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The Florida Statutes

The 2018 Florida Statutes

Title XXVIII
NATURAL RESOURCES; CONSERVATION, RECLAMATION, AND USE
Chapter 377
ENERGY RESOURCES
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F.S. 377.2432
377.2432 Natural gas storage facilities; protection of water supplies.
(1) An operator of a natural gas storage facility who affects a public or private underground water supply by pollution or diminution shall restore or replace the affected supply with an alternate source of water adequate in quantity and quality for the purposes served by the supply. The department shall ensure that the quality of restored or replaced water is comparable to the quality of the water before it was affected by the operator.
(2) Unless rebutted by a defense established in subsection (4), a natural gas storage facility operator is presumed responsible for pollution of an underground water supply if:
(a) The water supply is within the lateral boundary of the natural gas storage facility; and
(b) The pollution occurred within 6 months after completion of drilling or alteration of any well under or associated with the natural gas storage facility permit or the initial injection of gas into the natural gas storage reservoir, whichever is later.
(3) If the affected underground water supply is within the rebuttable presumption area as provided in subsection (2) and the rebuttable presumption applies, the natural gas storage facility operator shall provide a temporary water supply if the water user is without a readily available alternative source of water at no cost to the owner or user of the affected water supply. The temporary water supply provided under this subsection must be adequate in quantity and quality for the purposes served by the affected supply.
(4) A natural gas storage facility operator rebuts the presumption in subsection (2) by affirmatively proving any of the following:
(a) The pollution existed before the drilling or alteration activity as determined by a predrilling or prealteration survey.
(b) The landowner or water purveyor refused to allow the operator access to conduct a predrilling or prealteration survey.
(c) The water supply well is not within the lateral boundary of the natural gas storage facility.
(d) The pollution occurred more than 6 months after completion of drilling or alteration of any well under or associated with the natural gas storage facility permit.
(e) The pollution occurred as the result of a cause other than activities authorized under the natural gas storage facility permit.
(5) A natural gas storage facility operator electing to preserve a defense under subsection (4) must retain an independent certified laboratory to conduct a predrilling or prealteration survey of the water supply. A copy of survey results must be submitted to the department and the landowner or water purveyor in the manner prescribed by the department.
(6) A natural gas storage facility operator must provide written notice to the landowner or water purveyor indicating that the presumption established under subsection (2) may be void if the landowner or water purveyor refused to allow the operator access to conduct a predrilling or prealteration survey. Proof of written notice to the landowner or water purveyor must be provided to the department in order for the operator to retain the protections under subsection (4).
(7) This section does not prevent a landowner or water purveyor who claims pollution or diminution of a water supply from seeking any other remedy at law or in equity.
History.s. 15, ch. 2013-205.