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Christie signs solar power legislation into law

solarpanel011110_optGov. Chris Christie Thursday signed into law a bill exempting solar panels from restrictions, which had classified them as "impervious surface" under municipal land use law and waterfront and coastal development laws, including the Pinelands and Highlands protection acts.

The bill, S-921, had bi-partisan backing and sponsorship and received unanimous support in the Legislature.

"There is a balance to be struck between responsible land-use law and well-intended but burdensome restrictions that do more harm than good," Christie said. "This legislation removes the regulatory burden, serves our environment by expanding renewable energy assets and serves the economy by creating demand for solar panel production."

Until this legislation, the law limited the total amount of land that could be developed with an impervious surface for environmental protection purposes. Under this law, only the base or foundation of the solar panel that is affixed to the land, rather than the entire solar panel, will be considered as "impervious cover."

Christie signed the bill during an appearance at the Surfrider Beach Club in Sea Bridge, where he marked Earth Day with state Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin and former Gov. Tom Kean. Earth Day 2010 marks the 40th Anniversary of the DEP, created through legislation sponsored by then Assemblyman Kean.

The bill signed by the governor recognizes solar energy developments as an important land use, which will protect our environment. The bill eliminates a significant impediment that had previously stalled green energy projects.

The legislation is endorsed as promoting green energy and stimulating job creation by the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, Sun Edison, the New Jersey Farm Bureau, the Green Building Council, the Sierra Club of New Jersey and the New Jersey Environmental Lobby.

– TOM HESTER SR., NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

 
Comments (1)
1 Thursday, 22 April 2010 17:40
Bill Wolfe
Why not report the context for solar, i.e. that Chrisite 1) slashed over $300 million in Clean Eenrgy Fund and other renerwable/energy eficieny funds; 2) zeroed the DEP Office of Climate Change; 3) has hinted at abandoning the Corzine Energy Master Plan; and 4) supports the $750 million Susquehanna-Roseland 500-kilovolt Pennsylvania power line to import more dirty coal power into northwestern New Jersey.

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