Following the “Safer at Home” Executive Order issued by Governor DeSantis on April 1, 2020, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) published an Emergency Final Order (EFO) responding to COVID-19 applicable to activities and entities regulated by FDEP. The EFO contains eight substantive points, in addition to the findings of fact and conclusions of law needed to support the EFO. For facilities and activities regulated by FDEP, the EFO extends by thirty days the time to comply with the following deadlines if they occur before May 8 or the expiration of the EFO:
- Conducting monitoring or reporting monitoring results;
- Responding and completing clean-up of mineral oil dielectric fluid from power facilities;
- Filing an application for an extension of permit duration or renewal of existing permits or other authorizations;
- Filing an application for an operation permit under several programs, including Florida’s Environmental Resource Permitting Program (ERP);
- Expiration dates for existing permits or other authorizations;
- Obtaining a permit and commencing construction of an initial phase of a system for which a conceptual permit was issued under the ERP program;
- Paying Title V air permit fees and submitting Annual Operating Reports (this extension occurs through May 1, 2020); and
- The sunset date of May 22, 2020, for eliminating allowable excess emissions for air emission units due to startup, shutdown or malfunction is extended until June 21, 2020 (and is the subject of further and pending FDEP rulemaking).
If any of these extensions potentially apply to your facility, please consult the Emergency Final Order for specific language. The EFO is available here. Air permits issued under Title V are excepted from some of the extensions.
The EFO adds that all public meetings or hearings during the term of the EFO will occur by electronic means only. The current expiration date of the EFO is May 8, 2020.
Please reach out to Gunster attorney Greg Munson with any questions. Munson is the former General Counsel at FDEP. Since 2013, he has been a shareholder practicing environmental law and government affairs at Gunster, working in Tallahassee, Florida, where he represents industrial, mining, utility, and agricultural clients.
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This publication is for general information only. It is not legal advice, and legal counsel should be contacted before any action is taken that might be influenced by this publication.
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