State Rep. Mark Finchem, R-Pima, called for legislation to "protect Arizona's soil and water" in a Nov. 8 press release.
While there has been extensive research and funding for green energy, Finchem is concerned at the lack of research and funding for how to safely control the life cycle of old solar-powered utilites, he said in the release.
"Research shows that there has been very little, if any, allocation of taxpayer subsidies to provide for solar panel and electric vehicle battery decommissioning, resource recovery, and safe deconstruction and materials disposal of potentially harmful, toxic materials," Finchem said.
According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, some components of batteries used in solar panels can cause cancer, and if leaked into landfills, could cause irreparable damage to Arizona's water, Finchem said.
"This is a disaster in the making, and it can be avoided. With this legislation, we will be calling on the U.S. Congress, as well as all levels of governments, to work cooperatively with the private sector, nonprofits, and academia to develop and support robust solar panel and electric vehicle battery decommissioning, safe handling, and resource recovery programs that protect our environment," he said.