Small renewable energy projects; impact on natural resources.
Large scale solar facilities can create conflicts with natural, cultural, and historic resources if poorly sited. Additionally, construction techniques for utility-scale solar can include severe compaction of soils, hampering reversion back to productive agricultural lands and forests at the end of a project’s useful life. This legislation would address some of the concerns raised by local communities about the impacts of projects on forest and farmland by establishing standards within the Department of Environmental Quality’s solar Permit By Rule (PBR) process, requiring mitigation of forests and prime agricultural farmland when significant impacts occur. Mitigation is not limited to onsite and could be met through a variety of means.
Introduced by: Delegate Michael Webert (District 18)