Section 22-30F-2Legislative findings; purpose and intent of chapter; establishment of revolving loan program for voluntary remediation of environmentally contaminated areas.
(a) The Legislature finds that rural and urban property in Alabama may have areas of contamination which may be addressed via the Alabama Land Recycling and Economic Redevelopment Act, Sections 22-30E-1 through 22-30E-13. The Legislature further finds that encouraging the voluntary remediation and redevelopment of such properties is in the public interest.
(b) The Legislature finds that industries and developers often give preference to previously unused greenfield sites over previously used property due largely to concerns over the financial and environmental liabilities which may be incurred in acquiring such previously used property for reuse and redevelopment. The Legislature further finds that the appropriate reuse and redevelopment of properties which are contaminated, or perceived to be contaminated is in the public interest.
(c) The Legislature finds that the reuse of previously utilized property is an important component of a sound land-use policy that will help to preserve heretofore undeveloped farmland, open-space areas, and natural areas; and reduce public costs for installing new water, sewer, and other utilities and highway infrastructure.
(d) The Legislature finds that it is necessary to pass legislation that provides a mechanism to assist and encourage applicants to voluntarily clean up and reuse such properties, while not relieving a "responsible person," as defined by Section 22-30E-3, 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 the state in violation of established laws and regulations on an identified property.
(e) The United States Environmental Protection Agency, other federal agencies, and other private and public entities may from time to time offer grants and other forms of assistance which may be obtained to capitalize a state revolving loan program used to encourage and assist the assessment, remediation, and redevelopment of previously used property which is contaminated or perceived to be contaminated.
(f) It is necessary, desirable, and in the public interest that the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, as the agency of the state charged with the administration of the Alabama Land Recycling and Economic Redevelopment Act, be authorized and directed, together with the public corporation herein provided for, to take such actions and enter into capitalization grants and other agreements with the United States of America or other appropriate entities as are necessary to obtain such funds for the establishment and operation of a revolving loan fund for such purposes.
(g) Therefore, the Legislature hereby establishes a revolving loan program, to be implemented, maintained, and administered by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, to encourage the voluntary cleanup and the reuse and redevelopment of such properties.
(Act 2003-403, p. 1176, §1.)