The Legislature finds and declares as follows:
(1) The state's long history of mining has left some lands and waters unreclaimed and polluted.
(2) These abandoned lands and polluted waters are unproductive, diminish the tax base and are serious impediments to the economic welfare and growth of this state.
(3) The unreclaimed lands and polluted waters present a danger to the health, safety and welfare of the people and the environment.
(4) The State of West Virginia does not possess sufficient resources to reclaim all the abandoned lands and to abate the water pollution.
(5) Numerous landowners, citizens, watershed associations, environmental organizations and governmental entities who do not have a legal responsibility to reclaim the abandoned lands or to abate the water pollution are interested in addressing these problems but are reluctant to engage in such reclamation and abatement activities because of potential liabilities associated with the reclamation and abatement activities.
(6) It is in the best interest of the health, safety and welfare of the people of this state and the environment to encourage reclamation of the abandoned lands and abatement of water pollution.
(7) That this act will encourage and promote the reclamation of these properties.