Title: Getty Oli Company vs. State of Fl., Dept. of Natural Resources; Florida Audobon Society: United Citizens Against Pollution, United Citizens Against Pollution, Inc.; and Thomas N. Wallin
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 Material Information
Title: Getty Oli Company vs. State of Fl., Dept. of Natural Resources; Florida Audobon Society: United Citizens Against Pollution, United Citizens Against Pollution, Inc.; and Thomas N. Wallin
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Language: English
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Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
 Notes
Abstract: Jake Varn Collection - Getty Oli Company vs. State of Fl., Dept. of Natural Resources; Florida Audobon Society: United Citizens Against Pollution, United Citizens Against Pollution, Inc.; and Thomas N. Wallin (JDV Box 86)
General Note: Box 22, Folder 4 ( Court Cases in The State Of Florida - 1982 ), Item 3
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
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Volume ID: VID00001
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GETTY OIL COMPANY,

Appellant,


vs. )

STATE OF FLORIDA, DEPARTMENT )
OF NATURAL RESOURCES; FLORIDA
AUDUBON SOCIETY: UNITED )
CITIZENS AGAINST POLLUTION,
CITIZENS AGAINST POLLUTION, )
INC.; and THOMAS N. WALLIN,
Appellees.
Appellees.
) .


IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL

FIRST DISTRICT, STATE OF FLORIDA


NOTI FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO
FILE REHEARING PETITION AND
DISPOSITION THEREOF IF FILED.

CASE NO. AC-296


Opinion filed September 8, 1982.

An Appeal from an Order of the Department of Natural Resources,
State of Florida.

William H. Green, Gary P. Sams and Calvin J. Livingston of
Hopping, Boyd, Green & Sams for Appellant.

Jim Smith, Attorney General, and Thomas R. Tedcastle and Bruce
Barkett, Assistant Attorneys General, for Appellee State
Department of Natural Resources; Parker D. Thomson, Richard J.
Ovelmen and Douglas M. Halsey of Paul & Thomson, for Appellee
Florida Audubon Society; James R. Brindell, for Appellee United
Citizens Against Pollution, Inc.; and Thomas N. Wallin, pro se,
for Appellee Thomas N. Wallin.












BOOTH, J.

This cause is before us on appeal from a final order of

the Department of Natural Resources denying Getty Oil Company

(appellant) a permit to construct a drilling rig or platform

within the waters of East Bay, Santa Rosa County, Florida.

The issue presented is the interpretation of Florida Statutes,
1
Section 377.242(1), which provides, in pertinent part, as

follows:


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The Division of Resource Management shall be
vested with the power and authority:

(1) to issue permits for the drilling,
exploring for, or production of oil, gas,
or other petroleum products which are to be
extracted from below the surface of the land,
including submerged lands, only through the
well hole drilled for oil, gas, and other
petroleum products. ... No structure intended
for the drilling for, or production of, oil,
gas, or other petroleum products may be
constructed on submerged lands within one
mile seaward of the coastline of the state
or as otherwise provided in s. 377.24(7).
No such structures shall be constructed
within one mile of the seaward boundary
of any state, local or federal park or aquatic
or wildlife preserve or on thersurface of
freshwater lakes, rivers, and streams. No
permit shall be granted within one mile inland
from the coastline unless the division is
satisfied that the estuaries, beaches and
shore areas of the state will be adequately
protected in the event of accident. (emphasis
added)

At issue is the application of the above underscored language

in Section 377.242(1) to the facts here, that is a drill site

located more than two miles from any shoreline.
2
Appellant, the owner of State Drilling Lease No. 2338,

originally issued in July of 1968 by the Trustees of the

Internal Improvement Fund of the State of Florida, proposes to

erect a structure and to drill a vertical, hydrocarbon explora-

tion well at a site located in the approximate center of East

Bay. The proposed well site is 2.7 miles from the nearest

shoreline and six miles from the Gulf of Mexico. It is conceded

that the drill site is not within one mile of any aquatic preserve.

Proceedings below, forming the background for and leading

to the order sought to be reviewed, have been extensive. In

pertinent part, these proceedings include appellant's applica-

tion in October, 1979 for a variance from Rule 17-4.28(8)(a),

Florida Administrative Code, a dredge and fill permit, and an

update of its 1971 application for a drilling permit.

On April 3, 1980, DER issued notices of intent to grant the

variance and the dredge and fill permit. On June 16, 1980, DER

issued a notice of intent to grant the natural gas flare

construction permit.


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By letter of June 18, 198.0, as amended by letter of June

23, 1980, DNR issued an initial notice of intent to recommend

denial of the application for a permit to drill in East Bay on

the ground that Section 377.242(1), Florida Statutes, prohibited

the construction of a drilling structure on submerged lands

within the leased area.

On July 28, 1980, DNR issued a subsequent notice of intent

to recommend approval, subject to specified conditions, of the

drilling permit application in the event that its interpretation

of Section 377.242 was overruled..

Appellant requested an administrative hearing pursuant
3
to Section 120.57, Florida Statutes. Challenges to the proposed

DER and DNR actions were filed and consolidated for hearing.

At the commencement of the hearing resulting in the order

to be reviewed, the parties announced that they had reached a

stipulated settlement on all issues except those pertaining to

the interpretation of Section 377.242(1). The stipulation of

the parties required appellant to institute extraordinary

environmental safeguards. That stipulation was accepted by the

hearing officer as sufficiently comprehensive to meet the require-

ments, including state air and water quality standards, of

pertinent statutes and regulations.

As required by Subsection 403.201(2), Florida Statutes, a

hearing was held on the application for variance. The hearing

culminated in an order of the hearing officer recommending DER

accept the parties' stipulation, issue the permits and grant
4
the variance.

The hearing officer considered each of the three separate

provisions of Section 377.242(1), viz:

1. No structure intended for the drilling for,
or production of, oil, gas, or other
petroleum products may be constructed on
submerged lands within 1 mile seaward of
the coastline of the state or as other-
wise provided in s. 377.24(7);

2. No such structures shall be constructed
within 1 mile of the seaward boundary of
any state, local, or federal park or
aquatic or wildlife preserve or on the


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surface of freshwater lakes, rivers, and
streams; and

3. No permit shall be granted within 1 mile
.inland .from the coastline unless the
division is satisfied that the estuaries,
beaches, and shore areas of the state will
be adequately protected in the event of
accident.

He concluded that the second and third above-stated provisions

were factually inapplicable. He further concluded that the

disputed statutory prohibition against construction of a drilling

structure on submerged lands "within one mile seaward of the

coastline of the state" applied only to submerged lands lying

within a one-mile zone on the seaward side of the coastline.

Since the proposed well site in East Bay would not be within

the one-mile ione seaward of the coastline and would not be

within any of the other aforementioned areas, the. hearing

officer recommended approval,-subject to the terms of the

stipulation, of appellant's application for a DNR drilling

permit.

The Department of Natural Resources adopted the. hearing

officer's findings of facts but rejected his conclusion of law.

DNR ruled that Section 377.242(1), Florida Statutes, precluded

the construction of the drilling rig on the site.in question.

DNR reasoned that that clause forbidding construction of

a structure on submerged lands "within one mile seaward

of the coastline of the state," prohibited the construction

on all submerged lands, including bays and estuaries, inward

of a point located one mile seaward of the coastline. By this

view, the prohibition begins at a point one mile seaward from

the coastline and then extends inward to encompass the entire

state. Appellant's application for a drilling permit was,

accordingly, denied.

After oral -argument and upon consideration of the briefs

and record before us, we conclude, that the order appealed must

be reversed. .DNR's view that the clause "within one mile

seaward of the coastline of the state" includes all submerged

lands throughout the state and within one mile seaward of the


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coastline of the state, renders the remainder of the statute

meaningless. Such an interpretation is contrary to well-

settled rules of statutory construction, such as the plain

meaning rule and the rule that a statute should be construed

to give meaning to all its provisions. Had the Legislature

intended to preclude drilling on all submerged lands within

the state, it could have done so. It is presumed that the

Legislature intended every part of the statute for a purpose.

There is no showing in the record before us that any laws

of the State of Florida relating to the protection of the

environment are violated by the project. .On the contrary, the

parties have stipulated that the project would meet all state

air and water quality standards when implemented as set out

under the terms of the stipulation. Various appellees urge

that there will be adverse aesthetic and/or environmental effects

from the project. However, in view of the stipulation and order

below, no dispositive issue is presented as to environmental

effects of the proposed project, and the sole issue addressed

herein is the interpretation of Section 377.242(1).

We accept, as did DNR, P he findings of the hearing officer.

We also hold that the hearing officer's conclusions follow

logically from, and are consistent with, the findings. We,

therefore, adopt the hearing officer's conclusions, in pertinent

part, as follows:

4.. ...[T]he applicant's and the opposing
parties' versions of the meaning of the statute
are in direct conflict. The disputed portion
of section 377.242(1) is as follows:

No structure intended for the drilling
for, or production of, oil, gas, or
other petroleum products may be
constructed on submerged lands within
1 mile seaward of the coastline of the
state .

Getty'maintains that the prohibition applies
only to structures located in a one-mile
zone lying on the seaward side of the coast-
line. The opposing parties contend.generally
that the prohibition extends'to other
submerged lands that lie inland from the
coastline.

5. ... Although the word "coastline" is
not defined in Chapter 377, the parties


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generally agree that the seaward boundary of
Santa Rosa Island constitutes the coastline
at the area in question which extends west-
ward across the opening of the bay....
Although the term "submerged lands" is subject
to varying interpretations by the parties as
to whether the term embraces both public and
private areas, the basic meaning of the words
is not in dispute and they are uniformly
acknowledged to include the submerged land
at the proposed well site.

5. ... The key word in controversy is
"within" as used in the statute. Getty inter-
prets the word to mean "between," i.e., between
the coastline and a point one mile seaward of
the same, whereas the other parties construe
the word to mean "inward of," i.e., inward of
a point located one mile seaward of the coast-
line. When used as a preposition as here, the
word has several varying common meanings and
therefore requires construction of the statute
to determine the meaning intended by the legis-
lature. The word "within" can be used variously
to indicate "enclosure or containment" of a
"specified difference or margin," or "to the
inside of." Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary
(1979 Ed.).

6. Section 253.47, F.S., authorized the
Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement
Trust Fund to lease for royalties or other
agreed compensation the right to drill wells
for the discovery and production of petroleum
and natural gas in the bottoms owned by the
state in its sovereign capacity of the "bays,
-lagoons, straits, sounds, gulfs, streams and
lakes within the state." Section 253.60 requires
that development of-any such lands for the produc-
tion of oil and gas shall be in accord with state
conservation and control law which prevail in the
event of conflict.

7. Chapter 377, Part I, deals with the regu-
lation of oil and gas resources and, in Section
377.06 the legislative intent is spelled out
pertinently as follows:

377.06 Public policy of state concerning
natural resources of oil and gas --

It is hereby declared to be the public
policy of the state to conserve and control
the natural resources of oil and gas in said
state, and the products made therefrom; to
prevent waste of said natural resources,
to provide for the protection and adjustment
of the correlative rights of the owners of
the lands wherein said natural resources lie
and the owners and producers of oil and gas
resources and the products made therefrom
and of others interested therein; to encourage
and cause the development in said state of
said natural resources of oil and gas and
the products made therefrom, to encourage the
continuous and economic supply of the demand
therefore; to safeguard the health, property
and public welfare of the citizens of said


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state and other interested persons and for
all purposes indicated by the provisions
herein .... (emphasis added)

It thus can be seen that the intent of the legis-
lature in general is to encourage the development
of oil and gas resources of the state while
concurrently ensuring that the public welfare is
protected. Section 377.242(1) is the statutory
provision designed to provide such protection and
must be construed in its entirety. In keeping
with the legislative intent to encourage the
development of petroleum products, DNR is
vested with the authority to issue drilling
permits for petroleum products which are to
be extracted from below the surface of the
land, including submerged lands. It is
therefore apparent that submerged lands are
not necessarily excluded as a .drilling loca-
tion.

The various restrictions set forth in
subsection 377.242(1) show a statutory scheme
to limit the issuance of permits or the
construction of structures for drilling only
in specified areas. The law includes a
prohibition against structures within one
mile of the seaward boundary of public parks
and aquatic or wildlife preserves, and on
the surface of freshwater lakes, rivers and
streams. The statutory provision does not
allow permits to be granted at locations
within one mile inland from the coastline
unless DNR determines that the estuaries,
beaches and shore areas will be adequately
protected in the event of accident. ...
[T]he common-and plain meaning of the word
[inland] is "into or toward the interior"
and is therefore directional in sense.
Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary (1979
Ed.). The above restrictions therefore must
be deemed to cover both uplands and submerged
lands located within the first mile landward
of the coastline. When these restrictions
are viewed in conjunction with the one in
dispute, it becomes inescapable ... that the
legislature intended to, inter alia, restrict
drilling in a two-mile wide band centered
over the coastline of Florida. Drilling
structures are totally prohibited on sub-
merged lands in the seaward half of the zone,
and permits may be denied in the inland half,
regardless of whether located in uplands or
submerged lands, if the estuaries, beaches
and shore areas are not adequately protected
in the event of accidents. Getty's proposed
drill site does not lie within the two-mile
zone. It is concluded that- the restrictions
of subsection 377.242(1) are not applicable
to the proposed project.

Accordingly, the order of DNR is reversed and this cause

remanded to DNR with directions to enter an order consistent

herewith.



ERVIN and THOMPSON, JJ., CONCUR.


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FOOTNOTES:



1. It was also contended that appljcAtion of Section
377.242(1), Florida Statutes, so as to prohCibit Getty from
conducting the proposed drilling on the submerged lands loc-aed
in East Bay is unconstitutional. In view of our disposition of
this case on statutory ground, the constitutional issues raised
on appeal need not be addressed.

2. The lease provides that the State, through its
Trustees,

... i r anx vely
unto the said Lessee the said I-.1-- ... for the
Purpose of investigating, 'exploring, prospec-
'ting, drilling of bore-holes for the discovery
and production of oil, gas, sulfer, salt and/or
other brines from the leased premises and for
the laying of pipelines, building roads, tanks
... and other structures and equipment needed
to.produce, save, take care of, treat, trans-
port and own said product-s and, if the lands
covered by this lease exceed 640 acres, to
house its employees engaged in operations for
drilling and/or production and handling.

3. United Citizens Against Pollution, Inc., et al.,
Florida Audobon Society, Francis M. Weston Autobon Society,
Thomas N. Wallin, Richard D. Radford, and Northwest Florida
Sierra C3ub filed petitions against the Department of Environ-
mental Regulation and Getty 05.1 Company. Richard D. Radforc
and Getty Oil Company filed petitions against the Department of
Natural ricources. Florida Audobon Society, Thomas :N. Well3in

against Department of Natural Resources and Getty Oil Company.

4. The variance was granted. A dredge and fill permit,
number 57-24854-1E, was issued February 16, 1981, A construction
permit, number AC57-31442, for a natural gas elevated flare was
issued February 26, 1981.


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