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article imageNew Jersey will require builders to consider climate change

By Karen Graham     Jan 28, 2020 in Environment
New Jersey will become the first state to require that builders take into account the impact of climate change, including rising sea levels, in order to win government approval for projects, Governor Philip D. Murphy announced on Monday.
With the release of the final 2019 Energy Master Plan (EMP), which includes sweeping policy goals aimed at fighting climate change it will likely have significant impacts on New Jersey’s building industry, according to the National Law Review.
Along with the release of the EMP, Governor Murphy also signed Executive Order 100 (EO 100) directing the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to develop new regulations to be implemented by 2022 which will require builders to take a number of climate-related issues into account while designing and building new construction in New Jersey.
According to EO 100, the NJDEP is required to draft and propose regulations to “integrate climate change considerations, such as sea-level rise, into its regulatory and permitting programs, including…land use permitting.”
With 130-miles of coastline, the move by New Jersey's governor is part of a widening effort that includes 15 coastal states to address worsening climate conditions and to counter the Trump administration's efforts to roll back environmental regulations.
Governor Murphy releases the Energy Master Plan that will address the climate crisis in constructive...
Governor Murphy releases the Energy Master Plan that will address the climate crisis in constructive ways.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy
Not only are New Jersey's new climate regulations the broadest and most specific rules at governing where construction companies can build, but they also address the amount of emissions that will be allowed to be released into the atmosphere. “This is not abstract for us,” Governor Murphy said in an interview reports the New York Times. “This is real. The dangers are there.”
New Jersey has joined a number of states that have opted to take action on climate change - primarily due to the inaction of the current administration in Washington D.C. New Jersey has set an admirable goal of producing 100 percent clean energy by 2050. For New Jersey, it is a matter of reducing greenhouse gasses and adding a new level of oversight into the building process.
“You need the carrot and the stick,” said Shawn LaTourette, chief of staff at the Department of Environmental Protection. “We’ve put out a lot of carrots — incentives. But the regulation needs to be the stick.”
“The rules are expected to be adopted by January 2022 after the DEP gathers input from businesses, environmentalists and other groups.”
More about New jersey, Energy Master Plan, Executive Order 100, climaterelated issues, Construction
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