The California Department of Toxic Substance Control had earlier determined that cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar modules are hazardous, and that these modules will need to be disposed of in special hazardous waste landfills.
But just last week, they proposed regulation that will exempt hazardous solar panels from hazardous waste handling laws, if these solar modules are recycled.
Why would DTSC want to deregulate something that is hazardous?
This proposal is in response to a request by a large solar company (that manufactures CdTe panels) for an exemption from hazardous waste handling laws. Basically, if they take their panels back, they feel their panels should not be deemed hazardous.
In DTSC‘s rush to deregulate, they aren’t asking the important questions. Who will pay for recycling? How will DTSC staff enforce the proposed regulations? Isn’t the agency already stretched so thin that it can’t enforce the existing laws?
DTSC’s effort to deregulate the entire industry to accommodate a single company is irresponsible. This “fix” for a single solar company and deregulation of solar hazardous waste without direction from the legislature will lead to narrow complicated regulations that will give the solar industry a poor start in the State.
We’ll release our comments on DTSC proposed regulation in the upcoming weeks.