Legislation in Arizona would establish recycling requirements for end-of-life solar panels, requiring manufacturers to create a recycling program or face a per-panel fee at point-of-sale.
HB 2828, introduced last month by Arizona Rep. Mark Finchem, enacts a landfill ban on solar panels and electric vehicle batteries and requires them to be recycled at approved processing sites. It also implements a $5 per panel fee on the seller or leasor of the products, unless the manufacturer of the panel has established a recycling program that accepts and processes panels.
The bill covers solar panels in residential, commercial and industrial use.
The fee money would be collected as a tax by the state Department of Revenue. That pot of money would be used to pay the recycling facilities that process solar panels not covered by a manufacturer’s recycling program.
As the solar power industry has matured, it’s been unclear exactly how panels would be handled at end of life. Panels generally include glass, plastic, silicon, aluminum, copper and other metals.
Finchem described the bill as a way to ensure the hazardous materials inside solar panels do not damage the environment by entering the water table, according to AZFamily.com. The news outlet also reported solar manufacturers in Arizona are opposing the bill.
The bill was introduced on Feb. 11 and was passed out of the Arizona House Natural Resources, Energy and Water committee later in the month with seven votes in favor and five opposed. It subsequently passed the House Rules Committee.
The next step is for the bill to go before the full House chamber for a vote.
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