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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Title XLV
Chapter 768
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F.S. 768.128
768.128 Hazardous spills; definitions; persons who assist in containing or treating spills; immunity from liability; exceptions.
(1) For the purpose of this section:
(a) The term “hazardous materials” includes all materials and substances which are now designated or defined as hazardous by the law of this state or federal law or by the rules or regulations of this state or any federal agency.
(b) The term “spill” includes the accidental spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, or dumping of any hazardous waste or material which creates an emergency hazardous situation or is expected to create an emergency hazardous situation.
(c) An “emergency hazardous situation” exists whenever there is an imminent and substantial threat to public health and safety.
(2) Notwithstanding any provision of the law to the contrary, no person who provides good faith assistance or advice in immediately containing or treating, or attempting to contain, treat, or prevent, an actual or threatened spill is subject to civil liabilities or penalties of any type. Except for the immediate response to the spill or threatened spill, all activities to prevent, contain, clean up, and dispose of, or to attempt to prevent, contain, clean up, and dispose of, the hazardous material shall be in accordance with applicable state and federal law.
(3) The immunities provided in subsection (2) do not apply to any person:
(a) Whose act or omission causes in whole or in part such actual or threatened discharge and who would otherwise be liable therefor;
(b) Who receives compensation other than reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses for services in rendering such assistance or advice;
(c) Who fails to act as an ordinary reasonably prudent person would have acted under the same or similar circumstances; or
(d) Who fails to comply with the lawful instruction of an on-scene, governmentally supervised, operational emergency response team whose duty is to prevent, contain, or clean up the spill.
(4) Nothing in subsection (2) shall be construed to limit or otherwise affect the liability of:
(a) Any person for damages resulting from such person’s gross negligence or from such person’s reckless, wanton, or intentional misconduct; or
(b) Any person for the improper management of the hazardous waste or material after the emergency spill response activities are completed.
History.s. 39, ch. 83-310.