfield program administration process.—
(1) A local government with jurisdiction over the brownfield area must notify the department of its decision to designate a brownfield area for rehabilitation for the purposes of ss. 376.77-376.86. The notification must include a resolution, by the local government body, to which is attached a map adequate to clearly delineate exactly which parcels are to be included in the brownfield area or alternatively a less-detailed map accompanied by a detailed legal description of the brownfield area. If a property owner within the area proposed for designation by the local government requests in writing to have his or her property removed from the proposed designation, the local government shall grant the request. For municipalities, the governing body shall adopt the resolution in accordance with the procedures outlined in s. 166.041, except that the notice for the public hearings on the proposed resolution must be in the form established in s. 166.041(3)(c)2. For counties, the governing body shall adopt the resolution in accordance with the procedures outlined in s. 125.66, except that the notice for the public hearings on the proposed resolution shall be in the form established in s. 125.66(4)(b)2.
(2)(a) If a local government proposes to designate a brownfield area that is outside community redevelopment areas, enterprise zones, empowerment zones, closed military bases, or designated brownfield pilot project areas, the local government shall adopt the resolution and conduct the public hearings in accordance with the requirements of subsection (1), except at least one of the required public hearings shall be conducted as close as reasonably practicable to the area to be designated to provide an opportunity for public input on the size of the area, the objectives for rehabilitation, job opportunities and economic developments anticipated, neighborhood residents’ considerations, and other relevant local concerns. Notice of the public hearing must be made in a newspaper of general circulation in the area and the notice must be at least 16 square inches in size, must be in ethnic newspapers or local community bulletins, must be posted in the affected area, and must be announced at a scheduled meeting of the local governing body before the actual public hearing. In determining the areas to be designated, the local government must consider:
1. Whether the brownfield area warrants economic development and has a reasonable potential for such activities;
2. Whether the proposed area to be designated represents a reasonably focused approach and is not overly large in geographic coverage;
3. Whether the area has potential to interest the private sector in participating in rehabilitation; and
4. Whether the area contains sites or parts of sites suitable for limited recreational open space, cultural, or historical preservation purposes.
(b) A local government shall designate a brownfield area under the provisions of this act provided that:
1. A person who owns or controls a potential brownfield site is requesting the designation and has agreed to rehabilitate and redevelop the brownfield site;
2. The rehabilitation and redevelopment of the proposed brownfield site will result in economic productivity of the area, along with the creation of at least 5 new permanent jobs at the brownfield site that are full-time equivalent positions not associated with the implementation of the brownfield site rehabilitation agreement and that are not associated with redevelopment project demolition or construction activities pursuant to the redevelopment of the proposed brownfield site or area. However, the job creation requirement shall not apply to the rehabilitation and redevelopment of a brownfield site that will provide affordable housing as defined in s. 420.0004 or the creation of recreational areas, conservation areas, or parks;
3. The redevelopment of the proposed brownfield site is consistent with the local comprehensive plan and is a permittable use under the applicable local land development regulations;
4. Notice of the proposed rehabilitation of the brownfield area has been provided to neighbors and nearby residents of the proposed area to be designated, and the person proposing the area for designation has afforded to those receiving notice the opportunity for comments and suggestions about rehabilitation. Notice pursuant to this subparagraph must be made in a newspaper of general circulation in the area, at least 16 square inches in size, and the notice must be posted in the affected area; and
5. The person proposing the area for designation has provided reasonable assurance that he or she has sufficient financial resources to implement and complete the rehabilitation agreement and redevelopment of the brownfield site.
(c) The designation of a brownfield area and the identification of a person responsible for brownfield site rehabilitation simply entitles the identified person to negotiate a brownfield site rehabilitation agreement with the department or approved local pollution control program.
(3) When there is a person responsible for brownfield site rehabilitation, the local government must notify the department of the identity of that person. If the agency or person who will be responsible for the coordination changes during the approval process specified in subsections (4), (5), and (6), the department or the affected approved local pollution control program must notify the affected local government when the change occurs.
(4) Local governments or persons responsible for rehabilitation and redevelopment of brownfield areas must establish an advisory committee or use an existing advisory committee that has formally expressed its intent to address redevelopment of the specific brownfield area for the purpose of improving public participation and receiving public comments on rehabilitation and redevelopment of the brownfield area, future land use, local employment opportunities, community safety, and environmental justice. Such advisory committee should include residents within or adjacent to the brownfield area, businesses operating within the brownfield area, and others deemed appropriate. The person responsible for brownfield site rehabilitation must notify the advisory committee of the intent to rehabilitate and redevelop the site before executing the brownfield site rehabilitation agreement, and provide the committee with a copy of the draft plan for site rehabilitation which addresses elements required by subsection (5). This includes disclosing potential reuse of the property as well as site rehabilitation activities, if any, to be performed. The advisory committee shall review any proposed redevelopment agreements prepared pursuant to paragraph (5)(i) and provide comments, if appropriate, to the board of the local government with jurisdiction over the brownfield area. The advisory committee must receive a copy of the executed brownfield site rehabilitation agreement. When the person responsible for brownfield site rehabilitation submits a site assessment report or the technical document containing the proposed course of action following site assessment to the department or the local pollution control program for review, the person responsible for brownfield site rehabilitation must hold a meeting or attend a regularly scheduled meeting to inform the advisory committee of the findings and recommendations in the site assessment report or the technical document containing the proposed course of action following site assessment.
(5) The person responsible for brownfield site rehabilitation must enter into a brownfield site rehabilitation agreement with the department or an approved local pollution control program if actual contamination exists at the brownfield site. The brownfield site rehabilitation agreement must include:
(a) A brownfield site rehabilitation schedule, including milestones for completion of site rehabilitation tasks and submittal of technical reports and rehabilitation plans as agreed upon by the parties to the agreement.
(b) A commitment to conduct site rehabilitation activities under the observation of professional engineers or geologists who are registered in accordance with the requirements of chapter 471 or chapter 492, respectively. Submittals provided by the person responsible for brownfield site rehabilitation must be signed and sealed by a professional engineer registered under chapter 471, or a professional geologist registered under chapter 492, certifying that the submittal and associated work comply with the law and rules of the department and those governing the profession. In addition, upon completion of the approved remedial action, the department shall require a professional engineer registered under chapter 471 or a professional geologist registered under chapter 492 to certify that the corrective action was, to the best of his or her knowledge, completed in substantial conformance with the plans and specifications approved by the department.
(c) A commitment to conduct site rehabilitation in accordance with department quality assurance rules.
(d) A commitment to conduct site rehabilitation consistent with state, federal, and local laws and consistent with the brownfield site contamination cleanup criteria in s. 376.81, including any applicable requirements for risk-based corrective action.
(e) Timeframes for the department’s review of technical reports and plans submitted in accordance with the agreement. The department shall make every effort to adhere to established agency goals for reasonable timeframes for review of such documents.
(f) A commitment to secure site access for the department or approved local pollution control program to all brownfield sites within the eligible brownfield area for activities associated with site rehabilitation.
(g) Other provisions that the person responsible for brownfield site rehabilitation and the department agree upon, that are consistent with ss. 376.77-376.86, and that will improve or enhance the brownfield site rehabilitation process.
(h) A commitment to consider appropriate pollution prevention measures and to implement those that the person responsible for brownfield site rehabilitation determines are reasonable and cost-effective, taking into account the ultimate use or uses of the brownfield site. Such measures may include improved inventory or production controls and procedures for preventing loss, spills, and leaks of hazardous waste and materials, and include goals for the reduction of releases of toxic materials.
(i) Certification that the person responsible for brownfield site rehabilitation has consulted with the local government with jurisdiction over the brownfield area about the proposed redevelopment of the brownfield site, that the local government is in agreement with or approves the proposed redevelopment, and that the proposed redevelopment complies with applicable laws and requirements for such redevelopment. Certification shall be accomplished by referencing or providing a legally recorded or officially approved land use or site plan, a development order or approval, a building permit, or a similar official document issued by the local government that reflects the local government’s approval of proposed redevelopment of the brownfield site; providing a copy of the local government resolution designating the brownfield area that contains the proposed redevelopment of the brownfield site; or providing a letter from the local government that describes the proposed redevelopment of the brownfield site and expresses the local government’s agreement with or approval of the proposed redevelopment.
(6) Any contractor performing site rehabilitation program tasks must demonstrate to the department that the contractor:
(a) Meets all certification and license requirements imposed by law; and
(b) Will conduct sample collection and analyses pursuant to department rules.
(7) During the cleanup process, if the department or local program fails to complete review of a technical document within the timeframe specified in the brownfield site rehabilitation agreement, the person responsible for brownfield site rehabilitation may proceed to the next site rehabilitation task. However, the person responsible for brownfield site rehabilitation does so at its own risk and may be required by the department or local program to complete additional work on a previous task. Exceptions to this subsection include requests for “no further action,” “monitoring only proposals,” and feasibility studies, which must be approved prior to implementation.
(8) If the person responsible for brownfield site rehabilitation fails to comply with the brownfield site rehabilitation agreement, the department shall allow 90 days for the person responsible for brownfield site rehabilitation to return to compliance with the provision at issue or to negotiate a modification to the brownfield site rehabilitation agreement with the department for good cause shown. If an imminent hazard exists, the 90-day grace period shall not apply. If the project is not returned to compliance with the brownfield site rehabilitation agreement and a modification cannot be negotiated, the immunity provisions of s. 376.82 are revoked.
(9) The department is specifically authorized and encouraged to enter into delegation agreements with local pollution control programs approved under s. 403.182 to administer the brownfield program within their jurisdictions, thereby maximizing the integration of this process with the other local development processes needed to facilitate redevelopment of a brownfield area. When determining whether a delegation pursuant to this subsection of all or part of the brownfield program to a local pollution control program is appropriate, the department shall consider the following. The local pollution control program must:
(a) Have and maintain the administrative organization, staff, and financial and other resources to effectively and efficiently implement and enforce the statutory requirements of the delegated brownfield program; and
(b) Provide for the enforcement of the requirements of the delegated brownfield program, and for notice and a right to challenge governmental action, by appropriate administrative and judicial process, which shall be specified in the delegation.
The local pollution control program shall not be delegated authority to take action on or to make decisions regarding any brownfield site on land owned by the local government. Any delegation agreement entered into pursuant to this subsection shall contain such terms and conditions necessary to ensure the effective and efficient administration and enforcement of the statutory requirements of the brownfield program as established by the act and the relevant rules and other criteria of the department.
(10) Local governments are encouraged to use the full range of economic and tax incentives available to facilitate and promote the rehabilitation of brownfield areas, to help eliminate the public health and environmental hazards, and to promote the creation of jobs and economic development in these previously run-down, blighted, and underutilized areas.
(11)(a) The Legislature finds and declares that:
1. Brownfield site rehabilitation and redevelopment can improve the overall health of a community and the quality of life for communities, including for individuals living in such communities.
2. The community health benefits of brownfield site rehabilitation and redevelopment should be better measured in order to achieve the legislative intent as expressed in s. 376.78.
3. There is a need in this state to define and better measure the community health benefits of brownfield site rehabilitation and redevelopment.
4. Funding sources should be established to support efforts by the state and local governments, in collaboration with local health departments, community health providers, and nonprofit organizations, to evaluate the community health benefits of brownfield site rehabilitation and redevelopment.
(b) Local governments may and are encouraged to evaluate the community health benefits and effects of brownfield site rehabilitation and redevelopment in connection with brownfield areas located within their jurisdictions. Factors that may be evaluated and monitored before and after brownfield site rehabilitation and redevelopment include, but are not limited to:
1. Health status, disease distribution, and quality of life measures regarding populations living in or around brownfield sites that have been rehabilitated and redeveloped.
2. Access to primary and other health care or health services for persons living in or around brownfield sites that have been rehabilitated and redeveloped.
3. Any new or increased access to open, green, park, or other recreational spaces that provide recreational opportunities for individuals living in or around brownfield sites that have been rehabilitated and redeveloped.
4. Other factors described in rules adopted by the Department of Environmental Protection or the Department of Health, as applicable.
(c) The Department of Health may and is encouraged to assist local governments, in collaboration with local health departments, community health providers, and nonprofit organizations, in evaluating the community health benefits of brownfield site rehabilitation and redevelopment.
History.—s. 4, ch. 97-277; s. 3, ch. 98-75; s. 11, ch. 2000-317; s. 2, ch. 2004-40; s. 44, ch. 2005-2; s. 7, ch. 2006-291; s. 5, ch. 2008-239.