Did you know there are ongoing initiatives that allow owners of sites impacted by petroleum contamination to apply for a site assessment by qualified environmental consultants? The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) is leading two different initiatives that will assess eligible sites and allow owners to voluntarily apply for state funding.
This is good news for businesses and property owners as it gives them a chance to remove their property from the FDEP’s list of petroleum contaminated sites and increase their property values.
The Low Score Site Initiative
The Low Score Site Initiative (LSSI) was designed to address the large number of sites that are low-priority and low-threat in the Petroleum Restoration Program (PRP). Many of these sites have been waiting for state funds to address the contamination since as early as 1986. The goal of LSSI is to assess the site in order to determine whether it is eligible for closure and can be removed from the FDEP list of contaminated sites. It gives property owners the ability to clear their property from any future concern associated with the open discharge.
One of the main advantages of LSSI is that property owners are able to select their own contractor. This means they have someone working with them to contact and manage relationships with the FDEP and other clients. For example, Handex client relationship managers can assist with this process to ensure the CSS is submitted to the appropriate department within the FDEP. State-assigned contractors are generally not this committed to their clients.
Once all assessment activities have been completed, a site will be characterized in one of three ways:
- Site Rehabilitation Completion Order (SRCO) – This means that there is no soil or groundwater contamination present.
- No Further Action (NFA) – This means that minimal contamination levels are present but do not pose a threat to human health or the environment.
- Parked – This means that potentially harmful levels of contamination do exist onsite and the site will be parked to await further funding.
The Low-Scored Assessments
The Low-Scored Assessments is another initiative similar to the LSSI. However, there are a few key differences. For example, under LSA, property owners are responsible for paying applicable co-pays and deductibles for their site to receive closure. They would also be unable to select their own contractor. LSA applicants are assigned contractors by the FDEP.
Contractors will assess the site based on the following criteria:
- Is petroleum contamination present?
- If so, how much?
- Are the concentrations elevated?
- Does the contamination go offsite?
The LSA program is most beneficial to property owners with documented soil contamination on the property. All assessment activities must be completed within six months of the property being approved by the FDEP.
Working with Handex
At Handex, our main priority is to satisfy the property owner by completing all assessments in a productive and timely manner. We will be paid directly by the FDEP and there will be no out of pocket costs to the property owner. For more information about LSSI or the LSA, please do not hesitate to contact Handex with any questions.