The Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Jacksonville Port Authority have achieved an important milestone in an agreement to ensure environmental protection is conducted in a more streamlined manner and that it is compatible with port business, without a reduction in the levels of protection to human health and the environment.
A memorandum of agreement between the Department and JAXPORT establishes that the cleanup level to be achieved for contaminated parcels at the Talleyrand Marine Terminal will be based on commercial and industrial land use. It will facilitate the cleanup and management of existing contamination without hindering port expansion, increased commerce or economic growth.
“This agreement can serve as a model for the Department’s work with all of Florida’s ports as a way to address environmental issues while supporting the importance of ports to our state’s economy,” said Jeff Littlejohn, Florida Department of Environmental Protection Deputy Secretary for Regulatory Programs. “The Department appreciates JAXPORT’s collaborative approach to solving environmental issues.”
The agreement provides for binding land use controls that ensure protection under the current land use, as well as compliance with environmental regulations. This agreement will enable JAXPORT to expeditiously reduce or eliminate the risk of exposure to users and occupants of JAXPORT property and the environment to contaminants and to reduce or eliminate the threat of migration of the contaminants.
With this agreement in place, JAXPORT has predictable and consistent goals for any environmental cleanup on site. Typically, land use decisions are one of the last steps taken to close out a contaminated site and the process can take several months to complete. By having this agreement already in place, JAXPORT will be able to efficiently close sites without administrative delays.
“I thank the FDEP leadership for diligently working with the larger community on ways to maintain regulatory standards to the fullest, while allowing for the efficiency and effectiveness that the speed of business today requires,” said JAXPORT CEO Brian Taylor.
The agreement streamlines the cleanup process by using one legally recorded restriction for the entire port and also eliminates the need to impose restriction on a parcel-by-parcel basis as has historically been done. Future title work will be subject to the agreement and as cleanups are completed, the already recorded agreement will be referenced in the Site Rehabilitation Completion Order with Conditions. The Department anticipates that other ports and airports may soon implement similar agreements.
“The relationship the Department and JAXPORT has forged will allow for improved environmental protection throughout the Talleyrand Marine Terminal,” said Jorge Caspary, DEP Division of Waste Management Director. “This agreement allows the Department and JAXPORT to address contamination more efficiently than in the past.”