On July 16, 1990, Policy 1.1.5 of the Aquifer Recharge/Utilities Element of the Leon County Comprehensive Plan became effective, which required Leon County to assume responsibility for the enforcement of state regulations concerning underground and aboveground storage tanks. On October 1, 1990, Leon County entered into a contract with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection FDEP to administer the Petroleum Storage Tank Regulation Program. The program is located within the offices of the Leon County Department of Development Support and Environmental Management at 435 North Macomb Street, Tallahassee, Florida. This local program ensures compliance with state and federal storage tank regulations and meets the requirements of the County's Comprehensive Plan. Since its inception, the Program has annually conducted 100% of regulated aboveground and underground storage tank inspections in Leon County.
Major progress towards statewide compliance and groundwater protection has been made over the years because of the diligence exhibited by Leon County and other local jurisdictions in conducting inspections. Abandoned storage tanks have been discovered and properly removed, some older facilities determined out of compliance have been properly closed, all active facilities have been upgraded with secondary containment tank systems, leaking facilities either have been or are being cleaned up, and fueling stations are better able to detect loss due to leakage because of compliance with leak detection requirements.
In an effort to improve program performance, in 2012 FDEP consolidated the individual statewide county contracts. Leon County has consistently been one of the top performing programs in the state; therefore, the FDEP offered Leon County the opportunity to oversee storage tank compliance in Wakulla and Gadsden Counties. Currently, Leon County has 347 regulated facilities, Gadsden County has 78 and Wakulla County has 42, for a total of 467 inspected facilities.
The program has provided many benefits to Leon County, such as fulfilling requirements of the Comprehensive Plan, aquifer protection, providing personnel with expertise and equipment to assist other county departments in the management of County storage tank facilities, and emergency preparedness. Being under local jurisdiction allows the Program to be more accessible to the general public and provide a greater level of customer service. Also, the regulated public considers a program administered at the local level to be an easily accessible resource. The local presence provides guidance to facility owners and operators on maintaining compliance with state and federal regulations. Local tank inspectors can respond quickly to reports of petroleum product discharges, and are able to witness the removal and installation of all local storage tank systems.
The regulations for underground and aboveground storage tanks can be found in Florida Administrative Code sections 62-761 and 62-762. Compliance with these regulations protects Florida's environment and drinking water from petroleum discharges.
On October 29, 2013, the Leon County Board of County Commissioners adopted the "Refueling Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Ordinance" to assist persons with disabilities with their refueling needs. The Ordinance became effective October 30, 2013, and has a commencement date of January 29, 2014.
FDEP Petroleum Storage Tank Forms