LaFayette solar farm fined $500,000 for Clean Water Act violations

After four years of investigation and cooperation, the US Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency settled AL Solar, a solar farm in rural Alabama, for Clean Water Act violations.

“The development of solar energy is a key component of this administration’s efforts to combat climate change,” Larry Starfield, EPA acting assistant administrator, said in a statement. “These settlements send an important message to the property owners of solar farm projects that these facilities must be designed and constructed in accordance with all environmental laws, including those preventing the discharge of sediment into local waters during construction.”

The DOJ and EPA also announced settlements with three other solar farms this month.

For the Alabama farm, however, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper Jason Ulseth said the announcement was “a long time coming.” His group was the first to investigate AL Solar’s violations and reported them to the EPA and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.