PURPOSE OF NOTICE: The Department of Environmental Quality is announcing the establishment of a Regulatory Advisory Panel (RAP) to assist the Department in developing a regulation to implement Virginia Acts of Assembly Chapters 808 and 854 (2009 HB 2175/SB 1347) for solar renewable energy projects. The Department is seeking persons interested in serving on the Panel.
DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTAL OF REQUESTS: April 15, 2010
BACKGROUND: During the 2009 legislative session, the Virginia General Assembly passed HB 2175/SB 1347 (Virginia Acts of Assembly Chapters 808 and 854), which require the Department to develop regulations that establish one or more permits by rule necessary for the construction and operation of small renewable energy projects, including such conditions and standards necessary to protect the Commonwealth’s natural resources. The permit by rule for solar energy shall be effective as soon as practicable, but not later than July 1, 2012.
PURPOSE OF PANEL: The Department is establishing this Panel to review the subject legislation and make recommendations to the Department on how to implement the law’s provisions for solar projects. It is anticipated that discussion topics will include how the Department might address potential environmental impacts, and whether these potential impacts warrant protection under a permit by rule; if so, then discussion will encompass analysis of impacts, mitigation plans, facility site planning, public participation, permit fees, inter-agency consultations, enforcement and compliance, and other topics that may be brought up during the public comment period. The Department is also publishing a Notice of Intended Regulatory Action to begin the rulemaking process to implement this legislation with regard to solar energy projects. The Panel established in response to this notice will be the Panel used to assist the Department in the development of the solar energy permit by rule regulation. Members of the Panel on wind energy projects will be invited to notify the Department if they wish to participate in this solar energy Panel, and other interested parties are also encouraged to request to serve on the solar Panel.