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May 06, 2015

Environmental groups sue Six Flags over solar farm plans

Lawsuits Six Flags
03302015_SixFlags Tim Larsen/AP

Six Flags Great Adventure's roller coaster, Kingda Ka, sends people flying skyward in Jackson, N.J.

Environmentalists are suing over a New Jersey theme park’s plans to cut down more than 18,000 trees to build a 90-acre, 21.9-megawatt solar farm, the Asbury Park Press reports.

Six Flags Great Adventure, located in Jackson Township, would become the largest self-powered theme park in the U.S., producing 98 percent of its current electrical needs.

Environmental groups, however, claim the theme park is violating the state’s municipal land-use law. They argue that the plan would harm the Barnegat Bay watershed and suggest the parking lot and buildings as alternative locations for a solar farm.

Six Flags, in turn, says that option isn't feasible because a carport-based solar system would lead to a critical loss of parking spaces and restrict the continued use of the parking area for outdoor concerts and charity events.

"You don't kill the earth to save the earth," Janet Tauro, New Jersey board chair of Clean Water Action, said in a statement. "If a Jackson resident takes down a tree in their own backyard, they have to jump through hoops as the tree removal ordinance is so stringent, but Great Adventure plans to clear cut 18,000 trees and the application flies through like greased lightning."

The project was approved by the Township's Planning Board March 2.

Read more from the Asbury Park Press.