MASTRIANO OP-ED: Mount Joy Solar Panel Project Warrants Thorough Investigation

I have become increasingly alarmed about the lack of transparency regarding the proposed solar panel project in Mount Joy Township, Adams County.

Citizens are frustrated because they feel their voices are not being heard at the local level.

As a state lawmaker, it is important to understand that state officials do not get involved in local land-use matters. However, transparency is paramount – and we need some sunshine in Mount Joy Township.

If approved, a proposed massive industrial solar power plant will cover 1000 acres of prime farmland with 21 miles of eight-foot high barb wire fencing. Additionally, there will be more than 300,000 12-foot high rotating hazardous solar panels. These solar panels will have to be cleaned on a regular basis with well water. As a staunch environmental advocate, this could be devastating, as the project has the possibility of contaminating thousands of private homeowners’ water for the next 35 years.      

This can have devastating consequences on local residents by unleashing cancer and toxins into the environment.

It is my understanding that state agencies are aware of the concerns that have been raised by township citizens, and those departments are investigating the project.

Hopefully, the investigation will be swift and thorough. Answers are necessary.

Elected and appointed township officials have a solemn duty to uphold the oath of office, abide by state and federal codes, and to conduct themselves in a transparent manner, without any conflicts of interests.

No elected or appointed township official should be able to significantly profit from township decisions that are voted on by the Board of Supervisors. As such, statements of financial interest should be properly and accurately completed. Without following these important procedures, elected or appointed township officials should recuse themselves from any vote.

Transparency is a necessity, now more than ever.

Senator Doug Mastriano represents the 33rd Senate District, which includes all of Adams County, and portions of Franklin, Cumberland and York counties.