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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: November 9, 2021 01:23 PM
From: Representative Kathy L. Rapp
To: All House members
Subject: Responsible Decommissioning of Solar/Wind Energy Facilities
I will soon be introducing legislation to assure the proper decommissioning, recycling, and reclamation of solar panels and wind turbines within the Commonwealth.

With solar and wind farms continuing to permeate our landscape, we must assure that long-term sustainability and reclamation concerns are addressed before it is too late.  To do so, I have proposed a plan to assure these facilities are responsibly decommissioned.

At this time an old solar panel or decommissioned turbine can be thrown into a landfill while the property leased to these endeavors is left in an unusable state.  Landowners need assurance that their leased property will not be marred by the remnants of solar and wind farms 20 years from now, and we should assure that the materials used in these facilities are either reused, reclaimed, or recycled instead of filling landfills and languishing.

This concern has been addressed by the Bureau of Land Management on federal lands, by some state governments, and also via municipal ordinance within the Commonwealth.  Pennsylvania should strive for a clear and uniform regulatory policy for all industries, and thus statewide decommissioning guidelines will assure that a high standard is upheld by solar and wind energy installations across the state.

I hope that you, too, recognize the long-term concerns of enabling the rapid and largely unregulated growth of solar and wind installations and join me in my effort to proactively address the recycling and land reclamation concerns inherent with utility scale solar and wind energy installations.

Introduced as HB2104