Building green

New legislation seeks to incentivize green building projects in New Jersey

Green means business.
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Green means business.

In an effort to create environmentally responsible buildings and to prioritize applications for green building projects, state assembly members are moving forward with new legislation.

A bill sponsored by assembly members Nicholas Chiaravalloti (D-Hudson), Raj Mukherji (D-Hudson), Eliana Pintor Marin (D-Essex), and Jamel Holley (D-Union) was advanced by the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee on July 20.

It would authorize the State Departments of Community Affairs (DCA), Environmental Protection (DEP) and Transportation (DOT) to enact regulations that would prioritize green building projects while permitting municipalities to enact ordinances that would require local agencies to prioritize these projects.

Applications for development, permits, and other approvals associated with a project that is demonstrably resource-efficient and environmentally responsible would be given priority if such regulations and ordinances were passed.

“It’s important to encourage building in this area as we look toward a more environmentally friendly future,” said Chiaravalloti. “Prioritizing these projects will help our state reap the economic benefits more efficiently while promoting more green building projects that will benefit current and future generations of New Jersey residents.”

Green building projects

A project would qualify as a “green building project” if it has documented incorporation of site, water, energy, and resource efficiency measures in addition to practices that would promote the health and well-being of building occupants. The architect or engineer would be required to submit a letter along with documentation indicating compliance with certain environmental standards to prove eligibility.

“Allowing green construction jobs to be prioritized would give a much-needed boost to our state’s economic engine during a time of financial turbulence,” said Mukherji. “Ensuring that engine is fueled with environmentally friendly projects is an added bonus that will pay economic and environmental dividends for years to come.”

“Expediting projects such as these would help create new, green jobs in New Jersey, which is a win-win for our economy and the environment,” said Pintor Marin. “Quickly moving projects like these forward would prove to other manufacturing sectors that economic stimulus and environmental protection don’t have to be mutually exclusive.”

“This legislation is an appropriate step to not only create jobs and stimulate the economy, but to encourage developers to focus on more sustainable building designs that are much better for the environment,” said Holley.

The bill will now head to the Assembly Speaker for further consideration.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.