OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol
OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol

Department of Environmental Protection

Waste Management

What is the purpose of the division?

The Division of Waste Management works closely with the department's district offices to implement state and federal laws to protect the environment from the improper handling and disposal of solid and hazardous wastes. This includes regulatory programs for waste facilities and pollutant storage systems, and non-regulatory activities such as financial and technical assistance for recycling and waste reduction.  The division also oversees and contracts for the cleanup of sites contaminated with petroleum products, drycleaning solvents, or other hazardous wastes.

How is the division structured?

The Division of Waste Management has four program areas.
  • The District and Business Support Program provides technical support services to the division and the district offices.
  • The Petroleum Restoration program conducts activities related to cleaning up sites contaminated by discharges from stationary petroleum storage systems. These sites include those determined eligible for state funded cleanup using qualified contractors selected through competitive procurement or selected by the property owner or responsible party and contractors under direct contract with DEP. Sites also include non-program or voluntary cleanup sites that are funded by responsible parties.  
  • The Permitting and Compliance Assistance Program is responsible for implementing the state's financial assurance and financial responsibility programs for Solid and Hazardous Waste and Tanks programs. This program has five sections.
    • Financial Assurance implements the state's financial assurance and financial responsibility programs for solid and hazardous waste and tanks programs.
    • Hazardous Waste Management is responsible for the management of the statewide hazardous waste program, which includes interaction with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), district offices and other department programs pertaining to hazardous waste compliance, enforcement, and permitting.
    • Solid Waste Management  is responsible for rule development, solid waste policy, financial assurance compliance, and implementation of Florida’s solid waste management program.
    • Storage Tank Compliance ensures underground and aboveground storage tank system compliance with state rules.
    • Waste Reduction supports statewide recycling and waste reduction, including household hazardous waste, medications, mercury lamps and devices, batteries, and scrap electronics.
  • The Waste Cleanup program has five sections.
    • The Waste Site Cleanup Section manages state-funded investigation and cleanup of hazardous waste sites and coordinates with the EPA during cleanup of federal Superfund National Priorities List sites. This section also implements the Drycleaning Solvent Cleanup Program.
    • The Site Investigation Section investigates cases of known or suspected soil and groundwater contamination statewide and issues technical reports to support district assessment and cleanup decisions. This section also manages the State-Owned Lands Cleanup program.
    • The Federal Programs Section oversees cleanup of Department of Defense and other federal facilities.
    • CERCLA Site Screening conducts site screening assessments on sites with confirmed or suspected contamination to document if there was a release of hazardous substances and to evaluate the site for possible inclusion on the National Priorities List.
    • The Brownfields Redevelopment Program works to reduce public health and environmental hazards in existing commercial and industrial sites that are not in full use, creates incentives to encourage voluntary cleanup and site redevelopment, obtains cleanup target levels, and provides an opportunity for environmental equity and justice.

How many waste sites have been cleaned up?

As of September 30, 2019, there were 45,482 known contaminated waste sites. Of this total, 30,807 (67.7%) sites had been cleaned, 9,675 (21.3%) sites were in active cleanup, and 5,000 (11.0%) sites were still awaiting cleanup.

What is a brownfield?

A brownfield site is real property, the expansion, redevelopment or reuse of which may be complicated by actual or perceived environmental contamination.

How are these activities funded?

Fiscal Year: 2020-21
Fund Dollars Positions


Petroleum Cleanup. The 2020 Legislature enacted Chapter 2020-56, Laws of Florida, which made changes to the Petroleum Cleanup Participation Program and the Advance Cleanup Program.

For the Petroleum Cleanup Participation Program the legislation requires that limited contamination assessment reports be able to support and estimate costs of the proposed course of action; allows a demonstration of cost savings to replace or supplement the current cost-share requirement;  defines Risk Management Option Levels I and II; removes the provision which allowed for limited contamination assessment reports and copayment costs to be reduced or eliminated for owners and operators who have trouble financially complying; and eliminates the 120-day time constraint for negotiations.

For the Advance Cleanup Program, the legislation requires, among a number of changes, that the applicant's contractor provide a scope of work to DEP for the limited contamination assessment; requires that once the scope is agreed upon, DEP must issue purchase orders for the assessment; and requires that the owner or responsible party continues to engage in the advance cleanup program after the limited contamination assessment and finalization of the proposed course of action.

Furthermore, the legislation allows DEP to use the Inland Protection Trust Fund to address damage to storage systems caused by ethanol or biodiesel.

Environmental Regulation. The 2020 Legislature enacted Chapter 2020-41, Laws of Florida, which, among other changes, added requirements for contracts between local governments and residential recycling collectors or recovered materials processing facilities. Contracts must now include a definition of "contaminated recyclable material," strategies and responsibilities of the county or municipality and of the recycling collector to reduce the amount of contaminated recycling, how contaminated material will be identified, documented, managed, and rejected, remedies for contaminated recycling material, and education and enforcement used to help reduce the amount of contaminated material. These provisions must be included in contracts executed or renewed after October 1, 2020.

Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?

A complete list of related OPPAGA reports is available on our website.

Where can I get more information?

What are the applicable statutes?

Chapters 376, 381, and 403, Florida Statutes.

Whom do I contact for help?

Division of Waste Management, 850-245-8705