Thursday, May 5, 2011

Environmental & Energy bills in Trenton on Monday

Two bills that would restrict the authority of municipal governments to adopt ordinances that discourage the installation of solar panels or wind turbines on residential properties are one vote away from final passage in the New Jersey Legislature.

On Monday, the Assembly will consider A-3125  (Quijano) and S-2006 (Smith), two identical bills that would amend the state's Municipal Land Use Law to prohibit municipalities from adopting excessively restrictive conditions on solar panel installations on a residential properties.

The bills clarify that a municipal ordinance would not be authorized to regulate the installation of photovoltaic solar energy systems when: 
  1. In the case of a roof mounted system, the panels, and all accessory equipment, extend 12 inches or less beyond the edge of the roofline or above the highest point of the roof surface or structure; or,
  2. In the case of a surface level or ground mounted system,  the system consists of 10 or less photovoltaic panels and is situated more than 50 feet from the nearest property boundary line.    
The bills also provide that a municipal ordinance regulating the installation on residential property of photovoltaic solar energy systems or small wind energy systems shall not require payment of any fee that exceeds the municipality's processing costs for an application pertaining to the approval, installation, or operation of a system.

Also up for votes in the Assembly on Monday are:

A-861  Milam, M.W.
Requires license suspension of certain health care professionals and medical waste facilities, generators, and transporters for willful illegal or improper medical waste disposal.

A-3699  Watson Coleman, B. (D-15); Gusciora, R. (D-15); Tucker, C.G. (D-28)
Prohibits burial of Petty's Run archaeological excavation site.

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