House of Representatives
Office of Program Research
Environment & Energy Committee
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
Brief Description: Concerning the photovoltaic module stewardship and takeback program.
Sponsors: Representatives Smith, Eslick and Pollet.
Hearing Date: 1/27/20
Staff: Nikkole Hughes (786-7156).
The Photovoltaic Module Stewardship and Takeback Program.
The Photovoltaic Module Stewardship and Takeback Program (Program) requires manufacturers of photovoltaic solar panels to provide the public a convenient and environmentally sound way to recycle all modules purchased in the state after July 1, 2017.
Each manufacturer must prepare and submit a stewardship plan to the Department of Ecology (Department) by the later of January 1, 2020, or within 30 days of its first sale of a photovoltaic module in or into the state.
The Department was required to establish a stakeholder process by January 1, 2018, in order to develop guidance for the photovoltaic module stewardship plans required of manufacturers. The Department published its initial Manufacturer Plan Guidance for the Program (Plan Guidance) in July 2019 and revised it in January 2020.
The Department must approve a stewardship plan if it determines the plan addresses each element outlined in its Plan Guidance. Beginning January 1, 2021, no manufacturer may sell or offer for sale a photovoltaic module in or into the state unless the manufacturer has submitted a plan to, and received approval from, the Department.
The Department may assess a penalty of up to $10,000 for each sale of a photovoltaic module in or into the state that occurs after an initial written warning to a manufacturer that is not participating in a plan.
Summary of Bill:
Enforcement of the Photovoltaic Module Stewardship and Takeback Program Requirements.
Beginning January 1, 2022, no manufacturer, distributor, retailer, or installer may sell or offer for sale a photovoltaic module in or into the state unless the manufacturer of the photovoltaic module has submitted a stewardship plan to the Department and received plan approval.
The Department may assess a penalty of up to $10,000 upon a manufacturer for each sale that occurs in or into the state of a photovoltaic module for which a stewardship plan has not been submitted by the manufacturer and approved by the Department.
The Department must send a written warning to a distributor, retailer, or installer that sells or installs a photovoltaic module made by a manufacturer that is not participating in a plan. The written warning must inform the distributor, retailer, or installer that they may no longer sell or install a photovoltaic module if a stewardship plan for that brand has not been submitted by the manufacturer and approved by the Department within 30 days of the notice.
"Distributor" means a person who markets and sells photovoltaic modules to retailers in Washington.
"Installer" means a person who assembles, installs, and maintains photovoltaic module systems.
"Photovoltaic module" includes interconnections, terminals, and protective devices, such as diodes, that are part of a system connected to the grid or utility service.
"Retailer" means a person who offers photovoltaic modules for retail sale in the state through any means including, but not limited to, remote offerings such as sales outlets, catalogs, or internet sales.
Fiscal Note: Requested on January 22, 2020.
Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.