Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Approves Bills on Solar and Wind Projects, PFAS Safeguards, Clean Streams Law

HARRISBURG – The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee today approved three bills sponsored by committee chairman Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23).

Senate Bill 284 requires the Environmental Quality Board to establish bonding requirements for project developers who seek to install or operate commercial wind or solar electric generation and other renewable energy facilities in Pennsylvania.

“While wind and solar may use renewable energy sources to generate electricity, the components they utilize to do so are not renewable. Often, they include rare earth metals and other hazardous materials which pose environmental or public health hazards if not handled appropriately,” Yaw said. “Wind and solar facilities have a finite life span, and many across the United States are coming to the end of their useful life. Establishing reasonable bonding amounts will help to address challenges as to how to properly decommission a site or handle associated waste.”

Senate Bill 302 restricts the use of Class B firefighting foams containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) for training and testing, while allowing continued sale and use against real-world fires.

“PFAS chemicals are used for firefighting because of their ability to produce a fast spreading foam. However, the foam can seep into groundwater and contaminate drinking water sources and its use should be limited,” Yaw said.

Senate Bill 545 amends the Clean Streams Law to address accidental discharges or spills of substances that enter or may enter Pennsylvania waters.

“The state Department of Environmental Protection currently requires it be notified of all unauthorized spills of any substance, even when the quantity is very small and poses no risk of harm to persons or the environment,” Yaw said. “As confirmed by decisions of Pennsylvania courts, the purpose of the Clean Streams Law is to regulate and control potentially harmful discharges, not to impose an impractical and unnecessary requirement on every business and individual in the Commonwealth to report every drop spilled at their facilities or homes.”

The bills will be sent to the full Senate for consideration.

For more state-related news and information visit Senator Yaw’s website at or on Facebook and Twitter @SenatorGeneYaw.

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