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S05447 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          5447
 
                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions
 
                    IN SENATE
 
                                      March 5, 2021
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  Sen.  O'MARA -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
          printed to be committed to the Committee on Environmental Conservation
 
        AN ACT to amend the  environmental  conservation  law,  in  relation  to
          enacting  the  "solar  panel  collection  act";  and providing for the
          repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof

          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section  1.  Short  title. This act shall be known and may be cited as
     2  the "solar panel collection act".
     3    § 2. Article 27 of the environmental conservation law  is  amended  by
     4  adding a new title 32 to read as follows:
     5                                  TITLE 32
     6                         SOLAR PANEL COLLECTION ACT
     7  Section 27-3201. Definitions.
     8          27-3203. Solar panel collection.
     9          27-3205. Solar panel wholesaler and retailer requirements.
    10          27-3207. Department responsibilities.
    11          27-3209. Disposal prohibition.
    12  § 27-3201. Definitions.
    13    1. "Collection program" means a system for the collection, transporta-
    14  tion  and  recycling of out-of-service solar panels that is financed and
    15  managed or provided  by  a  solar  panel  manufacturer  individually  or
    16  collectively  with  other solar panel manufacturers within this state in
    17  accordance with this title.
    18    2. "Out-of-service solar panel" means a solar panel that  is  removed,
    19  replaced or otherwise taken out of service.
    20    3.  "Qualified  contractor"  means a person engaged in the business of
    21  installing, repairing, servicing or the removal of solar panels and  who
    22  employs seven or more service technicians.
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD10102-01-1

        S. 5447                             2
 
     1    4. "Qualified local government authorities" means any municipal corpo-
     2  ration  or  planning unit as defined in section 27-0107 of this article,
     3  or county departments of health.
     4    5.  "Solar  panel"  means  a bank of solar cells that, when exposed to
     5  radiation from the sun, can generate heating or electricity.
     6    6. "Solar panel manufacturer" means a person who manufactures  one  or
     7  more name brand solar panels within this state.
     8    7. "Solar panel retailer" means a person who sells solar panels of any
     9  kind  primarily  to  homeowners  or  other consumers through any sale or
    10  distribution mechanism including sales using the internet or catalogs.
    11    8. "Solar panel wholesaler" means a  person  who  is  engaged  in  the
    12  distribution and wholesale selling of solar panels to qualified contrac-
    13  tors  or  other  consumers,  and whose total wholesale sales account for
    14  eighty percent or more of its total sales. A solar panel manufacturer is
    15  not, by virtue of manufacturing, a solar panel wholesaler.
    16    9. "Consumer" means an individual, business, partnership, association,
    17  corporation, company, municipality, political subdivision or other legal
    18  entity that purchases, operates, owns or uses one or more solar panels.
    19    10. "Recycling" means refurbishing  out-of-service  solar  panels  for
    20  continued reuse as a product or capturing the metals via reclamation.
    21  § 27-3203. Solar panel collection.
    22    1.  Each solar panel manufacturer shall, individually or collectively,
    23  with other solar panel manufacturers, establish and maintain  a  program
    24  for the collection, transportation and recycling of out-of-service solar
    25  panels in accordance with the provisions of this section.
    26    2.  Each  solar panel manufacturer shall, individually or collectively
    27  with other solar panel manufacturers through a  collection  program,  do
    28  the following:
    29    (a) On and after July first, two thousand twenty-three, compile a list
    30  of solar panel wholesalers within this state.
    31    (b)  Establish  a system to collect, transport and recycle out-of-ser-
    32  vice solar panels from all collection sites.
    33    (c) Not include any fees or other  charges  to  consumers  or  persons
    34  participating in the program.
    35    (d) Beginning July first, two thousand twenty-three, conduct education
    36  and outreach efforts, including, but not limited to the following:
    37    (i)  establish  and maintain a public website for the dissemination of
    38  educational materials to promote the collection and recycling of out-of-
    39  service solar panels. This website shall include templates of the educa-
    40  tional materials on the internet website in a form and format  that  can
    41  be  easily  downloaded  and  printed.  The link to this website shall be
    42  provided to the department;
    43    (ii) contact solar panel wholesalers at least once a year to encourage
    44  their support and participation in educating consumers on the importance
    45  of statutory requirements for the collection and  recycling  of  out-of-
    46  service solar panels;
    47    (iii)  create and maintain a web-based program that allows contractors
    48  and consumers to identify  collection  sites  for  out-of-service  solar
    49  panels  in  the  state  and  provide  a  list of collection sites to the
    50  department; and
    51    (iv) develop informational articles, press releases, and news  stories
    52  pertaining  to  the  importance  of and opportunities for collecting and
    53  recycling out-of-service solar panels and distribute those materials  to
    54  trade publications, local media, and stakeholder groups.
    55    (e)  On  or  before July first, two thousand twenty-three, develop and
    56  update  as  necessary  educational  and  other  outreach  materials  for

        S. 5447                             3
 
     1  distribution  to  qualified  contractors,  contractor  associations  and
     2  consumers. These materials shall be made available for  use  by  partic-
     3  ipating  solar  panel  wholesalers,  solar  panel  retailers,  qualified
     4  contractors,  and qualified government authorities.  The materials shall
     5  include, but not be limited to, the following:
     6    (i) signage, such as posters and cling signage, that can be prominent-
     7  ly displayed to promote the recycling of out-of-service solar panels  to
     8  qualified contractors and consumers; and
     9    (ii)  written  materials or templates of materials for reproduction by
    10  solar panel wholesalers and solar panel  retailers  to  be  provided  to
    11  consumers  at  the  time  of  purchase or delivery of a solar panel. The
    12  materials shall include, but not  be  limited  to,  information  on  the
    13  importance  of  recycling  out-of-service solar panels and opportunities
    14  for the collection of these solar panels.
    15    (f) Provide an opportunity for the  department  to  review  and  offer
    16  feedback and suggestions on the collection program.
    17    3.  No  later than April first, two thousand twenty-four, and no later
    18  than April first of each year thereafter, each solar panel  manufacturer
    19  shall,  individually  or collectively with other solar panel manufactur-
    20  ers, submit an annual report on its collection program to the department
    21  covering the one-year period ending December thirty-first of the  previ-
    22  ous year.  Each report shall be posted on the solar panel manufacturer's
    23  or  program  operator's  respective  internet website. The annual report
    24  shall include the following:
    25    (a) the number of out-of-service solar panels collected  and  recycled
    26  under this section during the previous calendar year;
    27    (b)  a  list of all solar panel manufactures, solar panel wholesalers,
    28  contractors, qualified local government  authorities,  and  solar  panel
    29  retailers participating in the program as solar panel collection sites;
    30    (c) an accounting of the program's administrative costs;
    31    (d)  a description of outreach strategies employed under paragraph (d)
    32  of subdivision two of this section;
    33    (e) examples of outreach and educational materials  used  under  para-
    34  graph (d) of subdivision two of this section;
    35    (f)  the internet website address or addresses where the annual report
    36  may be viewed online;
    37    (g)  a  description  of  how  the  out-of-service  solar  panels  were
    38  collected and recycled;
    39    (h) any modifications that the solar panel manufacturer is planning to
    40  make in its collection program; and
    41    (i)  the  identification of a collection program contact and the busi-
    42  ness phone number, mailing address, and e-mail address for the contact.
    43    4. All solar panel manufacturers participating in  the  program  shall
    44  handle  and  manage any out-of-service solar panels that cannot be recy-
    45  cled and have been determined to be or to contain  hazardous  waste,  as
    46  defined  pursuant  to regulations of the department, consistent with the
    47  requirements for the management and disposal of hazardous waste.
    48    5. On and after July first, two thousand twenty-three, no solar  panel
    49  manufacturer shall sell, offer to sell, distribute, or offer to distrib-
    50  ute  solar  panels  unless the manufacturer participates as a collection
    51  site for out-of-service solar panels or requests and receives  a  waiver
    52  from  the  department  following a demonstration that such participation
    53  would pose an undue burden.
    54  § 27-3205. Solar panel wholesaler and retailer requirements.
    55    No solar panel wholesaler or solar panel retailer located within  this
    56  state shall sell, offer for sale or distribute any solar panel for final

        S. 5447                             4
 
     1  sale  unless  the solar panel manufacturer of such solar panel is listed
     2  on the department's website, in accordance with the provisions  of  this
     3  title.
     4  § 27-3207. Department responsibilities.
     5    1.  No later than June first, two thousand twenty-four, the department
     6  shall maintain on its website information regarding the  collection  and
     7  recycling  of  out-of-service solar panels in the state. The information
     8  shall include the following:
     9    (a) a description of the collection programs  established  under  this
    10  section  and  a  list  of solar panel manufacturers of such solar panels
    11  participating in the collection program pursuant to this title; and
    12    (b) a list of all  solar  panel  wholesalers,  qualified  contractors,
    13  qualified  local  government  authorities,  and  solar  panel  retailers
    14  participating in the program as collection sites.
    15    2. No later than November first, two thousand twenty-five, the depart-
    16  ment shall submit a written report to the governor and  the  legislature
    17  regarding the effectiveness of the collection programs established under
    18  this  section,  information on the number of out-of-service solar panels
    19  collected, and how the out-of-service solar panels were  managed.    The
    20  department   shall   use  this  information  to  recommend  whether  the
    21  provisions of this section should be  extended,  along  with  any  other
    22  statutory changes. In preparing the report, the department shall consult
    23  with  solar  panel manufacturers, environmental organizations, municipal
    24  recyclers, and other interest groups.
    25  § 27-3209. Disposal prohibition.
    26    1. No transporter shall knowingly commingle solar  panels  with  solid
    27  waste or recyclable materials.
    28    2.  No  transporter  shall knowingly deliver solar panels or knowingly
    29  cause such materials to be delivered to the following facilities located
    30  within this state:
    31    (a) an incinerator;
    32    (b) a landfill;
    33    (c) a transfer station; or
    34    (d) a facility who the transporter knows or should  know  will  either
    35  commingle  such materials with other solid waste or deliver such materi-
    36  als to an incinerator or a landfill for disposal.
    37    3. No operator of an incinerator or a landfill shall knowingly  accept
    38  solar panels for disposal.
    39    4.  No  operator of a transfer station shall knowingly commingle solar
    40  panels with other solid waste or cause such materials to be  transferred
    41  to an incinerator or landfill for disposal.
    42    5. Each landfill and incinerator shall post, in a conspicuous location
    43  at  the  facility,  a sign stating that solar panels are not accepted at
    44  the facility.
    45    § 3. a. Any consumer or qualified  contractor  who  replaces  a  solar
    46  panel  from  a  building shall deliver the solar panel to an appropriate
    47  collection site.
    48    b. Any person or contractor who demolishes  a  building  shall  ensure
    49  that  all solar panels are removed from the building prior to demolition
    50  and shall deliver the solar panels to a collection site.
    51    c. Any department, authority,  instrumentality,  or  municipal  corpo-
    52  ration of the state administering a program that involves the removal or
    53  replacement  of  solar  panels as a result of any statutory requirement,
    54  shall inform contractors of their statutory obligations to  deliver  the
    55  solar  panels  to a collection site and prohibiting the disposal of such
    56  solar panels in a solid-waste facility.

        S. 5447                             5
 
     1    d. Any contractor, organization or subcontractor of such organization,
     2  who contracts with or receives funding or financing provided in whole or
     3  in part by or through any department, agency, instrumentality, or  poli-
     4  tical  subdivision  of  this  state for the sale, distribution, service,
     5  removal,  collection  and  recycling  of  solar panels, shall ensure the
     6  collection, transportation and proper management of out-of-service solar
     7  panels in accordance with the provisions of title 32 of  article  27  of
     8  the environmental conservation law.
     9    §  4.  This act shall take effect immediately, and shall expire and be
    10  deemed repealed January 1, 2033.
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