This past Monday, the Senate Environment and Energy Committee released several bills with NJBIA support. S-3919 (Smith), would phase out and ultimately ban hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). HFCs are short lived but highly potent greenhouse gases. HFCs were originally proposed to be banned by the federal Environmental Protection Agency, but the EPA regulations were overturned in a lawsuit. Since that time, numerous states have sought to use their own authority to ban these substances.
NJBIA supports this bill because industry has already begun to switch to new replacement substances and the bill contains sufficient time periods for a smooth transition. Working with our colleagues at the Chemistry Council and the national Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute, we were able to obtain several amendments to minimize impacts to the business community.
Two recycling bills were approved by the Committee related to the current crisis in the recycling industry. S-3939 (Smith) would create a Recycling Market Development Council. S-3944 (Bateman) would create a task force to study recycling streams. Both these bills are intended to find solutions to the current lack of a market for recycled materials, especially plastics.
Several bills were also released by committee that will appropriate funds to the State’s Infrastructure Bank to support water infrastructure projects in the state. NJBIA is supportive of these bills as they not only help improve our environment, but support jobs in the construction industries.