OLR Bill Analysis

HB 6496 (as amended by House "A" and "B")*

AN ACT CONCERNING GREEN CLEANING PRODUCTS IN SCHOOLS.

SUMMARY:

By July 1, 2011, this bill requires local and regional school boards to implement a green cleaning program to clean and maintain their schools. The program must provide for procurement and proper use of environmentally preferable cleaning products in schools. The bill requires school districts to use cleaning products inside their schools that (1) meet guidelines or standards set by a national or international certification program approved by the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) in consultation with the environmental protection commissioner and (2) as far as possible, minimize potential harmful effects on human health and the environment.

School districts must provide an annual written statement notifying staff and, if they request it, parents or guardians of enrolled students of the green cleaning program. Districts must publish notice of the program on the board of education's and each school's website or, if there is no website, publicize it in another way. They must also notify parents or guardians of transfer students and newly hired staff about the program.

The bill expands the existing biennial report each school district must make to the education commissioner on the condition of its school facilities and the implementation of its indoor air quality program in those facilities to also cover implementation of the green cleaning program in each school. By April 1, 2010, it requires the State Department of Education, in consultation with the Department of Public Health, to change its school facilities survey form to include questions on phasing in green cleaning programs at schools. The district must post the report information on the school board's and each school's website, or, if there is no website, publicize in another way.

Finally, the bill requires districts to post on the board of education and school websites the results of any required evaluations and inspections of a school building's indoor air quality. By law, such an inspection is required before January 1, 2008 and every five years thereafter for any school building that is built, extended, renovated, or replaced on or after January 1, 2003. The website posting requirement is in addition to existing requirements that the results of the evaluation be available for public inspection at a regularly scheduled board of education meeting.

*House Amendment “A” eliminates requirements in the original bill (File 513) that (1) the environmentally preferable cleaning products meet the standards of a certified independent third party that meets specified criteria; (2) DAS develop guidelines for the green cleaning programs and provide a list of vendors who sell them and provide training to users; (3) school facility managers, custodians, and indoor air quality committees be trained in best cleaning management practices and complete a refresher course every five years; and (4) school district mail a green cleaning program notice to each parent and guardian or student annually. It also alters and clarifies program implementation deadlines, allows a school district to publish the program notices in another way if the school board and schools have no website, and adds a requirement that districts provide the green cleaning program notice to parents and guardians of students who transfer to the district and staff members who are hired during the school year.

*House Amendment “B” changes the date by which school districts must start providing the annual written green cleaning statement from October 1, 2011 to October 1, 2010 and requires that school districts provide the notice to parents and guardians only if they request it.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2009

ENVIRONMENTALLY PREFERABLE CLEANING PRODUCTS

Under the bill, an environmentally preferable cleaning product must be certified as such by a DAS-approved national or international certification program. The term “environmentally preferable cleaning product” includes general purpose, bathroom, glass, and carpet cleaners; hand cleaners and soaps; and floor finishes and strippers. It excludes antimicrobial products regulated under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, such as disinfectants, disinfecting cleaners, and sanitizers. It also excludes products (1) for which no DAS-approved certification program has established a guideline or environmental standard, (2) that fall outside the scope of such guidelines or standards, or (3) that are otherwise excluded under such guidelines or standards.

GREEN CLEANING PROGRAM NOTICE

Every year, starting by October 1, 2010, the bill requires each school district to give school staff and, if they request it, students' parents and guardians a written statement about its green cleaning policy. It requires the “notice” (presumably the written statement and the notice are the same) to include:

1. the names and types of environmentally preferable cleaning products used in the schools and where in the buildings they are applied;

2. the schedule for applying the products; and

3. the name of the school administrator or designee whom the parent, guardian, or student may contact for more information.

The notice must also contain the following statement: “No parent, guardian, teacher, or staff member may bring into the school facility any consumer product which is intended to clean, deodorize, sanitize or disinfect.

Districts must provide the notice to parents and guardians of students who transfer to a school and to any staff hired during the school year. They must also post it on the board of education's and each school's website or, if there is no website, make it publicly available in another way.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Education Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

31

Nay

0

(03/16/2009)

Appropriations Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

40

Nay

11

(04/27/2009)