ASSEMBLY, No. 3682

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JANUARY 10, 2011

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  RUBEN J. RAMOS, JR.

District 33 (Hudson)

Assemblyman  JOHN F. MCKEON

District 27 (Essex)

Assemblyman  WAYNE P. DEANGELO

District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

Assemblywoman  CONNIE WAGNER

District 38 (Bergen)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblymen O'Donnell, Benson and Conners

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes program to provide financial assistance towards installation of blue roofs and green roofs; authorizes use of Global Warming Solutions Fund for certain such purposes.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning blue roofs and green roofs, amending P.L.2007, c.340, and supplementing Title 58 of the Revised Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Section 2 of P.L.2007, c.340 (C.26:2C-46) is amended to read as follows:

     2.    As used in sections 1 through 11 and sections 14 and 15 of P.L.2007, c.340 [(C.26:2C-45 et seq.)] (C.26:2C-45 et al.) :

     "Allowance" means a limited authorization, as defined by the department, to emit up to one ton of carbon dioxide or its equivalent.

     "Board" means the Board of Public Utilities.

     "Compliance entity" means an owner or operator of an electric generating unit, with a nameplate capacity equal to or greater than 25 megawatts of electrical output, in New Jersey that is required to obtain allowances in order to operate an electric generating unit that holds an operating permit from the department issued pursuant to P.L.1954, c.212 (C.26:2C-1 et seq.), whether that unit is in operation or in development.  "Compliance entity" shall not include any cogeneration facility or combined heat and power facility that is an "on-site generation facility" as that term is defined in section 3 of P.L.1999, c.23 (C.48:3-51) and sells less than 10 percent of its annual gross electrical generation.

     "Consumer benefit" means any action or measure to:  promote energy efficiency; directly mitigate electricity ratepayer impacts; develop and deliver renewable or non-carbon-emitting energy technologies; stimulate or reward investment in the development of innovative carbon emissions abatement technologies with significant carbon emissions reduction potential; fund programs that promote measurable electricity end-use energy efficiency in the commercial, institutional, and industrial sectors; or fund the administration of greenhouse gas emissions allowance trading and consumer benefit programs.

     "Department" means the Department of Environmental Protection.

     "Dispatch agreement facility" means a facility that is a compliance entity that is a cogeneration facility or has a heat rate below 8,100 BTU per kilowatt-hour, and has entered into a power agreement:  (1) with a duration of more than 15 years from its effective date; (2) that provides that the entity's counterpart to the agreement controls the electric dispatch of the facility; (3) which was executed prior to January 1, 2002; and (4) which does not allow for the entity to pass the cost of allowances on to the counterpart to the agreement.

     "Global Warming Solutions Fund" or "fund" means the "Global Warming Solutions Fund" established pursuant to section 6 of P.L.2007, c.340 (C.26:2C-50).

     “Green roof” means a roof that includes, among other things, a growth medium and a vegetation layer of drought resistant and hardy plant species, designed to improve stormwater management.

     "Greenhouse gas" means the same as the term is defined in section 3 of P.L.2007, c.112 (C.26:2C-39).

     "Qualified participant" means a compliance entity or other entity that meets financial assurance and any other requirements to participate in an auction, as determined by the department in consultation with other entities participating in a regional, national or international program.

     "Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative" means the cooperative effort to reduce carbon dioxide emissions entered into by the governors of seven states through a Memorandum of Understanding signed on December 20, 2005, as amended.

(cf: P.L.2007, c.340, s.2)

 

     2.    Section 7 of P.L.2007, c.340 (C.26:2C-51) is amended to read as follows:

     7.    a.  The agencies administering programs established pursuant to this section shall maximize coordination in the administration of the programs to avoid overlap between the uses of the fund prescribed in this section.

     b.    Moneys in the fund, after appropriation annually for payment of administrative costs authorized pursuant to subsection c. of this section, shall be annually appropriated and used for the following purposes:

     (1)   Sixty percent shall be allocated to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to provide grants and other forms of financial assistance to commercial, institutional, and industrial entities to support end-use energy efficiency projects and new, efficient electric generation facilities that are state of the art, as determined by the department, including but not limited to energy efficiency and renewable energy applications, to develop combined heat and power production and other high efficiency electric generation facilities, to stimulate or reward investment in the development of innovative carbon emissions abatement technologies with significant carbon emissions reduction or avoidance potential, to develop qualified offshore wind projects pursuant to section 3 of P.L.2010, c.57 (C.48:3-87.1), [and] to provide financial assistance to manufacturers of equipment associated with qualified offshore wind projects , and to provide financial assistance for the construction or acquisition and installation of green roofs .  The authority, in consultation with the board and the department, shall determine:  (a) the appropriate level of grants or other forms of financial assistance to be awarded to individual commercial, institutional, and industrial sectors and to individual projects within each of these sectors; (b) the evaluation criteria for selecting projects to be awarded grants or other forms of financial assistance, which criteria shall include the ability of the project to result in a measurable reduction of the emission of greenhouse gases or a measurable reduction in energy demand, provided, however, that neither the development of a new combined heat and power production facility, nor an increase in the electrical and thermal output of an existing combined heat and power production facility, shall be subject to the requirement to demonstrate such a measurable reduction; and (c) the process by which grants or other forms of financial assistance can be applied for and awarded including, if applicable, the payment terms and conditions for authority investments in certain projects with commercial viability;

     (2)   Twenty percent shall be allocated to the board to support programs that are designed to reduce electricity demand or costs to electricity customers in the low-income and moderate-income residential sector with a focus on urban areas, including efforts to address heat island effect and reduce impacts on ratepayers attributable to the implementation of P.L.2007, c.340 (C.26:2C-45 et al.).  For the purposes of this paragraph, the board, in consultation with the authority and the department, shall determine the types of programs to be supported and the mechanism by which to quantify benefits to ensure that the supported programs result in a measurable reduction in energy demand; 

     (3)   Ten percent shall be allocated to the department to support programs designed to promote local government efforts to increase water conservation or improve stormwater management by awarding and prioritizing grants or other forms of assistance thereto for the construction or acquisition and installation of green roofs, and to plan, develop and implement measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including but not limited to technical assistance to local governments, and the awarding of grants and other forms of assistance to local governments to conduct and implement energy efficiency, renewable energy, and distributed energy programs and land use planning where the grant or assistance results in a measurable reduction of the emission of greenhouse gases or a measurable reduction in energy demand.  For the purpose of conducting any program pursuant to this paragraph, the department, in consultation with the authority and the board, shall determine:  (a) the appropriate level of grants or other forms of financial assistance to be awarded to local governments; (b) the evaluation criteria for selecting projects to be awarded grants or other forms of financial assistance; (c) the process by which grants or other forms of financial assistance can be applied for and awarded; and (d) a mechanism by which to quantify benefits ; and

     (4)   Ten percent shall be allocated to the department to support programs that enhance the stewardship and restoration of the State's forests and tidal marshes that provide important opportunities to sequester or reduce greenhouse gases.

     c.     (1) The department may use up to four percent of the total amount in the fund each year to pay for administrative costs justifiable and approved in the annual budget process, incurred by the department in administering the provisions of P.L.2007, c.340 (C.26:2C-45 et al.) and in administering programs to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases including any obligations that may arise under subsection a. of section 11 of P.L.2007, c.340 (C.26:2C-55).

     (2)   The board may use up to two percent of the total amount in the fund each year to pay for administrative costs justifiable and approved in the annual budget process, incurred by the board in administering the provisions of P.L.2007, c.340 (C.26:2C-45 et al.) and in administering programs to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases including any obligations that may arise under subsection a. of section 11 of P.L.2007, c.340 (C.26:2C-55).

     (3)   The New Jersey Economic Development Authority may use up to two percent of the total amount in the fund each year to pay for administrative costs justifiable and approved in the annual budget process, incurred by the authority in administering the provisions of P.L.2007, c.340 (C.26:2C-45 et al.) and in administering programs to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases.

     d.    The State Comptroller shall conduct or supervise independent audit and fiscal oversight functions of the fund and its uses.

(cf: P.L.2010, c.57, s.5)

 

     3.    (New section)  a.  In order to conserve water and improve stormwater management, the Department of Environmental Protection, in consultation with the Department of Community Affairs, shall establish a program to provide loans to owners of single family residences to assist them in financing the cost of constructing or acquiring and installing a blue roof or green roof on the residence.  The department may accept applications for blue roof or green roof loans from owners of single family residences, and may enter into loan agreements with qualified owners intending to construct or acquire a blue roof or green roof to be installed on the single family residence.

     b.    In order to conserve water and improve stormwater management, the Department of Environmental Protection, in consultation with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, shall establish a program to provide loans to commercial, institutional, and industrial entities to assist them in financing the cost of constructing or acquiring and installing a blue roof or green roof on the commercial, institutional, or industrial entity’s property or properties.  The department may accept applications for blue roof or green roof loans from commercial, institutional, and industrial entities, and may enter into loan agreements with qualified entities intending to construct or acquire a blue roof or green roof to be installed on the commercial, institutional, or industrial property or properties.   

     c.     For any blue roof or green roof loan application submitted, the department, in consultation with the Department of Community Affairs or the New Jersey Economic Development Authority as appropriate, shall consider:

     (1)   the extent to which the likely benefit to be gained from the loan exceeds its cost to the applicant; and

     (2)   the applicant's ability to repay the loan or to obtain alternate financing.

     d.    Loans issued pursuant to this section from the “Blue and Green Roof Revolving Loan Account,” established pursuant to section 4 of P.L.    , c.   (C.     ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), and made by the Department of Environmental Protection shall:

     (1)   not exceed 85 percent of the cost of the blue roof or green roof to be constructed or acquired and installed, as determined by the department;

     (2)   be for a term as determined by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection not to exceed 20 years;

     (3)   be provided at an interest rate established by the Department of Environmental Protection at the lowest level consistent with the department’s cost of operation, not to exceed 4 percent per year; and

     (4)   be evidenced by a promissory note which shall contain terms and provisions and be in a form approved by the department, and the terms and provisions shall include, but need not be limited to, a requirement that in the event of any sale which occurs during the period when the blue roof or green roof loan is being repaid, the owner or entity shall either remit the unpaid balance of the loan or require the purchaser to assume the loan.

     e.     The terms of any loan agreement shall be approved by the State Treasurer.  Any loan made from the “Blue and Green Roof Revolving Loan Account” shall be awarded based upon the criteria and procedures established for blue roofs and green roofs pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (3) of subsection b. of section 7 of P.L.2007, c.340 (C.26:2C-51) and this section, except that the Commissioner of Environmental Protection may, however, consider the extent of matching funds in reviewing loan applications if available or appropriate.

     f.     As a condition of the loan, the Department of Environmental Protection shall be authorized during the construction or acquisition and installation of a blue roof or green roof, and for a reasonable period thereafter, to enter the residence or commercial, institutional, or industrial property to inspect the construction and materials financed by the loan.  The department shall give reasonable prior notification of any inspection.

     g.     As used in this section:

     “Blue roof” means a roof constructed with mechanical controls that drain stormwater, including but not limited to gravel beds, perforated pipes, rooftop detention systems, or weirs, designed to improve stormwater management.

     “Green roof” means a roof that includes, among other things, a growth medium and a vegetation layer of drought resistant and hardy plant species, designed to improve stormwater management.

 

     4.    (New section)  The State Treasurer shall establish an account, to be known as the “Blue and Green Roof Revolving Loan Account.” The moneys in the account are specifically dedicated towards the cost of the purposes relating to blue roofs and green roofs as set forth in paragraphs (1) and (3) of subsection b. of section 7 of P.L.2007, c.340 (C.26:2C-51) and section 3 of P.L.    , c.  (C.     ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).  The Legislature shall annually appropriate funds from the account as may be necessary to finance the programs, established pursuant to subsections a. and b. of section 3 of P.L.    , c.   (C.     ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).  Such grants, contributions, donations, and reimbursements from federal aid programs as may be lawfully used for the purposes of constructing or acquiring and installing a blue roof or green roof as set forth in paragraphs (1) and (3) of subsection b. of section 7 of P.L.2007, c.340 and section 3 of P.L.    , c.   (pending before the Legislature as this bill) may also be held in the “Blue and Green Roof Revolving Loan Account.”  Moneys in the account shall not be expended except in accordance with appropriations from the account made by law.  Unexpended moneys due to project withdrawals, cancellations, or cost savings shall be returned to the account to be used for the purposes of the account.  Any interest or other investment income earned from monies deposited in the fund shall accrue and be credited to the fund.

 

     5.    (New section)  The Department of Environmental Protection and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, in consultation with the Department of Community Affairs and the Department of the Treasury as appropriate, shall adopt rules and regulations, pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), to effectuate the purposes of this act, including the establishment of conditions, requirements or criteria for loans established pursuant to sections 3 and 4 of this act.

 

     6.    This act shall take effect immediately.

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would authorize the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to provide low interest loans to qualified applicants towards the construction or acquisition and installation of blue roofs or green roofs to be installed on single family residences or on property of commercial, institutional, and industrial entities, in order to conserve water or improve stormwater management. 

     The bill further amends P.L.2007, c.340 (N.J.S.A.26:2C-45 et al.), the law commonly referred to as the “Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative” or “RGGI,” to allow funds in the “Global Warming Solutions Fund,” intended to be appropriated for the purposes of energy efficiency, conservation, and greenhouse gas reductions, to also be used to conserve water and improve stormwater management through the construction and acquisition or installation of green roofs.  The bill would allow the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) to provide financial assistance for the construction or acquisition and installation of green roofs and would allow the DEP to award and prioritize grants or other forms of assistance to local governments for the construction or acquisition and installation of green roofs.

     Under the bill, the State Treasurer would establish the “Blue and Green Roof Revolving Loan Account” (“account”) within the Global Warming Solutions Fund.  The terms of any loan agreement would be approved by the State Treasurer.  Loans issued from the account and made by the DEP would: (1)  not exceed 85 percent of the cost of the blue roof or green roof; (2) be for a term not to exceed 20 years; (3) be provided at an interest rate at the lowest level consistent with the DEP’s cost of operation, not to exceed 4 percent per year; and (4) be evidenced by a promissory note, with terms and provisions requiring that in the event of any sale which occurs during the period when the blue roof or green roof loan is being repaid, the owner or entity would either remit the unpaid balance of any such loan or require the purchaser to assume the loan.

     As a condition of the loan, the DEP would also be authorized during the construction or acquisition and installation of a blue roof or green roof, and for a reasonable period thereafter, to enter the residence or commercial, institutional, or industrial property to inspect the construction and materials financed by the loan, after providing reasonable prior notification of any inspection.

     Upon submission of a blue roof or green roof loan application, the DEP, in consultation with either the Department of Community Affairs, for applications from owners of single family residences, or  the EDA, for applications from commercial, institutional, or industrial entities, would consider the extent to which the likely benefit to be gained from the loan exceeds its cost to the applicant,
and the applicant's ability to repay the loan or to obtain alternate financing.