New Jersey Senate calls for solar farms at landfill sites
|The State Senate unanimously passed a bill Monday that calls for more solar farm placement on former landfill sites.New Jersey Senate calls for solar farms at landfill sites.|
The State Senate unanimously passed a bill Monday that calls for more solar farm placement on former landfill sites. «The hope is that by allowing these solar panels to be put on top of these sites, we’ll be creating a window,» said Sen. Jim Whelan (D-2), a primary sponsor of the bill. «We’ll be taking something that has been a detriment to a community and creating an asset.»
Whelan said that many towns in New Jersey have landfill sites sitting with little or no development, often tucked away in unnoticeable places receiving little attention. «As it sits right now, there are a lot of uncapped, unclosed landfills in New Jersey,» said Whelan. «They are detriments to our towns. With the economy the way it is, in these times, towns are not rushing to close them.»
The bill, which passed 34 to 0, requires the Pinelands Commission to determine that the development of a solar field on former landfill or resource extraction sites is «in conformation with the standards of the pinelands comprehensive management plan.»
These plans include making sure the sites or adjacent areas are located on previously disturbed lands that have not been previously restored or already closed in accordance with a plan approved by the commission in consultation with the state Department of Environmental Protection.
The bill also provides, under the «Municipal Land Use Law,» that every municipality in the state outside of the pinelands is permitted to use a solar energy field or wind energy generation facility under these guidelines.