Pennsylvania’s Land Recycling Program (Voluntary Cleanup Program) was established by a series of legislation enacted in 1995. This package (Acts 2, 3 and 4 of 1995) serves as the basis for what is more familiarly known as the Land Recycling Program or simply ‘Act 2.’ The Land Recycling Program encourages the voluntary cleanup and reuse of contaminated commercial and industrial sites.
The Land Recycling Program is built on four cornerstones that break down redevelopment obstacles:
- Uniform cleanup standards: enables the remediator to clearly understand the extent and cost of site cleanup. The selection of standard(s) assures that a site is protective of its present and future use. A property used for industrial development need not be as clean as a residential site.
- Liability relief: addresses the concerns that previously inhibited site redevelopment and sale of properties, the liability protection extends to future owners.
- Standardized reviews and time limits: provides date certainty. Consistent reporting requirements and standardized review procedures provide a definite time frame for report review.
- Financial Assistance: provides grants and low-interest loans for assessment or remediation. These programs are available to people who did not cause or contribute to contamination at the site.
The goals of the Land Recycling Program are to encourage public sector cleanup of contaminated, vacant or otherwise underutilized properties and return them to productive use. Further development of brownfield properties stimulates economic growth, encourages local government partnerships with business, and maximizes the use of existing infrastructure, thereby preserving prime farmland, open space and natural areas.