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S00942 Summary:

Add Art 27 Title 31 §§27-3101 - 27-3109, En Con L
Enacts the "solar panel collection act" to require manufacturers of solar panels to collect such panels when they are taken out of use; requires educational outreach relating thereto; establishes collection goals therefor; requires reporting of collection efforts.
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S00942 Actions:

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S00942 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                    IN SENATE
                                     January 9, 2019
        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 31 to read as follows:
     5                                  TITLE 31
     6                         SOLAR PANEL COLLECTION ACT
     7  Section 27-3101. Definitions.
     8          27-3103. Solar panel collection.
     9          27-3105. Solar panel wholesaler and retailer requirements.
    10          27-3107. Department responsibilities.
    11          27-3109. Disposal prohibition.
    12  § 27-3101. 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 section.
    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.

        S. 942                              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  § 27-3103. 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-one, 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-one,  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-one, develop and
    56  update  as  necessary  educational  and  other  outreach  materials  for

        S. 942                              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-two, 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-one,  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  § 27-3105. 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. 942                              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  § 27-3107. Department responsibilities.
     5    1.  No  later than June first, two thousand twenty-two, 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-three,  the
    16  department  shall submit a written report to the governor and the legis-
    17  lature regarding the effectiveness of  the  collection  programs  estab-
    18  lished  under  this section, information on the number of out-of-service
    19  solar panels collected, and how the  out-of-service  solar  panels  were
    20  managed.  The department shall use this information to recommend whether
    21  the  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  § 27-3109. 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. 942                              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 31 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, 2031.
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