Land Recycling Program
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 private 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.
- DEP’s Land Recycling Program (LRP) announces the Chapter 250 Final Rulemaking for vanadium was published in the PA Bulletin on November 11, 2023. The Final Rulemaking amends the toxicity value for vanadium, as well as the corresponding numeric values used to determine the medium-specific concentrations (MSCs). Additionally, a footnote has been added to Table 5B explaining the source of the updated toxicity value and how it was derived. Use of the former toxicity value resulted in MSCs that were near the naturally occurring levels of vanadium in many PA soils, causing unnecessary challenges for remediators. The amended levels ensure that DEP’s MSCs reflect the most up-to-date scientific information available for vanadium. Due to the publication of these new standards, the Waste Program’s Interim Vanadium TGD has also been withdrawn, effective November 11, 2023.
- The Land Recycling Program’s Vanadium Final Regulation publication can be found here.
- The notice for the Waste Program’s Interim Vanadium TGD can be found here.
- DEP’s Land Recycling Program (LRP) has updated the Model Environmental Covenant (EC) which is now available on the LRP’s website. The revised Model EC provides updates and clarifications which deliver better guidance for the creation of EC’s for Act 2 remediation projects where EC’s are needed. The LRP utilized input from the Bureau of Regulatory Counsel staff in Central Office, Regional Office staff, and external stakeholders to update and improve the Model EC. The document can be accessed through the LRP website at Forms and Lists.
- PFAS MCL Values Now Effective as MSCs – On January 14, 2023, new safe drinking water standards for two per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)—perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) went into effect. The PFAS Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) Final Rulemaking can be found in the Pennsylvania Bulletin at 53 Pa.B. 333. These final MCL values became effective as the groundwater medium-specific concentrations (MSCs) for PFOA and PFOS upon their publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on January 14, 2023. These new MSCs will be incorporated into the proposed Chapter 250 rulemaking currently under development. Additionally, the toxicity values used for these MCL calculations will be used to calculate proposed soil direct contact numeric values used to determine soil MSCs. The new PFOA and PFOS groundwater MSCs can be found on the Land Recycling Program’s Statewide health standard webpage.
- Professional Seal and Signatures for Act 2 Submissions - On December 17, 2022, the Pennsylvania State Registration Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists enacted revisions to the PA Code Chapter 37 regulations. Sections § 37.56a, Definitions, § 37.57, Registration number, § 37.58, Seal, § 37.59, Use of seal, and § 37.60, Digital signature and seal, were revised and/or added to memorialize regulations regarding the usage of an electronic professional seal. This regulation specifies that engineering, surveying, or geology documents must have:
- (i) physical placement of a seal and a handwritten signature in permanent ink containing the name of the registrant,
- (ii) digital placement of a seal and a handwritten in permanent ink containing the name of the registrant, or
- (iii) digital placement of a seal and a digital signature containing the name of the registrant.
Remediators who submit Land Recycling Program reports/documents requiring a professional seal are to choose from one of the three options summarized above. Failure to complete this step (e.g. an electronically submitted report that does not have both a seal and a signature) may result in a report deficiency.
Fact Sheets and Other Information