SENATE COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR
SENATE, No. 1925
with Senate Floor Amendments
(Proposed by Senator SMITH)
ADOPTED: JUNE 25, 2012
These Senate amendments amend Senate Bill No. 1925 (3R) to include, in the certification program to be established by the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) which provides for the certification of solar electric power generation facilities located on brownfields and properly closed sanitary landfill facilities, those facilities located on areas of historic fill. Under the bill, a solar facility included in the certification program is: (1) considered “connected to the distribution system”, (2) exempt from certain levels of BPU review, and (3) eligible to receive financial incentives to supplement the SRECs generated by the solar facility in order to cover the additional cost of constructing and operating a solar electric power generation facility on the brownfield, historic fill, or landfill, as appropriate. The amendments would require the BPU to consult with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in establishing the certification program. The amendments define “historic fill” to mean: generally large volumes of non-indigenous material, no matter what date they were emplaced on the site, used to raise the topographic elevation of a site, which were contaminated prior to emplacement and are in no way connected with the operations at the location of emplacement and which include, but are not limited to, construction debris, dredge spoils, incinerator residue, demolition debris, fly ash, and non-hazardous solid waste. "Historic fill" does not include any material which is substantially chromate chemical production waste or any other chemical production waste or waste from processing of metal or mineral ores, residues, slags or tailings.
The amendments authorize the BPU, in consultation with the DEP, to find that the operator of a solar facility located on a brownfield, area of historic fill, or properly closed sanitary landfill facility, or owner of property, acquired on or after the bill’s effective date, on which such a solar facility is constructed and operated is not liable for cleanup and removal costs to the DEP or to any other person for the discharge of a hazardous substance provided that:(a) the person acquired or leased the real property after the discharge of that hazardous substance at the real property; (b) the person did not discharge the hazardous substance, is not in any way responsible for the hazardous substance, and is not a successor to the discharger or to any person in any way responsible for the hazardous substance or to anyone liable for cleanup and removal costs pursuant to section 8 of the Hazardous Substance Response Action Contractors Indemnification Act; (c) the person, within 30 days after acquisition of the property, gave notice of the discharge to the DEP in a manner the DEP prescribes; (d) the person does not disrupt or change, without prior written permission from the DEP, any engineering or institutional control that is part of a remedial action for the contaminated site or any landfill closure or post-closure requirement; (e) the person does not exacerbate the contamination at the property;(f) the person does not interefere with any necessary remediation of the property; (g) the person complies with certain DEP regulations and permit requirements; (h) with respect to an area of historic fill, the person has demonstrated pursuant to a preliminary assessment and site investigation, that hazardous substances have not been discharged; and (i) with respect to a properly closed sanitary landfill facility, no person who owns or controls the facility receives, has received, or will receive, with respect to such facility, any funds from any post-closure escrow account established pursuant to section 10 of Sanitary Landfill Facility Closure and Contingency Fund Act for the closure and monitoring of the facility.