(TRENTON) – A two-bill legislative package sponsored by Assembly Democrat Wayne DeAngelo designed to encourage the creation of environmentally friendly buildings was approved by an Assembly panel on Monday.
Both bills aim to promote the incorporation of blue and green roofs into the design of new and existing buildings. Blue and green roofs use vegetation or mechanical devices to prevent roof water from draining too quickly, not only to improve storm water management but also to provide cost saving opportunities such as more efficient energy usage for heating and cooling.
“It’s time to start making forward-thinking, eco-friendly solutions a priority for today, not a promise for tomorrow,” said DeAngelo (D-Mercer, Middlesex). “Blue and green roofs are a smart approach that will help save money in the long-term while also protecting our environment.”
The first bill (A-2307) requires the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, when ranking eligible projects for funding from the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Financing Program, to provide additional points, as part of the ranking criteria, for projects that include the construction and maintenance of a green or blue roof in the project design.
The current priority system used for ranking projects eligible for funding from the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Financing Program provides additional points to clean water projects whose primary purpose is to implement green infrastructure, water or energy efficiency improvements, including projects designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The second bill (A-2305) would require the Department of Community Affairs (DCA), in consultation with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), to adopt building standards for the installation of a blue or green roof. The bill would also require DEP to adopt rules and regulations to include the consideration of any planned or operational blue or green roof in the calculation of runoff volume and rate control, groundwater infiltration, water quality, and nonstructural storm water management strategies.
“Practicality and convenience do not have to be mutually exclusive,” said DeAngelo. “In the long run, buildings with environmentally-friendly designs end up saving more money. Green buildings also mean greener communities and a better quality of life for our residents.”
Priority consideration would also be given to any application for a permit, grant, approval, loan application, or other authorization granted by DEP for a project that includes the use of a blue or green roof.
Both measures were released by the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee.