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Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Mitigation Measures

Mitigation measures to avoid or reduce impacts from hazardous materials and waste management associated with solar energy development.

The following are examples of mitigation measures that could be applied to reduce hazardous materials and waste management impacts of a project depending upon site- and project-specific conditions. Hazardous materials and waste management impacts are related to the types and amount of equipment and machinery used for the project and the wastes they produce and material shipments and construction wastes. Many impacts can be reduced or avoided when considered during the siting and design phase.

Develop a final set of mitigation measures for any project in consultation with the appropriate federal resource management agencies and stakeholders. Conduct these consultations early in the project development process and preferably prior to final project siting and design.

Siting and Design Mitigation Measures

Siting and design considerations that mitigate impacts include:

  • Prepare a comprehensive list of all hazardous materials to be used, stored, transported, or disposed of during all phases of activity.
  • Develop a hazardous materials management plan addressing storage, use, transportation, and disposal (interim and final) for each item in the comprehensive list. The plan should identify specifics regarding local and federal emergency response.
  • Develop a waste management plan identifying anticipated solid and liquid waste streams and addressing determination, inspection and waste minimization procedures, storage locations, and waste-specific management and disposal requirements. Include a recycling strategy to be practiced by workers during all project phases.
  • Develop a spill prevention and response plan for addressing storage locations of hazardous wastes, spill prevention measures, training requirements, waste-specific spill response actions, spill response kits, and notifications to authorities.
  • Develop a stormwater management plan to ensure compliance with regulations and prevent off-site migration of contaminated stormwater or increased soil erosion.
  • Develop a pesticide/herbicide management plan.
  • Investigate the historical use of the area to be disturbed with regard to the potential presence of hazardous materials.

General Mitigation Measures

General mitigation practices and principles that could apply to any or all phases of a solar energy project include:

  • Implement plans for hazardous materials management, waste management spill prevention and response, stormwater management, and pesticide management. Train employees to promptly contain, report, and/or clean up any oil or hazardous material spill.
  • Provide secondary containment for all on-site hazardous materials and waste storage, including fuel.
  • Containerize and periodically remove wastes for recycling or for disposal at appropriate off-site permitted disposal facilities.
  • Provide portable spill containment and cleanup equipment in all vehicles.
  • Select pesticides/herbicides that are low in human toxicity, known to be effective against the target species, and have minimal effects on non-target species and the environment.
  • Keep vehicles and equipment in good working order to prevent oil and fuel leaks.
  • Document accidental releases as to cause, corrective actions taken, and resulting environmental or health and safety impacts.

Project Phase-Specific Mitigation Measures

Mitigation measures specific to a particular phase of a solar energy project include:

Decommissioning/Site Reclamation

  • Aboveground project components should be removed from the project area and either recycled, sold as scrap, or properly disposed of at licensed waste disposal facilities.