Due to a new act recently signed into New Jersey law, some exciting things are coming up for the state in 2022. Let’s explore this new law and what it means for New Jersey residents.
Environmental Justice Act
The Environmental Justice Act was signed into law in September of 2020. It addresses “the disproportionate environmental and public health impacts of pollution on overburdened communities.” New Jersey currently identifies 3,168 of its communities as “overburdened”. This new law will protect residents in these identified areas from certain types of new businesses and buildings that could cause unnecessary pollution. On top of that, no current permits will be “grandfathered in”. This stipulation means that even existing permits will have to meet the new law’s criteria for renewal.
Going Electric and Eliminating Carbon
Considering that New Jersey would like to reach 100% clean energy by 2050, it’s important to take steps now for commercial and residential real estate properties. However, this doesn’t mean that any new build that will last until 2050 needs to be immediately powered by 100% clean energy. The property should just be ready for them in the future. For instance, solar panels should be considered when choosing the type of roof the property will have.
What can you do now?
As the new laws are implemented, property owners can take steps right away. Regarding the Environmental Justice Act, property owners can use NJDEP’s online Environmental Justice Mapping Tool. This tool will help business owners and residents determine if their active or planned project lies within an “overburdened community”. As for the clean energy developments, keep an eye on the state’s clean energy program website. The critical thing to remember is to stay ahead of the law to make sure all of the new laws/rules are followed.