(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly members Raj Mukherji, Eliana Pintor-Marin and Elizabeth Muoio that would fast-track environmentally friendly municipal construction projects was released by the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee on Thursday.
“Fast tracking green construction jobs will give a much needed boost to our state’s economic engine,” 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.”
The legislation (A-2081) would instruct the state departments of Community Affairs (DCA), Environmental Protection (DEP), and Transportation (DOT) to give priority consideration to permit applications for green building projects.
The bill defines a “green building project” as any project designed in accordance with the green building manual prepared by DCA.
The green building manual contains all federal guidelines and regulations for energy efficiency in residential and commercial building construction. It is available to owners, builders and members of the public who participate in any program that encourages or requires the construction of green buildings. The manual further defines “green building” as “…those building construction practices that significantly reduce or eliminate the negative impact of buildings on the environment and their occupants and may consider, but need not be limited to five broad areas:
1. Sustainable site planning;
2. Safeguarding water and water efficiency;
3. Energy efficiency and renewable energy;
4. Conservation of materials and resources; and
5. Indoor environmental quality.
“Creating new, green jobs in New Jersey is a win-win for our economy and the environment,” said Pintor Marin (D-Essex). “Moving projects like these forward in an expedited manner will help prove to other manufacturing sectors that economic stimulus and environmental protection don’t have to be mutually exclusive.”
“This is a great incentive that will help encourage the building of environmentally-friendly buildings in the state,” said Muoio (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). “By expediting the permit process for these specific projects, we can help strengthen our economy while being considerate of the environment.”
The bill will now go to the Assembly Speaker for further consideration.