Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Maryland Green School Cleaning release

May 14, 2009
ANNAPOLIS, MD — On May 7, 2009, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed legislation (HB 1363) into law that requires the state’s K-12 public schools to procure and use green cleaning products. The law, which becomes effective October 9, 2009, makes Maryland the fifth state that has adopted a green cleaning for schools policy of one form or another. HB 1363 requires 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” such as:
- Biodegradability

- Low toxicity

- Low VOC content

- Reduced packaging

- Low life cycle energy use.

HB 1363 requires the Maryland County Boards of Education with the responsibility of drafting specifications that provide “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 law also specifically states that the green cleaning specifications to be issued by the County Boards of Education shall not preclude the use of disinfectants or sanitizers.

Additional Information

Maryland is now 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 exclusively to ISSA members at: