Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) said Wednesday that she is sponsoring legislation to establish a task force to evaluate the feasibility of implementing green building technology throughout New Jersey.
"The findings would complement the strong efforts by Governor Corzine and legislative Democrats to ensure New Jersey remains a leader in the clean energy industry," Vainieri Huttle said. "We've already taken many strong steps to promote clean energy and combat climate change. Finding ways to infuse green building technology into projects throughout the state is another piece to that puzzle."
The bill (A-4120) would establish the New Jersey State Building Green Building Technology Task Force.
The task force would consist of 13 members, including the state commissioners of Environmental Protection, Community Affairs, Transportation and Education, the state treasurer, the Board of Public Utilities president and seven public members representing various industries and organizations who would be appointed by the governor.
"New Jersey is already a leader in fighting climate change," Vainieri Huttle said. "We were the third state to codify greenhouse gas reduction goals. We helped jumpstart the first cap-and-trade program in the nation for carbon dioxide. We're looking to boost offshore wind production. Working with experts and industry to find more ways to promote and spread green building technology is a logical next step. It will not only buttress efforts to protect our environment, but would be another step toward a strong green economy for the Garden State."
The task force would:
- Examine and evaluate the need for and feasibility of green building technology statewide;
- Study and identify the environmental, economic, health and community benefits of green building technology;
- Improve the efforts of state, county and municipal agencies to focus more significantly on the benefits of green building technology;
- Encourage various departments of state government to embrace and incorporate green building technology in new government structures, and in the rehabilitation, maintenance and operation of existing state-owned facilities;
- Develop, in cooperation with the Department of Community Affairs, programs to encourage builders to give appropriate consideration to green building technology in developing smart growth areas; and
- Determine the best method for instituting a green building technology program in accordance with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System, which is used for measuring and evaluating the energy and environmental performance of a building.
As defined in the bill, green building technology means a philosophy of building design and construction that incorporates energy efficient and environmentally friendly concepts.
"This includes, but of course is not limited to, using natural resources efficiently, considering the impact of buildings on the local, regional and global environment and conserving and reusing water and optimizing energy performance by installing energy efficient equipment and systems," Vainieri Huttle said. "These are sensible steps, and if we can find a way to begin implementing them throughout our state, we should do it."
The task force would submit a written report concerning its activities and findings and any recommendations for legislative and regulatory action to the governor and the Legislature no later than 18 months after its organizational meeting.
The measure is pending before the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee.
— TOM HESTER SR., NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM