— Sponsored by Rep. Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Crawford/ Forest), legislation seeking to protect landowners and high-valued farmlands against long-term liabilities associated with wind and solar energy development was approved 121-79 by the Pennsylvania House on Tuesday.
House Bill 2104
would specifically assure the proper bonding and reclamation of lands leased to solar and wind energy facilities. Proof of the bond would be held with the county Recorder of Deeds and reported to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
“This legislation recognizes the need to implement further protections for ‘prime’ farmland and leased lands greater than 10 acres,” said Rapp, who also serves as a long-time member of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. “During a time when a decommissioned turbine or non-functioning solar panel leaking toxic chemicals can irresponsibly be tossed into the nearest landfill, waterway or some other unknown location, landowners deserve assurance that their leased property will not be permanently scarred by the remnants of so-called zero fossil fuels, alternative energy development several decades from now.”
Watch Rep. Rapp’s House floor remarks preceding passage of House Bill 2104 below.
House Bill 2104 does not impact in any way a citizen or business installing panels or turbines on their own private property.
“Although there are no viable substitutes for natural gas, oil or the numerous, life-enhancing byproducts made possible through fossil fuel energy production, Pennsylvania must always strive for clear and uniform regulatory policy for all industries,” said Rapp. “This statewide decommissioning legislation is extremely necessary to establish a higher standard for addressing long-term concerns generated by the rapid and largely unregulated growth of solar and wind installations.”
Rapp’s legislation now advances to the Senate for consideration.