Citations Affected: IC 8-23.
Synopsis: Harvesting grasses along highways. Requires the Indiana
department of transportation to enter into leases of highway
rights-of-way for which responsibility is assigned to the department for
the growth, maintenance, and harvesting of grasses or other plants that
are suitable for processing into fuels or other energy products.
Effective: July 1, 2009.
January 8, 2009, read first time and referred to Committee on Natural Resources.
A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning
AS A NEW CHAPTER TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE
JULY 1, 2009]:
Chapter 24.5. Planting Grasses and Other Plants for Energy Production
Sec. 1. The intent of this chapter is to encourage the use of highway rights-of-way owned by the state to promote the growth and harvesting of vegetation to be used as fuels and other energy products.
Sec. 2. As used in this chapter, "highway rights-of-way" refer to highway rights-of-way for which responsibility is assigned to the department.
Sec. 3. As used in this chapter, "vegetation" refers to grasses or other plants that are suitable for processing into fuels or other energy products.
Sec. 4. To the extent permitted by federal law and when consistent with public safety, the department shall enter into leases with appropriate persons for the persons to plant, maintain, and harvest vegetation on the highway rights-of-way for use in production of energy.
Sec. 5. A lease under this chapter must provide for the following:
(1) The lessee is responsible for planting, maintaining, and harvesting the vegetation at the lessee's cost.
(2) The lessee becomes the owner of the vegetation when harvested.
(3) The harvested vegetation must be used for the production of fuels or other energy products.
Sec. 6. A lease under this chapter may provide for the following:
(1) Any term of the lease that the department considers best to implement the intent of this chapter, but not for more than four (4) years.
(2) For the lease of parcels of sizes that the department considers the best to implement the intent of this chapter.
(3) Any other provisions that the department considers useful to implement the intent of this chapter.
Sec. 7. The department shall award a lease under this chapter to the responsive and responsible bidder who submits the highest bid for the particular lease.
Sec. 8. To the extent permitted by federal law, the department shall make the use of highway rights-of-way as provided in this chapter a priority over all other uses.