Gov. J.B. Pritzker recently signed a measure brought by Illinois Farm Bureau requiring wind and solar developers to plan for and repair agricultural damages, including subsurface issues, a legislative priority for the IFB Board.
The bill requires wind and solar projects to file a farmland drainage plan with the county and impacted drainage districts, outlining what the facility will do to repair any subsurface or surface damage as soon as reasonably practicable.
The bill addresses concerns about a law passed in January preventing county ordinances from restricting wind and solar development, as the law was inconsistent with Agricultural Impact Mitigation Agreements (AIMA) and it did not include provisions for drainage. It clarifies a vegetative ground cover and vegetative management plan shall follow provisions outlined in the AIMA, unless the landowner negotiates other standards in agreement with the developer.
The bill further clarifies the responsibility of wind and solar facilities in compensating landowners or repairing the damage for crop losses or other agricultural damage caused by drainage issues when the facility was constructed.
The bill is effective immediately.
Pritzker also signed a measure allowing nuclear energy to be manufactured using small, micro-nuclear reactors.
The measure mandates the Illinois Emergency Management Agency to facilitate the regulation of small nuclear reactors in the state by Jan. 1, 2026.
Pritzker vetoed a bill passed in the spring over concerns it would enable full nuclear power plants. The new measure specifically references and enables small modular reactors, generating less than 300 megawatts.
The measure is effective June 1, 2024.
This story was provided by FarmWeekNow.com.