Jun 08, 2021

Proposed Solar Farm Project in Pennsylvania Sparks Storm Water Concerns

Questions dealing with storm water, insurance, and performance bond requirements were of concern at a meeting about the proposed project

pennsylvania storm

Over 100 North Annville Township residents verbalized their opposition to a proposed 1,200 acre solar farm west of Route 934 at the Union Water Works Fire Company.

According to LebTown, representatives of Lebanon Solar I, LLC., a Colorado based company, outlined plans for using 12 agricultural zoned properties to create interconnected banks of solar panels and sell the generated power to utility companies.

Lebanon Solar I is asking for a conditional use permit under the township’s zoning ordinance and the municipality can impose additional conditions on the use.

Planning Commission Chairman Nelson Heagy asked Lebanon Solar I representative Eric Duncan and attorney David Jones whether the panels would be considered additional impervious material under Pennsylvania’s storm water runoff regulations and bring the township under more stringent and costly MS4 requirements, according to LebTown. Both said they did not think that the panels would count as impervious material.

The footprint of the entire project will cover 1,234 acres, but the panels themselves will only cover about 480 acres. Lebanon Solar I also aims to surround the entire area with a 6 foot chain link fence, and to create an evergreen vegetative buffer, where native plant species could be used, reported LebTown.

Once commission members asked questions dealing with storm water, insurance, and performance bond requirements, Chairman Heagy opened the floor to the public for questions.

According to LebTown, concerns were expressed regarding: declining property values; electromagnetic radiation; ruined sight lines; noise from the switching station; harm to wildlife; glare distracting drivers on adjacent roadways; disposal of toxic chemicals in the panels if damaged or if the operator goes out of business; electrical and brush fires; and possible pollution to drinking water wells.

Lebanon Solar I representatives said that the plan they were presenting was preliminary and could be revised in response to concerns.

The North Annville Township Board of Supervisors will meet on June 24 at 6:30 p.m. at the Union Water Works Fire Company to hear testimony, receive evidence, and hear additional public comment. They will then have 45 days to make a decision on whether to approve the proposed solar farm as a conditional use.

Additional information can be found here.

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