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Assembly Panel OK’s DeAngelo Bill Requiring Use of Green, Blue Roofs in Construction Projects Built with State Funds

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo (D-Mercer/Middlesex) that would require the use of environmentally friendly green or blue roofs in new construction projects being built with state funds was released last week by an Assembly panel.

“Green and blue roofs have many environmental benefits. While blue roofs help with storm water control by releasing water more gradually, green roofs not only help reduce storm water runoff, but help filter pollutants, cool roofs and provide a habitat for wildlife,” said DeAngelo. “Storm water runoff can cause polluted water to get into our waterways. Requiring the installation of these systems in new buildings whenever possible can help preserve our waterways and protect our environment.”

The bill (A-2304) would require any new building, facility, or structure that is being funded entirely or in part by the state, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority or the New Jersey Schools Development Authority and has at least 15,000 square feet in total floor area, to be, to the extent feasible, designed, constructed, and managed to include a functioning green roof or blue roof. As used in this context, feasibility would include fiscal, physical and structural concerns related to the design, installation and maintenance of a green roof or a blue roof. All plans, specifications, and bid proposal documents for any building, facility, or structure to which the bill applies would be required to identify the design standards to be used for the green roof or blue roof and the requirements for its maintenance. Any building, facility, or structure to which the bill applies may also have solar panels, provided that the solar panels do not interfere with the functions of the green roof or blue roof.

Green roofs are roofs that are partially or completely covered in vegetation with a root barrier and drainage, which is planted over a waterproofing membrane. Along with being aesthetically pleasing, green roofs provide a plethora of environmental benefits like absorbing rainfall, filtering pollutants, moderating heating and cooling, increasing roof durability, and providing wildlife habitat.

A blue roof system detains rainwater directly on a rooftop and slowly releases that water to the sewer system, allowing for some depression storage and evaporation losses. The water collected can be used for irrigation, a site infiltration system, a rain garden, or slowly discharge into the sewer system.

The requirements of the bill would not apply to any building, facility, or structure for which a request for proposal for entering into a contract to design the building, facility, or structure has been issued prior to the effective date of the bill.

The bill would take effect on the first day of the 13th month following the date of enactment of the bill into law.

The bill was released by the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee on June 4.