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The General Assembly finds and declares as follows:
(1) The elimination of public health and environmental hazards on existing commercial and industrial land across this Commonwealth is vital to their use and reuse as sources of employment, housing, recreation and open-space areas. The reuse of industrial land is an important component of a sound land-use policy that will help prevent the needless development of prime farmland, open-space areas and natural areas and reduce public costs for installing new water, sewer and highway infrastructure.
(2) Incentives should be put in place to encourage responsible persons to voluntarily develop and implement cleanup plans without the use of taxpayer funds or the need for adversarial enforcement actions by the Department of Environmental Resources which frequently only serve to delay cleanups and increase their cost.
(3) Public health and environmental hazards cannot be eliminated without clear, predictable environmental remediation standards and a process for developing those standards. Any remediation standards adopted by this Commonwealth must provide for the protection of public health and the environment.
(4) It is necessary for the General Assembly to adopt a statute which sets environmental remediation standards to provide a uniform framework for cleanup decisions because few environmental statutes set cleanup standards and to avoid potentially conflicting and confusing environmental standards. The General Assembly also has a duty to implement the provisions of section 27 of Article I of the Constitution of Pennsylvania with respect to environmental remediation activities.
(5) It is necessary for the General Assembly to adopt a statute which provides a mechanism to establish cleanup standards without relieving a person from any liability for administrative, civil or criminal fines or penalties otherwise authorized by law and imposed as a result of illegal disposal of waste or for pollution of the land, air or waters of this Commonwealth on an identified site.
(6) Cleanup plans should be based on the actual risk that contamination on the site may pose to public health and the environment, taking into account its current and future use and the degree to which contamination can spread offsite and expose the public or the environment to risk, not on cleanup policies requiring every site in this Commonwealth to be returned to a pristine condition.
(7) Cleanup plans should have as a goal remedies which treat, destroy or remove regulated substances whenever technically and economically feasible as determined under the provisions of this act.
(8) The Department of Environmental Resources now routinely through its permitting policies determines when contamination will and will not pose a significant risk to public health or the environment. Similar concepts should be used in establishing cleanup policies.
(9) The public is entitled to understand how remediation standards are applied to a site through a plain language description of contamination present on a site, the risk it poses to public health and the environment and any proposed cleanup measure.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Pennsylvania Statutes Title 35 P.S. Health and Safety § 6026.102. Declaration of policy - last updated January 01, 2019 | https://codes.findlaw.com/pa/title-35-ps-health-and-safety/pa-st-sect-35-6026-102/
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