(TRENTON) - A two-bill legislative package sponsored by Assembly Democrats Wayne DeAngelo, Nancy Pinkin and Tim Eustace designed to encourage the creation of environmentally friendly buildings cleared the Senate Environment 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.
"Practicality and convenience do not have to be mutually exclusive," said Pinkin (D-Middlesex). "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."
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.
"Given the fact that priority consideration will be given to projects that incorporate blue or green roofs, hopefully more project developers will be encouraged to adopt this environmentally-conscious approach," said Eustace (D-Bergen, Passaic). "We need to do everything in our power to promote eco-friendly designs."
The General Assembly panel passed the measure A-2307 was approved 54-19-4 and A-2305 was approved 65-9-3 in March.