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Politics & Government

Three bills signed advancing environmental protection goals

Enviroment_Bill_sign.jpg
Sophia Schmidt
/
Delaware Public Media

State lawmakers checked off more items on their environmental to-do list last week with three bill signings.

 

This year was big for environmental issues in the First State, with the advancement of a new clean water fund and the imposition of stricter renewable energy requirements.

 

Lawmakers recently celebrated the signing of three other bills focused on advancing environment-minded goals.

 

Gov. John Carney says one which lowers the barrier for community solar projects ties into the state’s goal of ensuring forty percent of its electricity comes from renewable sources by 2035.

 

“And we’re gonna need lots of community solar installations to meet that goal,” Carney said. “As well as individual homeowners putting solar arrays on top of their homes.”

 

Environmental advocates also praise the bill for ensuring part of each community solar installation serves low income homes, which they say helps educate all economic levels about the importance of renewable energy.

 

Carney also signed a bill, spearheaded by State Sen. Stephanie Hansen, allowing state agencies to charge a fee to recover the costs of running an electric vehicle charger.

 

DNREC secretary Shawn Garvin says this is one area the state can make a real difference.

 

31% of our greenhouse gas emissions come from vehicles,” Garvin said. “So if we’re really gonna get a handle on our impact, on climate change and what we can do here in the state, it’s really electrifying our transportation grid.”

 

Transportation makes up the majority of Delaware’s contributions to climate change, with industrial and power generation close behind.

 

Carney says bills that advance the adoption of electric cars are important in Delaware, a lower density state without the capability to feasibly adopt mass transit solutions.

 

The governor also signed a bill essentially banning the intentional release of balloons, which end up coming back to earth as plastic pollution.

 

Roman Battaglia is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.

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