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Access to green tech easier with new law

The City Council last week passed legislation that will allow environmentally conscious city residents to more easily sell and access green technology, the bill’s sponsor, Councilman James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows), said.

Passed March 3, the bill creates two different panels Gennaro said will help to streamline approval for green technology and projects.

“This will put New York City in the forefront of using new technology to create green jobs,” said Gennaro, chairman of the Council Environmental Protection Committee.

Currently, it can be difficult for residents who want to market new, more environmentally friendly structures — for example, personal windmills — to receive approval from city officials because green technology is changing so fast that it is difficult for city rules and regulations to keep up, Gennaro said. With this legislation, a new Innovation Review Board consisting of officials from various city agencies would review and approve proposals.

“They’ll look at technology that could be good for the city that we now don’t have a way of making an assessment of and how to permit it,” Gennaro said. “They’ll be dealing with these projects like windmills that come into the city’s inbox.”

The second panel, the Inter-Agency Green Team, will also be made up of representatives from various city agencies and will plan and implement innovative green technologies in the city.

“They’ll look at what the city should use for things like processing municipal waste and treating sewage,” Gennaro said. “The city will be reaching out to the purveyors of these technologies and making sure we’re doing our own review of which technology we should be seeking.”

The bill was first mentioned in Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s (D-Manhattan) State of the City address.

“For a tech startup, selling a new product to a 50-story building could be just the boost you need to stay in business,” Quinn said. “But the business can’t make that sale until the product is approved by various city agencies. The Innovation Review Board will ensure that new technologies get approved quickly so that building owners can install them and create hundreds of green-collar jobs.”

Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at agustafson@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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