By the middle 1980s, it was acknowledged within the environmental community that petroleum storage tanks constituted a significant threat to the quality of Florida's vital groundwater resources. In response, the state enacted legislation enabling the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation, now called the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, (FDEP) to write and to enforce rules addressing the operation and maintenance, installation and closure of underground and aboveground petroleum storage tank systems. A program providing for annual inspections was developed to ensure compliance with these rules.
The State Underground Petroleum Environmental Response (SUPER) Act was adopted in 1986 by the Florida Legislature to address the problem of leaking petroleum storage tanks. A tax on oil and petroleum products developed or imported into the state was instituted to provide revenue to the Inland Protection Trust Fund (IPTF) from which monies are allocated for the compliance inspection program and to clean up eligible petroleum contaminated sites.
The FDEP administers the fund and the programs which regulate the storage, use and dispensing of petroleum products. Due to the large number of facilities engaged in these activities, FDEP contracts with county governments to manage the program at the local level.
The Volusia County Petroleum Storage Systems Program was established Nov. 5, 1987, when the County Council signed the first contract with FDEP.