Governor Murphy Tuesday signed into law legislation that will help schools and small businesses in New Jersey upgrade their water and ventilation systems to protect the health of students,educators, customers and employees.
The bill was sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senator Troy Singleton.
“The importance of clean air and clean water takes on greater importance as we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic,” said Senator Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “As schools reopen and more businesses work to return to full operations,we have to do all we can to protect the health and safety of students and educators, as well as the customers and employees of small businesses that are so important to communities. Everyone needs to have confidence that the air they are breathing and the water they are using is clean and safe. This is an investment that will benefit schools and businesses for years to come.”
The law, S-3995/A-5944, will establish the School & Small Business Energy Efficiency Stimulus Program Fund in the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to provide the resources to ensure that heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems in schools and small businesses are in good repair and working order.
“As schools and businesses continue to reopen, there are concerns around whether they have adequate ventilation systems to meet health and safety requirements,”said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington). “This new law will provide the necessary funding assistance to allow these already cash-strapped businesses and school districts to upgrade their systems, which will improve the air our residents breathe and the water they drink overall.”
Funding for the programs will come from the federal American Rescue Plan (ARP).The BPU would approve grant awards that cover up to 75 percent of the project costs.