Online Sunshine Logo
Official Internet Site of the Florida Legislature
July 22, 2024
Text: 'NEW Advanced Legislative Search'
Interpreter Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Go to MyFlorida House
Go to MyFlorida House
Select Year:  
The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Chapter 376
View Entire Chapter
F.S. 376.07
376.07 Regulatory powers of department; penalties for inadequate booming by terminal facilities.
(1) The department shall adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement ss. 376.011-376.21.
(2) The department shall adopt rules including, but not limited to, the following matters:
(a) Operation and inspection requirements for discharge prevention, abatement, and cleanup capabilities of terminal facilities and vessels, and other matters relating to certification under ss. 376.011-376.21.
(b) Procedures and methods of reporting discharges and other occurrences prohibited by ss. 376.011-376.21.
(c) Procedures, methods, means, and equipment to be used by persons subject to regulation by ss. 376.011-376.21 in the removal of pollutants.
(d) Development and implementation of criteria and plans to meet pollution occurrences of various degrees and kinds.
(e) Creation by contract or administrative action of a state response team which shall be responsible for creating and maintaining a contingency plan of response, organization, and equipment for handling emergency cleanup operations and wildlife rescue and rehabilitation operations. The state plans shall include detailed emergency operating procedures for the state as a whole, and the team shall from time to time conduct practice alerts. These plans shall be filed with the Governor and all Coast Guard stations in the state and Coast Guard captains of the port having responsibility for enforcement of federal pollution laws within the state. The contingency plan shall include all necessary information for the total containment and cleanup of pollution, including, but not limited to, an inventory of equipment and its location, a table of organization with the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all persons responsible for implementing every phase of the plan, including a plan for wildlife rescue and rehabilitation operations, a list of available sources of supplies necessary for cleanup, and a designation of priority zones to determine the sequence and methods of cleanup. The state response team shall act independently of agencies of the Federal Government but is directed to cooperate with any federal cleanup operation.
(f) Requirements for minimum weather and sea conditions for permitting a vessel to enter port and for the safety and operation of vessels, barges, tugs, motor vehicles, motorized equipment, and other equipment relating to the use and operation of terminals, facilities, and refineries, the approach and departure from terminals, facilities, and refineries, and requirements that containment gear approved by the department be on hand and maintained by terminal facilities and refineries with adequate personnel trained in its use.
(g) Requirements that, prior to being granted entry into any port in this state, the master of a vessel shall report:
1. Any discharges of pollutants the vessel has had since leaving the last port.
2. Any mechanical problem on the vessel which creates the possibility of a discharge.
3. Any denial of entry into any port during the current cruise of the vessel.
(h) Requirements that any terminal facility be subject to a complete and thorough inspection whenever the terminal facility causes or permits the discharge of a pollutant in violation of the provisions of ss. 376.011-376.21, and at other reasonable times. If the department determines there are unsatisfactory preventive measures or containment and cleanup capabilities, it shall, within a reasonable time after notice and hearing in compliance with chapter 120, suspend the registration until such time as there is compliance with the department requirements.
(3) The department shall not require vessels to maintain discharge prevention gear, holding tanks, and containment gear which exceed federal requirements. However, a terminal facility transferring heavy oil to or from a vessel with a heavy oil storage capacity greater than 10,000 gallons shall be required, considering existing weather and tidal conditions, to adequately boom or seal off the transfer area during a transfer, including, but not limited to, a bunkering operation, to minimize the escape of such pollutants from the containment area. As used in this subsection, the term “adequate booming” means booming with proper containment equipment which is employed and located for the purpose of preventing, for the most likely discharge, as much of the pollutant as possible from escaping out of the containment area.
(a) The owner or operator of a terminal facility involved in the transfer of such pollutant to or from a vessel which is not adequately boomed commits a noncriminal infraction and shall be cited for such infraction. The civil penalty for such an infraction shall be $2,500, except as otherwise provided in this section.
(b) A person cited for an infraction under this section may:
1. Pay the civil penalty;
2. Post bond equal to the amount of the applicable civil penalty; or
3. Sign and accept a citation indicating a promise to appear before the county court.

The department employee authorized to issue these citations may indicate on the citation the time and location of the scheduled hearing and shall indicate the applicable civil penalty.

(c) A person who willfully refuses to post bond or accept and sign a citation commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(d) After compliance with subparagraph (b)2. or subparagraph (b)3., a person charged with a noncriminal infraction under this section may:
1. Pay the civil penalty, either by mail or in person, within 30 days after the date of receiving the citation; or
2. If the person has posted bond, forfeit the bond by not appearing at the designated time and location.

A person cited for an infraction under this section who pays the civil penalty or forfeits the bond has admitted the infraction and waives the right to a hearing on the issue of commission of the infraction. Such admission may not be used as evidence in any other proceedings.

(e) A person who elects to appear before the county court or who is required to appear waives the limitations of the civil penalty specified in paragraph (a). The issue of whether an infraction has been committed and the severity of the infraction shall be determined by a hearing official at a hearing. If the commission of the infraction is proved by the greater weight of the evidence, the court shall impose a civil penalty of $2,500. If the court determines that the owner or operator of the terminal facility failed to deploy any boom equipment during such a transfer, including, but not limited to, a bunkering operation, the civil penalty shall be $5,000.
(f) A person who is found by the hearing official to have committed an infraction may appeal that finding to the circuit court.
(g) A person who has not posted bond and who fails either to pay the civil penalty specified in paragraph (a) within 30 days after receipt of the citation or to appear before the court commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
History.s. 7, ch. 70-244; s. 7, ch. 74-336; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 14, ch. 90-54; s. 7, ch. 92-113; s. 63, ch. 95-143; s. 3, ch. 96-263; s. 87, ch. 98-200; s. 16, ch. 2012-88.