Department of Environmental Protection, Departmental




    The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is considering the option of retaining legal counsel from a private law firm or firms to co-counsel with or represent the Department in pending negotiations, mediations, and potential lawsuits relating to recovery of overpayment of “reimbursement” claims submitted to the Department for clean-up of petroleum contamination from leaking underground storage tanks. The Department is now soliciting information regarding these services.


    In 1986, the Florida Legislature adopted a program, the Early Detection Incentive Program, to encourage the clean-up of sites contaminated by leaks of petroleum from underground storage tanks. Additional petroleum cleanup programs were subsequently enacted by the legislature. Until 1995, the primary means of paying for the cleanup of eligible sites was the “reimbursement program.” Responsible parties for site rehabilitation would perform site assessment and remediation tasks, and would apply to the Department to be reimbursed for reasonable costs incurred in the process.

    The Department has been made aware that a number of large site owners that participated in the reimbursement program may have been significantly overpaid for the costs of site rehabilitation at numerous contaminated sites. The Department is in the process of negotiating with these site owners for recovery of funds that may have been inappropriately paid and is seeking a law firm with the expertise and the resources to expeditiously move these claims forward to resolution.


    Law firms with an interest in serving as outside counsel representing the Department in these matters should submit the following information:

    • Knowledge of, and experience with, Florida’s environmental regulations and clean-up programs

    • Mediation, settlement, trial, and appellate experience

    • Experience with similar issues or cases

    • The size of the firm, its office locations, and its arrangements for handling large and complex litigation matters (including the adequacy of financial resources for such litigation)

    • Individuals within the firm who would be authorized to work on the matter, including bar memberships of the individuals

    • Names and contact information of three (3) references, including governmental clients if applicable

    Specific proposed rates or fees are not needed in the first response to this notice, but the firm should indicate what fee structures are proposed and whether it would bear the costs and expenses of any negotiations, mediation, or litigation.


    The Department will accept responses to this notice through February 3, 2014. Please send responses to:

    Jack Chisolm, Deputy General Counsel, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, 3900 Commonwealth Blvd. MS 35, Tallahassee, FL 32399, email:, phone: (850)245-2275.

    The DEP reserves the right to reject any and all information supplied in response to this RFI. Pursuant to Section 287.057(3)(f)(4), Florida Statutes, contracts for legal services are not subject to competitive solicitation requirements. The Department’s decision relating to those services is not subject to protest under Chapter 120, Florida Statutes.

    This Request for Information has also been posted on the Vendor Bid System. The web address for the ad is:

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