PA 09-81—sHB 6496

Education Committee

Appropriations Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING GREEN CLEANING PRODUCTS IN SCHOOLS

SUMMARY: By July 1, 2011, this act 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.

Under the act, 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 of the program.

The act expands an 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.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2009

ENVIRONMENTALLY PREFERABLE CLEANING PRODUCTS

Under the act, an environmentally preferable cleaning product is one that is certified as such by a Department of Administrative Services (DAS)-approved national or international certification program and includes general purpose, bathroom, glass, and carpet cleaners; hand cleaners and soaps; and floor finishes and strippers. The green cleaning program requirement does not cover 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

Cleaning Product Standards

Starting July 1, 2011, the act requires school districts to use in their schools only those cleaning products that (1) meet guidelines or standards set by a national or international certification program approved by DAS in consultation with the environmental protection commissioner and (2) as far as possible, minimize potential harmful effects on human health and the environment.

Annual Notice

Every year, starting by October 1, 2010, the act 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 from whom the parent, guardian, or student may obtain 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.

SCHOOL FACILITIES REPORT AND INSPECTIONS

By April 1, 2010, the act 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 it in another way.

Finally, the act 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 the existing requirement that the results of the evaluation be available for public inspection at a regularly scheduled board of education meeting.

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