See other bills
under the
same topic
PRINTER'S NO. 96
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
80
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY YAW, BROWNE, SCARNATI, BREWSTER, MENSCH, SCHWANK,
KILLION, K. WARD, J. WARD, BOSCOLA, STEFANO AND YUDICHAK,
JANUARY 29, 2019
REFERRED TO HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, JANUARY 29, 2019
AN ACT
Providing for remediation of real property contaminated by
methamphetamine production, for decontamination guidelines to
be developed by Department of Health and for restitution;
prohibiting certain activity relating to certain property;
providing for enforcement; establishing immunity for real
estate professionals under certain circumstances; and
authorizing fees.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Short title.
This act shall be known and may be cited as the
Methamphetamine Contaminated Property Act.
Section 2. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Applicable authority" or "authority." A county agency or
local health department.
"Clandestine lab site." Real property occupied or affected
by conditions or chemicals typically associated with the
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
manufacturing of methamphetamine.
"Contaminated." In reference to a property, that the
property is polluted by precursor substances or waste substances
as a result of the use, production, storage or presence of
methamphetamine in excess of decontamination guidelines adopted
by the Department of Health under this act.
"Decontaminated" or "decontamination." In reference to a
property, that the property at one time was contaminated, but
that the precursor substances and waste substances have been
removed and the property satisfies the decontamination
guidelines adopted by the Department of Health under this act.
"Department." The Department of Health of the Commonwealth.
"Emergency response." Removing and collecting evidence,
securing the site, removal, remediation and hazardous material
assessment or inspection of real property where the relevant
offense or offenses took place, regardless of whether these
actions are performed by the public entities themselves or by
private contractors paid by the public entities or the owner.
"Owner." A person, including, but not limited to, a
shareholder, partner, operator or other legal entity, that holds
a legal or equitable title or interest in real property.
"Precursor substance." A hazardous material used to
manufacture a controlled substance.
"Property." Publicly or privately owned real property,
including buildings and other structures, and motor vehicles as
defined in 75 Pa.C.S. ยง 102 (relating to definitions).
"Real estate professional." A person licensed under the act
of February 19, 1980 (P.L.15, No.9), known as the Real Estate
Licensing and Registration Act.
"Remediation." Proper cleanup, treatment or containment of
20190SB0080PN0096 - 2 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
precursor substances or methamphetamine at or in a clandestine
lab site, including demolition or disposal of structures or
other property when an assessment so indicates.
"Removal." The removal from a clandestine lab site of
precursor substances or waste chemicals, chemical containers or
equipment associated with the manufacture, packaging or storage
of illegal drugs.
"Waste substance." A hazardous material, chemical or other
substance used in, and that remains after, the manufacture of a
controlled substance, excluding the controlled substance.
Section 3. Department responsibilities.
(a) Scientifically based guidelines.--The department shall
adopt scientifically based guidelines for the removal and
remediation of precursor substances and waste substances
affecting property as a result of the use, production, storage
or presence of methamphetamine on the property and shall
promulgate regulations relating to the guidelines.
(b) List of approved contractors.--The department may
establish a list of contractors that have been approved by the
department to remove and remediate contamination affecting
properties according to the adopted guidelines. The list shall
be published on the department's publicly accessible Internet
website.
Section 4. Restitution.
(a) Public entities.--A court may require a person convicted
of manufacturing or attempting to manufacture a controlled
substance or of an illegal activity involving a precursor
substance or waste substance, if the response to the crime
involved an emergency response, to pay restitution to all public
entities that participated in the response. The restitution
20190SB0080PN0096 - 3 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
ordered may cover the reasonable costs of the public entities'
participation in the response.
(b) Property owner.--In addition to the restitution
authorized under subsection (a), a court may require a person
convicted of manufacturing or attempting to manufacture a
controlled substance or of an illegal activity involving a
precursor substance or waste substance to pay restitution to a
property owner who incurred removal or remediation costs because
of the crime.
Section 5. Property-related prohibitions.
(a) Notification by law enforcement.--A law enforcement
officer who arrests a person at a clandestine lab site shall
notify the department and applicable authority of the arrest and
the location of the site.
(b) Occupation prohibited.--The applicable authority shall
order that a property or portion of a property that has been
found to be a clandestine lab site and contaminated by precursor
substances and waste substances be prohibited from being
occupied or used until it has been assessed and removal and
remediation has occurred as provided in the department's
guidelines. The removal and remediation shall be accomplished by
a contractor who must make the verification required under
subsection (d).
(c) Applicability.--Unless otherwise provided, any law
addressing the enforcement of public health laws, the removal
and abatement of public health nuisances and the remedies
available to property owners or occupants shall apply to this
section.
(d) Verification.--
(1) Upon the proper removal and remediation of a
20190SB0080PN0096 - 4 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
property used as a clandestine lab site, the contractor shall
verify to the property owner and the applicable authority
that issued the order under subsection (b) that the work was
completed according to the department's guidelines.
(2) The contractor shall provide the verification to the
property owner and the applicable authority within five days
from the completion of the removal and remediation.
(3) Upon receipt of the verification, the applicable
authority shall vacate its order.
(e) Liability.--
(1) If a contractor issues a verification and the
department's guidelines were not followed, the contractor
shall be liable to the property owner for the additional
costs relating to the proper removal and remediation of the
contamination according to the guidelines and for reasonable
attorney fees for collection of costs by the property owner.
(2) An action under this subsection must be commenced
within six years from the date on which the verification was
issued by the contractor.
(f) Motor vehicles.--
(1) If the applicable authority determines under
subsection (b) that a motor vehicle has been contaminated by
precursor substances or waste substances used in the
manufacture of methamphetamine or any part of the
manufacturing process, or the by-products or degradates of
manufacturing methamphetamine, and if the authority is able
to obtain the certificate of title for the motor vehicle, the
authority shall notify the Department of Transportation and
shall forward the certificate of title to the Department of
Transportation.
20190SB0080PN0096 - 5 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
(2) The authority shall notify the Department of
Transportation when the authority vacates the order under
subsection (b).
(g) Record.--Recording shall be as follows:
(1) The applicable authority issuing an order under
subsection (b) shall record with the county recorder of the
county where the clandestine lab site is located an affidavit
containing the name of the owner, a legal description of the
property where the clandestine lab site was located and a map
drawn from available information showing the boundary of the
property and the location of the contaminated area on the
property that is prohibited from being occupied or used that
discloses to any potential transferee all of the following:
(i) That the property, or portion of the property,
was a clandestine lab site.
(ii) The location, condition and circumstances of
the clandestine lab site to the full extent known or
reasonably ascertainable.
(iii) That the use of the property or some portion
of it may be restricted as provided under subsection (b).
(2) If an inaccurate drawing or description is recorded
as provided by paragraph (1), the authority, on request of
the owner or another interested person, shall record a
supplemental affidavit with a corrected drawing or
description.
(3) If the authority vacates an order under subsection
(b), the authority shall record an affidavit that contains
the recording information of the affidavit filed under this
subsection and states that the order is vacated.
(h) Disclosure.--The applicable authority shall ensure all
20190SB0080PN0096 - 6 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
affidavits presented under subsection (g) are recorded in a
manner that ensures the affidavits' disclosure in the ordinary
course of a title search of the subject property.
(i) Maintenance.--Each applicable authority shall maintain
information related to property within the applicable
authority's jurisdiction that is currently or was previously
subject to an order issued under subsection (b). The information
maintained must include the name of the owner, the location of
the property, the extent of the contamination, the status of the
removal and remediation work on the property and whether the
order has been vacated. The applicable authority shall make the
information available to the public either upon request or by
other means.
(j) Disclosure.--Before signing an agreement to sell or
transfer real property, the seller or transferor must disclose
in writing to the buyer or transferee if, to the seller's or
transferor's knowledge, methamphetamine production has occurred
on the property. If methamphetamine production has occurred on
the property, the disclosure shall include a statement to the
buyer or transferee informing the buyer or transferee of any of
the following:
(1) Whether an order has been issued on the property as
described under subsection (b).
(2) Whether an order issued against the property under
subsection (b) has been vacated under subsection (i).
(3) If there was no order issued against the property
and the seller or transferor is aware that methamphetamine
production has occurred on the property, the status of
removal and remediation on the property.
(k) Liability.--Unless the buyer or transferee and seller or
20190SB0080PN0096 - 7 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
transferor agree to the contrary in writing, a seller or
transferor who fails to disclose, to the best of the seller's or
transferor's knowledge, prior to the transfer of the property
any of the facts required, and who knew or had reason to know of
methamphetamine production on the property, is liable to the
buyer or transferee for all of the following:
(1) Costs relating to the removal and remediation of
contamination according to the department's guidelines.
(2) Reasonable attorney fees for collection of costs
from the seller or transferor. An action under this paragraph
must be commenced within six years after the date on which
the buyer or transferee closed the purchase or transfer of
the property where the methamphetamine production occurred.
Section 6. Enforcement.
(a) Right of action.--A property owner entitled to
restitution under section 4 may file a civil action to enforce
compliance with the provisions of this act.
(b) Relief.--A court may issue an injunction or other relief
as necessary to enforce the provisions of this act.
(c) Court costs and attorney fees.--A court may award a
prevailing party in a civil action initiated under subsection
(a) court costs and reasonable attorney fees.
Section 7. Immunity for real estate professionals.
A real estate professional shall be immune from liability
under this act for the failure of an owner or lessor of real
property to comply with the provisions of this act, unless the
real estate professional is also the owner or lessor of the real
property or had actual knowledge of the failure to disclose.
Section 8. Limitation on applicable authority.
The applicable authority may not prohibit an owner or lessor
20190SB0080PN0096 - 8 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
of property from decontaminating the property in accordance with
department guidelines.
Section 9. Effective date.
This act shall take effect in 60 days.
20190SB0080PN0096 - 9 -
1
2
3
4