Regulators need access to environmentally contaminated sites. They have to study them to determine whether the contamination requires a cleanup, they have to choose a cleanup, they have to conduct or direct implementation of that cleanup, and then they have to provide for its monitoring and maintenance. But when the contaminated property is not the source of the release, that means that someone who has been dumped on has to allow an intrusion onto his or her property merely because of having been dumped on. That has to be true, or else all cleanups would be optional. Yet, the right of access has limits.
My February column in the Pennsylvania Law Weekly reviews the authorities for access provided in section 104(e) and 104(j) of the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act and section 503 of the Pennsylvania Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act. The Commonwealth Court has had occasion just recently to consider section 503 in Commonwealth v. Spangler, No. 1917 C.D. 2013 (Pa. Commw. Ct. Jan. 23, 2015).
Read When Can the Government Access Contaminated Sites?, 38 Pa. L. Weekly 148 (Feb. 17, 2015), by clicking here.