For those of you familiar with the extremely popular RBCA (lovingly referred to as “Rebecca” – and short for Risk Based Corrective Action) regulations that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) adopted a few years ago to offer more flexibility in contaminated site cleanup, you should be keeping an eye on the revisions DEP is now proposing. Section 62-780 of the Florida Administrative Code, where RBCA is codified, has been making its way through the process for some major, and minor, revisions.

The most current and “final” version of the draft regulations was released on July 17, 2012 and can be accessed here. The most recent information indicates an expected adoption and effective date in October 2012. Some of the more important changes under the proposal include clarifying contamination reporting provisions and eliminating definitions to now refer only to statutory definitions.

In addition, DEP also released a Guidance Memorandum for Institutional Controls Procedures in June 2012. Major changes here include:

  • Unlike previous guidance, for all pending and future restrictive covenants, the property owner is not required to obtain a subordination of mortgage except in rare circumstances when a “material conflict” exists.
  • Likewise, property owners will not be required to obtain joinders and consents from other parties with a recorded interest in the property (i.e. easement holders, tenants with recorded leases, etc.) except in rare circumstances.

In the past, institutional controls have been known to take 1-2 years to get through the approval process. The new guidance document promises for a much more streamlined process which would drastically reduce the approval time to conceivably a matter of months.

For those in the regulated community, it is well worth your time to review these documents and provide any comments on the proposed RBCA changes to DEP staff at your earliest convenience.