The New Jersey Senate has passed S.2126, which permits the development of solar and wind facilities on landfills and quarries in the state. Introduced by Sen. Jim Whelan, D-Atlantic, in June, the bill was approved by a vote of 35-0.
Under the terms of the bill, the Pinelands Commission will review applications for the development of solar facilities on the sites of closed landfills or quarries and approve their conformance to applicable standards, provided that they meet certain requirements, including the following:
‘If located on a resource-extraction site, the facility or structure shall be on previously disturbed lands that have not subsequently been restored and which are not subject to any restoration obligation pursuant to the comprehensive management plan,’ the bill states. ‘If located on a closed landfill, the facility or structure shall be on previously disturbed lands or adjacent lands, if required to ensure the viability of the proposed facility or structure. If located on a landfill that has not been closed in accordance with a plan approved by the Pinelands Commission in consultation with the Department of Environmental Protection, the development of the facility or structure shall facilitate closure of the landfill in accordance with such a plan.’
‘The landfill shall be closed in accordance with a plan approved by the commission, in consultation with the department, under the requirements of the comprehensive management plan prior to, or concurrent with, the installation of the solar or photovoltaic energy facility or structure,’ the legislation adds.
The bill will now proceed to the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee, the New Jersey Star-Ledger reports.