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Maryland Green Cleaning in schools release

April 22, 2009
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ANNAPOLIS, MD — Legislation (HB 1363) that would require Maryland K-12 public schools to implement green cleaning programs has successfully passed the House and Senate and is now on its way to the Governor’s Office for his signature which would transform the bill into law.
HB 1363 was first passed by the House in late March, and moved quickly through the state Senate having passed that legislative body with minor amendments on April 9.
The bill would require Maryland County Boards of Education to purchase green cleaning products for use in K-12 public schools throughout the state. The bill defines “green cleaning products and supplies” as those that have “positive environmental attributes” including but not limited to:

- Biodegradability

- Low toxicity

- Low VOC content

- Reduced packaging

- Low life cycle energy use.

HB 1363 charges the Maryland County Boards of Education with the responsibility of drafting specifications that provides “clear and accurate descriptions of the functional characteristics or nature” of green cleaning products that will be bought and used by the schools. In drafting such specifications, the County Boards of Education must allow for “multiple avenues” in qualifying cleaning products as environmentally preferable including at the very least products recognized by the:

- U.S. EPA Design for the Environment Formulator program

- Environmental Choice

- Green Seal.

HB 1363 allows schools to first use existing cleaning products and supplies before they transition to green cleaning products. In addition, schools may opt out of implementing a green cleaning program if it is not “economically feasible.”
The bill is expected to be signed into law by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley in the coming weeks.
ISSA will report back to the membership when the bill is signed into law.
If HB 1363 is signed into law, it will become the fifth state to enact a green cleaning for schools law, and the 17th state in the union to implement a green cleaning policy of one nature or another. ISSA has prepared a thorough summary of state, local and federal green cleaning policies, laws, and initiatives that is available to ISSA members at: www.issa.com/greenprocure.

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