New Jersey bill would require environmentally friendly concrete option in construction

(The Center Square) – Proposed legislation would require New Jersey developers to offer an environmentally friendly concrete product as an option in new construction, a move its sponsor says would reduce carbon in the atmosphere.

S-3901 offers tax incentives and government purchasing preferences for earth-friendly unit concrete products that use carbon footprint-reducing technology, such as permeable pavement, in the construction or improvement of any residential or commercial building.

“We want to encourage the use of concrete products utilizing ‘carbon footprint-reducing technology,’” state Sen. Kip Bateman, R-Branchburg, said in a news release.

“Concrete is the most widely used construction material, but it is responsible for 8 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions,” Bateman added. “Technology now allows concrete to be produced with less energy, reducing carbon emissions, and this bill will support its adoption in the marketplace.”

The bill would exempt unit concrete products using carbon footprint-reducing technology from New Jersey’s sales and use taxes.

The bill would establish a tax credit of $2 per square foot of qualified product. The credit would be capped at $3,000 for a residential build and $30,000 for a commercial property.

To qualify for a tax credit, a builder must install at least 100 square feet of a qualified concrete product.

“The credits will encourage investment in building material that will reduce greenhouse gas and help reduce climate change,” Bateman said. “It is a relatively painless way to cut our carbon footprint and improve the environment.”

The proposal also requires the Environmental Protection commissioner to establish standards and procedures to certify whether a concrete product generates at least a reduction of half the carbon compared to traditional concrete.

An Office of Legislative Services (OLS) fiscal estimate revealed the bill will likely decrease state revenues and increase state expenditures. However, OLS could not estimate a precise amount.

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