§ 9121 Short title.
This subchapter shall be known, and may be cited, as the “Brownfields Development Program.”
§ 9122 Declaration of purposes.
(a) In addition to the provisions of the foregoing subchapter I of this chapter, this subchapter is intended to implement a Brownfields Development Program, supplementing the powers and duties of the Secretary as set forth in § 9104 of this title.
(b) The General Assembly recognizes that:
(1) There are brownfield sites throughout the State;
(2) The underutilization of brownfields in the State operates to the economic detriment of the citizens of the State, because the underutilization of these sites limits employment opportunities and needlessly uses valuable “greenfield” resources; and
(3) There is a need to establish a program to effectively investigate, remediate, and redevelop these sites, thus returning these sites to more productive use and enhancing the economic well being of the citizens of the State.
§ 9123 Definitions.
As used in this subchapter:
(1) “Brownfields developer” shall mean a person who, with respect to a facility:
a. Proposes to conduct investigations and/or development activity at a facility that is a certified brownfield, and seeks to enter into a Brownfields Development Agreement with the Secretary;
b. At the time of application for a Brownfields Development Agreement, is not liable for a release or imminent threat of release at the facility under § 9105(a)(1)-(6) of this title; and
c. Is not affiliated with any other person that is liable for a release or imminent threat of release at the facility, within the meaning of § 9105(c)(4)b.5. of this title.
(2) “Brownfields Development Agreement” means an agreement between the Secretary and a brownfield developer with respect to a certified brownfield that sets forth a scope and schedule of activities to assess and respond to the actual, threatened, or perceived release of hazardous substances at the facility.
(3) “Certified brownfield” means a brownfield, as defined in § 9103(3) of this title, that the Secretary has certified pursuant to the regulations governing hazardous substance cleanup.
(4) “Existing environmental condition” means all known or discovered releases of hazardous substances which are found to be, or to have been, existing at or in the vicinity of the facility prior to a person entering into a Brownfields Development Agreement with the Secretary.
(5) “Plan(s)” means any workplan or workplans as required by the Secretary for the performance of an investigation and/or remedy of a site.
§ 9124 Secretary’s powers and duties.
The Secretary may exercise the following powers in addition to any other powers granted by law:
(1) The Secretary may plan, study or conduct, or permit a brownfields developer or other persons to plan, study or conduct, appropriate actions at a certified brownfield to perform a remedy of a release, imminent threat of release, or where there may be a reasonably held perception of a release or imminent threat of a release.
(2) The Secretary shall, after notice and public hearing, promulgate and revise regulations as deemed necessary for the implementation and administration of this subchapter.
§ 9125 Standard of liability.
(a) Notwithstanding § 9105 of this title, a brownfields developer who enters into a Brownfields Development Agreement with the Secretary is not liable with respect to the facility that is the subject of the Brownfields Development Agreement for any release or imminent threat of release of hazardous substances existing at the time the Brownfields Development Agreement is entered into, or for a remedy, or for any costs incurred by the State or any other person related to a remedy, for such a release or imminent threat of release at a facility, provided that:
(1) The brownfields developer submits a plan or plans for approval by the Secretary to address the actual or perceived presence of hazardous substances at the facility; and
(2) Any land disturbing activity at the facility by the brownfields developer in areas affected by the release or imminent threat of release of hazardous substances is performed in accordance with a plan, or modified plan or plans, as approved by the Secretary.
(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, above, a brownfields developer who causes any exacerbation of the existing environmental condition is responsible for entering into an agreement approved by the Secretary to mitigate any increased risk to human health or the environment or increased remedial costs at the facility caused by such exacerbation. Furthermore, the Secretary may modify the plan to address any changed circumstances in the environmental condition of the facility. If the brownfields developer fails or refuses to comply with any modified plan or plans addressing any exacerbation of the existing environmental condition, it is liable for the cost of mitigating any increased risk to the public health or the environment or increased remedial costs caused by the exacerbation of the existing environmental condition.
(c) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, above, if a brownfields developer, or the developer’s successors or assigns, materially disturbs or interferes with a remedy at the facility in a manner not approved of by the Secretary, including institutional controls, said person shall be liable for the reasonable costs of restoring or replacing the affected portions of the remedy, including any administrative or injunctive relief allowed by subchapter I of this chapter.
(d) The protection afforded by subsection (a) of this section shall be transferable to the successors or assigns of the brownfields developer. Any person whose interest in or connection to a facility arises solely from a contractual relationship with the brownfields developer, or the developer’s successors or assigns, subsequent to the entering into of a Brownfields Development Agreement, shall not be liable for any release or threat of release, remedy, or costs associated with conditions existing prior to the entry of the Brownfields Development Agreement.
(e) Nothing in this section shall affect the liability of a brownfields developer for new releases, or imminent threat of releases of hazardous substances not part of the existing environmental conditions at a facility.
§ 9126 Public notice; public comment.
(a) The Secretary shall provide public notice within 20 days after entering into negotiations for a Brownfields Development Agreement. Such public notice shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the facility is located. Such notice shall also be provided to:
(1) All elected members of the General Assembly in whose district such facility or any part thereof lies;
(2) If the facility or any part thereof is located within the boundaries of any municipality, then such notice shall also be given to the governing body of all municipalities in which the facility or any part thereof lies;
(3) In the event the facility or any part thereof is not located within the boundaries of a municipality, then such notice shall also be given to the governing body of the county in which the facility or any part thereof lies; and
(4) The governing body of any civic, neighborhood or similar association in which the facility or any part thereof lies, provided that such association makes itself known to the Department and provides a legal mailing address.
(b) The Secretary shall provide public notice within 20 days after entering into a Brownfields Development Agreement. Such notice shall provide for a 20-day written comment period.
(c) Upon receiving a request following the entry of the Department into a Brownfields Development Agreement, the Secretary shall conduct a public meeting to provide the public information regarding the proposed project, in or near the area where the facility is located.