TRENTON, NJ - Three bills sponsored by state Sen. Christopher “Kip” Bateman, R-Somerset, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex to enhance solar power, improve e-waste recycling management and study low or zero emission vehicles have cleared the Senate Environment and Energy Committee.

Bateman’s bill, S-984, encourages New Jersey business owners to invest in solar technology by establishing the “Solar Roof Installation Warranty Program.”

“Business owners across New Jersey are eager to help cement our state’s legacy as a trailblazer in solar power,” Bateman said. “We can do more to encourage a new crop of entrepreneurs to join us in this effort. This new and innovative warranty program targets a core, environmentally-friendly audience that is ready and willing to go above and beyond, by investing in energy-efficient technology that will save our environment and enrich our economy.”

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Under S-984, business owners who do not have access to a warranty to protect rooftops from damage caused by the installation of solar panels could apply for the warranty coverage provided under this program.

The program will be sectored within the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, and funded by the Board of Public Utilities.

A second Bateman bill passed by the committee (S-985) establishes an 11-member “Clean Vehicle Task Force” to study the use of low, or zero emission vehicles in the state. The task force will be charged with examining the development, availability, infrastructure and promotion efforts needed to enhance the use of clean vehicles in New Jersey.

“As the most densely populated state in the nation, it is critical that we uncover new ways to reduce the environmental impact caused by heavy travel,” Bateman said. “Technologies surrounding low emission vehicles are rapidly evolving – we must make sure New Jersey has the infrastructures and policies in place to support and encourage this important innovation.”

A third bill sponsored by Bateman, known as the “Electronic Waste Management Act,” will significantly expand recycling efforts by requiring electronic manufactures to provide convenient collection of covered electronics in municipalities and at statewide entities across New Jersey.

Current law would also be updated to include printers and fax machines in the recycling programs, a landmark move that recognizes the need to reduce the more than 24 million hard copy devices that go unrecycled each year nationwide.

“This bill will reduce the tens of millions of tons of solid waste discarded each year, while still generating significant cost savings at a local level,” Bateman said. “Failing to recycle electronic waste poses a serious threat to the environment, as well as the public health and safety of residents across our state. We can protect our state from future damage by ensuring electronic manufacturers stay committed to providing free and convenient opportunities for recycling.”