FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 6, 2013
AIR "FEE HOLIDAY" REDUCES EMISSIONS, SAVES FLORIDA SMALL BUSINESSES MONEY
~1,885 tons of emissions reduced, $338,500 saved through 2012 initiative~
TALLAHASSEE – The one-time "fee holiday" offered by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Air Resource Management led to 1,885 fewer tons of emissions entering the air and saved Florida's small businesses $338,562.
Last spring, the Department announced the one-time holiday for businesses that fall below a $5,000 annual air
emissions fee threshold. The Department predicted that up to 300 Florida small businesses would be eligible
to benefit from this regulatory cost savings by minimizing pollution. Ultimately, 281 businesses kept their 2012 air emissions low enough to qualify for the
fee holiday, with 78 reducing emissions a total of approximately 1,885 tons.
"This initiative resulted in a win-win for Floridians: air emissions were reduced and small businesses saved money," said Brian Accardo, the Department's
Division of Air Resource Management Director. "Improving environmental conditions can occur while benefiting the economy."
businesses -- including manufacturers of fiberglass boats, wood
products and large-scale bakeries -- as well as large businesses, such
as power plants, are required to pay fees based on pollution they emit
as part of the federal Title V air program, which is administered by the
Department. Federal law requires the Department to spend those fees on
controlling air emissions at those facilities. Cost savings associated with the fee holiday amounted to less than six percent of all 2012 emissions-based fees.
Division's announcement of the fee holiday last spring allowed
Florida's small businesses with a Title V air permit to manage a
reduction of air emissions in order to qualify. Businesses calculate air emissions through the calendar year and were required to submit fee forms to the
Department by March 1 to qualify for the cost savings.
process improvements and with the cooperation of local government air
regulation programs, the Department realized cost savings that allowed this
temporary financial relief to Florida businesses. Because the Department has improved its implementation of the program, Florida businesses that fund
the program can be rewarded by the program’s success.
This system, in which the polluter pays to control pollution, has
produced significant environmental benefits. Since 1992, annual
emissions of key industrial pollutants have decreased nearly 75 percent,
even as industrial production and power generation have increased. As a
result, Florida's air quality has improved.