Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to questions regarding environmental remediation, compliance, compliance remediation and hazardous waste.
Environmental Remediation and Compliance
What is the County storage tank law?
Brevard County does not have its own storage rule. The Natural Resources Management Department Compliance Section is under contract to the Florida Department of Environmental protection for the inspection and regulation of regulated storage tank systems in the County. The applicable rule is Chapter 62-761 and 62-762, Florida Administrative Code. These are the statewide petroleum storage tank codes for Underground Storage Tanks (USTs) and Aboveground Storage Tanks (ASTs), respectively.
Does Brevard County have any special permit or plan review requirements for installation, repair, and/or removal of storage tanks and associated systems?
Brevard County does not not have any special permitting or plan review other than the normal building department review. However, please remember to contact Brevard County NRMO 30 days, 48-hours, and 24-hours prior to any installation, repair, or removal activities as required under Chapters 62-761 and 62-762, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.)
What kinds of tanks are regulated?
Above ground pollutant storage tanks (ASTs) with capacity greater than 550 gallons. Underground petroleum and hazardous substance tanks (USTs) with capacity greater than 110 gallons. Residential USTs greater than 1100 gallons (Federal Regulation); otherwise all residential tanks (including but not limited to propane tanks, heating oil tanks, etc.) are exempt from regulation. See section 300 of Chapter 62-761, F.A.C. for applicability and exemptions, and Section 200 for definitions.
How do I dispose of heating oil tanks at my house?
These tanks are unregulated, meaning a licensed contractor is not required for removal. However, leaks from these tanks ARE regulated under the cleanup rule, so care must be taken during removal to insure the safety of the contractor and homeowner and to prevent spills. We recommend that experienced tank contractors be used for the job!
What kinds of spills require cleanup?
You must report a sheen or free product in the water or soils on or near a regulated facility (one with regulated storage tanks), the results of analytical data from soil or groundwater showing concentrations of regulated substances above State guidelines, or the release of 25 gallons of petroleum or petroleum products to soil or other pervious surface, regardless of the source. If, after a spill or release is reported, our cleanup section determines a contamination problem exists, as defined in Chapter 62-780, Florida Administrative Code, cleanup will be required.
How do I report a discharge?
Petroleum discharges greater than 25 gallons to land from a regulated OR unregulated storage system within Brevard County should be reported to Brevard County NRMD. The responsible party (RP) or its agent must then file a Discharge Report Form (DRF), DEP Form # 62-761.900(1), within 24 hours of discovery of the confirmed discharge.
Discharges of petroleum not associated with a storage system, non-petroleum discharges (e.g. hazardous waste), or discharges to water must be reported to State Watch Office at 1-800-320-0519. Environmental crimes (e.g. illegal dumping) can also be reported by dialing *DEP on your Sprint or Nextel phone.
All emergencies (e.g. truck overturned, leaking drums, etc.) should be reported immediately to State Warning Point at 1-800-320-0519 and/or the local fire department (9-1-1).
Who is responsible for cleanup?
The quick answer is the property owner. With regulated systems, all owners or operators are required to provide $1,000,000 in cleanup and third party liability coverage for releases. In addition, the State has offered a variety of “amnesty” and assistance programs over the years. Under the conditions of these programs, the State agrees to perform assessment and cleanup at participating sites, after the owner pays a variable deductible fee, dependent on when participation in the program began and for which specific program the owner is eligible. The eligibility dates for all but one of these programs has expired. If you are not now participating, you are not eligible. The Indigent Owner program still exists. Under it, the Department will make arrangements to assist owners in performing cleanup activities and arrange equitable repayment schedules if they are unable to pay for the cleanup themselves.
Do we need to contact Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) about our tanks or spills?
The Brevard County Natural Resources Management Department is the contractual agent of FDEP in the County for tanks, cleanup and small quantity hazardous waste generation. When you speak with us, you are speaking with FDEP's authorized representatives.
Can Brevard County recommend a Pollutant Storage System Specialty Contractor (PSSSC)?
The Brevard County Natural Resources Management Department cannot recommend a specific certified PSSSC contractor. A list of PSSSC (or other type) contractors can be found at the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation (BPR) website. We recommend that you solicit bids and request references from multiple contractors to get the best quality service for the price.
Environmental Remediation and Compliance Remediation
How can I find out if my property is contaminated?
In order to meet your “due diligence” requirement prior to a property purchase, you may wish to hire a private consulting firm to conduct a “Phase I Environmental Site Assessment” to determine if potential impacts to your property exist.
To determine if your property is listed on a State petroleum storage database you can look up the facility online using the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s FDEP’s Contamination Locator Map (CLM). Using the facility identification number you get from the database search, you can then review petroleum cleanup and compliance records as described below.
How can I find out if there are any petroleum sites near my property?
If you know the property’s latitude and longitude, you can search for your property and any surrounding properties using the FDEP radius search database takes you to CLM. Latitude/Longitude data can be obtained using USGS topographic maps or GPS units.
Once the petroleum sites have been identified, use the facility identification number(s) of the facilities of concern to review petroleum cleanup and compliance records as described below.
How can I review Brevard County petroleum cleanup and compliance files?
If you know of a petroleum facility’s FDEP Facility ID number, you can go on the state OCULUS document search database to review petroleum cleanup and recent (after approx. April 2006) compliance files. To search OCULUS you will need the facility name or seven digit FDEP Facility ID number excluding the two digit county code (i.e. 05 for Brevard County).
If you cannot view files in OCULUS or believe the information is missing (including compliance documents prior to April 2006), you may also review Brevard County petroleum files in our office. Due to limited staff and space, we request that you call ahead at (321) 633-2017 so that the files can be available when you arrive. When making the appointment please provide the FDEP Facility ID number, or at least an address or current name of the facility.
How can I review Indian River County petroleum cleanup and compliance files?
The best way to view petroleum cleanup files statewide is to conduct an on-line documents search at the state OCULUS database. To search OCULUS you will need the facility name or seven digit FDEP Facility ID number excluding the two digit county code (i.e. 31 for Indian River County).
Can I make copies of the Brevard County NRMD petroleum compliance and cleanup records?
We have a very limited amount of files in our office as most everything has been uploaded to OCULUS.
How can I find information on other sources of contamination?
To research other potential sources of contamination (such as hazardous waste, landfills, etc.) you should consult with a private consulting firm as listed above or contact the FDEP Central District Office.
Can Brevard County recommend an environmental consultant?
The Brevard County Natural Resources Management Department cannot recommend a specific environmental consultant. For a list of consultants capable of completing petroleum pre-approval work, please visit the FDEP Qualified Contractor search website. To find relatively local consultants from the FDEP website you may want to enter the local Zip Code, e.g. 32940 or 32%%. Please note that this list may not necessary include all local companies or offices capable of completing assessment and remediation work. Please also refer to the local phone book(s) for a list of consultants. We do recommend that you solicit bids and request references (professional, proof of insurance and verification of appropriate licenses) from multiple consultants to get the best quality service for the price.
Hazardous Waste FAQ
What is an SQG (Small Quantity Generator)?
A business, government entity or other facility that generates less than 1000 KG (four to five 55 gallon drums) of hazardous waste in a calendar month. Examples are:
- Vehicle Repair Shops
- Paint and Body Shops
- Dry Cleaners
- Pest Control Companies
- Photo Processors
- Medical Facilities
What does the SQG Program do?
The primary function of the SQG Program is inspecting facilities to ensure that they properly manage and dispose of hazardous waste. The program also provides information and training to SQG generators and investigates citizen complaints on SQG issues.
How is this program funded?
Florida Statute 403 authorizes Local/County governments to impose a surcharge fee up to $50.00 on Business Tax Receipts.
What at my business is considered "Hazardous Waste"?
Products containing hazardous materials that have been damaged during shipment, discontinued supplies, products having an expired shelf life, discarded paints, spent solvents, waste degreasers, cleaning compounds, or by products of chemical processes can be considered "hazardous waste". Your business also may have a waste that is listed in the Code of Federal Regulations as being hazardous waste or it may possess one of the following characteristics: Ignitability, Corrosivity, Reactivity, or Toxicity.
Can I throw my used oil filters into my regular garbage?
Brevard County’s landfill does not accept used oil filters. You can no longer dispose of used oil filters into your regular garbage. To properly dispose of the filters, they should be completely drained of any free flowing oil (crushed preferably). Place them into a weather tight container marked "Used Oil Filters".
You can dispose of these filters in two basic ways:
After containerizing the filters they can be hauled to an approved facility and disposed there. Make sure you get a receipt of the disposal and maintain the receipt at your facility. You can contract with a specialty hauler to have them haul the filters to the WTF and/or an appropriate facility that they have a contract with. Make sure you receive a receipt documenting the procedure.
The recommended Best Management Practice (BMP) for draining and crushing filters is to "hot drain" the filter for 24 hours. Hot draining filters will minimize the volume of used oil inside the filter, and crushing them will reduce the amount of space used in the container. This can save you quite a bit of money if you are having a private hauler take them. (Check with your filter hauler before crushing). Do not crush filters by driving a vehicle over them! Filter crushers are available through private companies that sell this type of equipment. Label all drums "Used Oil Filters" and keep all receipts from the hauler a minimum of three years to show proof of proper disposal. Store the drum with lid closed inside a containment area to eliminate contamination from rain.
I have two locations for my businesses; can I keep all my records together in one location?
No, each location must maintain their own records documenting disposal/recycling process. If you have a different billing location that needs the receipts make a copy for yourself. Keep all records on site for three years.
I use green tip "environmentally friendly" fluorescent bulbs, can they be put in the regular trash?
All fluorescent bulbs/devices are considered hazardous waste because they contain the heavy metal Mercury. Green tipped light bulbs may have a smaller amount, but they still contain mercury. Lamps or devices with any mercury must be recycled under the Universal Waste Rule or be counted as a hazardous waste by the generating facility.
I put my used antifreeze directly in with my used oil, is this correct?
No, all waste should be stored separately. Never mix any potential hazardous waste with another waste. If the antifreeze happens to be hazardous it would contaminate the entire container of used oil leaving the responsible party with hazardous waste to get rid of, which is much more expensive. Keep all wastes separate with the correct labels.
I use acetone (or any solvent) on disposable rags and throw them out when they are dry, is this proper disposal method?
Even though the rags are dry, they still contain hazardous waste. Do not use disposable shop rags in certain processes at your facility. If you do use disposable rags and they are contaminated, they must be stored and disposed of as hazardous waste. To avoid this problem contracting with a uniform/shop towel service may be a better option for limiting your liability. Contracting with a company that will supply you with clean rags on a regular basis may be expensive, but it will save you money in potential fines for improper disposal of hazardous waste. These contractors are permitted by state and local agencies to process/wash the rags, which are considered a recyclable item. Used rags should be placed into a closed-lid container, which is properly labeled for the rag service. They will then pick up and launder the rags. Make sure that you receive receipts, which will serve as your documentation. Keep all receipts for a minimum of three years. Do not mix rags together with different wastes into the same storage container, they may be reactive to one another and become a fire hazard.
What containers need to have labels?
All containers that hold waste must have the proper label (e.g. used oil, used oil filters, used antifreeze, hazardous waste). Also, any products used in any process must be labeled properly per OSHA requirements.
If I take my used oil to an auto parts store for community collection, how can I prove it?
Keep a logbook at your business that records the date, amount taken and what location the oil was taken to. Used oil is not a hazardous waste as long as it never hits the ground and is properly recycled though a documented process.
How do I dispose of my "household hazardous wastes" such as unwanted pesticides, paints, etc.?
The government does not regulate hazardous wastes generated in the home. Hazardous waste exhibits one or more characteristics of ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity or toxicity which make it dangerous. Paint products, pool chemicals, household cleaners, and pesticides are typical examples. When disposed of in the municipal solid waste stream or otherwise improperly managed, these materials have the potential of contaminating the groundwater - our drinking water supply. To reduce impacts to our groundwater, Brevard County Solid Waste Management Department currently operates three household hazardous waste collection centers. Please see the Brevard County Solid Waste Management Department Household Hazardous Waste website for further details, including materials accepted, drop-off locations and hours of operation. Additional information on how you can reduce pollution is available at the stormwater site.
How can I review Brevard County hazardous waste compliance and cleanup records?
Brevard County does not maintain files on hazardous waste facilities. To review records regarding hazardous waste sites in Brevard County, please contact the FDEP Central District Office at (321) 633-2017 ext. 3.