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Assembly Committee Advances Legislation Permitting Prioritization of Green Building Projects in New Jersey

Mukherji, Pintor Marin, Holley & Chiaravalloti Bill Would Fast-Track Environmentally Responsible Building Projects
In an effort to incentivize the creation of environmentally responsible buildings in New Jersey, legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Raj Mukherji, Eliana Pintor Marin, Jamel Holley and Nicholas Chiaravalloti to prioritize applications for green building projects was advanced by the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee on Monday.
The legislation (A-2152) 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 also permitting municipalities to enact an ordinance 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 then passed.
“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 (D-Hudson). “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 (D-Essex). “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.”
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 in order to prove eligibility.
“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 (D-Union).
“It’s important to encourage building in this area as we look toward a more environmentally friendly future,” said Chiaravalloti (D-Hudson). “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.”
The bill will now head to the Assembly Speaker for further consideration.