Green-Building Bills Budding in Trenton

May 19, 2009 – In The News
New Jersey Law Journal

The urge to go green has put down seeds in the Legislature that may begin sprouting by the fall, forcing the attention of environmental and development lawyers into new commercial and regulatory areas.

“There’s certainly a trend toward green thinking,” says David Restaino, the former legislative liaison for the New Jersey State Bar Association's Environmental Law Section. “I believe you’re going to see green legislation in one form or another more and more often, and you’re starting to see that happen now.”

Restaino says the Legislature must not move too quickly, however, for several reasons.

"First, you have to be careful not to be over legislating people's behavior," he says. "Second, you have to be careful on what costs you impose on manufacturers and businesses. You have to strike a fair balance that doesn't push industry out of New Jersey yet promotes good stewardship."

Restaino, now the vice chairman of the committee, says that despite polls that show the public favors more environmentally sound policies, lawmakers are wise to move carefully.

"The Legislature is composed of some pretty intelligent people," he says. "They take this stuff seriously, and I believe they'll shake out the good from the bad."

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