(a) The Legislature finds there is property in West Virginia that is not being put to its highest productive use because it is contaminated or it is perceived to be contaminated as a result of past activity on the property.
(b) The Legislature further finds that abandonment or under use of contaminated or potentially contaminated industrial sites results in inefficient use of public facilities and services and increases the pressure for development of uncontaminated pristine land. Since existing industrial areas frequently have transportation networks, utilities and an existing infrastructure, it can be less costly to society to redevelop existing industrial areas than to relocate amenities for industrial areas at pristine sites.
(c) The Legislature further finds that the existing legal structure creates uncertainty regarding the legal effect of remediation upon liability. Legal uncertainty serves as a further disincentive to productive redevelopment of brownfields. Therefore, incentives should be put in place to encourage voluntary redevelopment of contaminated or potentially contaminated sites.
(d) The Legislature further finds that an administrative program should be established to encourage persons to voluntarily develop and implement remedial plans without the need for enforcement action by the Division of Environmental Protection. Therefore, it is the purpose of this article to:
(1) Establish an administrative program to facilitate voluntary remediation activities and brownfield revitalization; (2) Provide financial incentives to entice investment at brownfield sites; and
(3) Establish limitations on liability under environmental laws and rules for those persons who remediate sites in accordance with applicable standards established under this article.