KINGSTON, NY – Senator Michelle Hinchey today announced the signing of her bill (S8889A) to create the Agricultural and Farmland Viability Protection Fund, which will bolster efforts to protect agricultural land from being permanently removed from farming to make way for solar development.
Currently, all solar projects receiving funding through NYSERDA’s NY-Sun incentive program that site projects on active farmland must pay a penalty, which currently goes into the State’s General Fund. S8889A-Hinchey requires that all penalty money collected be deposited instead into the new Agricultural and Farmland Viability Protection Fund and allocated to state and local farmland protection programs.
“With the Climate Crisis changing the face of agriculture as we know it and rendering top food producing states, like California, unequipped to respond, New York must act now to protect local farmland and ensure a stable food supply for our region,” said Senator Hinchey. “I thank Governor Hochul for signing my bill to create the Agricultural and Farmland Viability Protection Fund and look forward to ensuring that we continue to work to create a future centered on locally sourced, healthy food and incentivize smart solar development without eliminating our finite agricultural resources.”