Today's Law As Amended

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AB-2570 School facilities: Clean and Healthy Schools Act: environmentally preferable cleaning and cleaning maintenance products.(2017-2018)



SECTION 1.
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Children are vulnerable to, and may be severely affected by, exposure to chemicals, hazardous waste, and other environmental hazards. The United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates that human exposure to indoor air pollutants can be two to five times, and up to 100 times, more hazardous than outdoor levels, and that one-half of schools in the United States have poor indoor air quality. The State Air Resources Board has found significant indoor air quality problems in California’s portable and traditional classrooms.
(b) Pupils, teachers, janitors, and other staff members spend a significant amount of time inside school buildings, during which time they are exposed to cleaners and cleaning maintenance products.
(c) In 2014, the State Department of Public Health published a report urging schools to switch to cleaning products that are asthma-safe. In this report, the State Department of Public Health also warned that conventional cleaning products may contain chemicals associated with cancer, reproductive harm, and endocrine disruption. The State Department of Public Health also asserts that green cleaning products save money or cost the same as conventional cleaning products, as well as that their use reduces health costs.
(d) Enacted in 2002, Section 12400 of the Public Contract Code defines “environmentally preferable purchasing” as the procurement or acquisition of goods and services that have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing goods or services that serve the same purpose. Subsequently, the Department of General Services adopted “Purchasing Standard DGS_471318A: Janitorial Supplies, Cleaners,” which relies exclusively on third-party certified green cleaning products to limit exposure to the state’s workforce.
(e) The benefits of cleaner indoor air in schools have been shown to reduce the incidence of asthma, allergies, and absenteeism in pupils, as well as increase teacher retention rates and reduce workers’ compensation claims. The use of environmentally preferable cleaning and cleaning maintenance products contributes to cleaner indoor air quality.
(f) Third-party, independent, voluntary certification programs exist that set standards for, and evaluate, environmentally preferable cleaning and cleaning maintenance products, and current standards establish environmental requirements for industrial and institutional general purpose, restroom, glass, or carpet cleaners, floor care products, and handsoaps, intended for routine cleaning of offices, schools, and institutions, and include consideration of vulnerable populations in institutional settings, such as schools and day care facilities. Under these standards, paint is not used as a general purpose product for cleaning of school facilities. Products certified under these standards cannot contain carcinogens, mutagens, reproductive toxins, ingredients that cause asthma, ingredients that are corrosive to skin and eyes, heavy metals, including lead, hexavalent chromium, or selenium, either in elemental form or compounds, 2-butoxyethanol, alkylphenol ethoxylates, phthalates, ozone-depleting chemicals, or optical brighteners. The standards also establish specific limits on ingredients for acute toxicity, skin absorption, volatile organic compound content, inhalation toxicity, toxicity to aquatic life, bioaccumulating compounds, biodegradability, eutrophication, combustibility, and fragrances. The standards define requirements for concentrates, dispensing systems, packaging, recyclability, labeling, and training. Standards are revised periodically and may apply to additional categories of products. Currently, the standards do not apply to cleaners for household use, food preparation operations, or medical facilities, and do not apply to air fresheners or enzymatic or microbially active products required to be registered under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (7 U.S.C. Sec. 136 et seq.), such as those making claims as disinfectants or sanitizers.
(g) The enactment of Senate Bill 258 (Chapter 830 of the Statutes of 2017) will aid school districts in identifying products that do not contain harmful chemicals. Senate Bill 258 mandates disclosure of hazardous chemicals in a wide range of cleaning and cleaning maintenance products, even if the ingredient is part of a trade secret formula.
(h) Existing law establishes the public school system, imposes various safety requirements, and provides state funding to school districts that contribute to operating budgets that already include janitorial programs. Schools are encouraged to use the State of California Procurement Contract to purchase environmentally preferable cleaning and cleaning maintenance products to maximize the available discounts and avoid developing their own separate bids.

SEC. 2.

 Article 5 (commencing with Section 17615) is added to Chapter 5 of Part 10.5 of Division 1 of Title 1 of the Education Code, to read:

Article  5. Clean and Healthy Schools Act
17615.
 This article shall be known, and may be cited, as the Clean and Healthy Schools Act.
17615.1.
 As used in this article, the following definitions apply:
(a) “Economically feasible” means that there is no net increase in the costs of cleaning products.
(b) “Environmentally preferable cleaning and cleaning maintenance product” means a product, including, but not limited to, institutional cleaners for furniture, counters, restrooms, glass, carpets, or floors, that meets independent, third-party certification criteria for lesser or reduced effects on human health and the environment compared with competing goods or services that serve the same purpose. “Environmentally preferable cleaning and cleaning maintenance product” does not include a product that must be labeled pursuant to the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Chapter 6.6 (commencing with Section 25249.5) of Division 20 of the Health and Safety Code) or its implementing regulations.
(c) “Local educational agency” means a school district, county office of education, or charter school.
(d) “Third-party certification” means certification by an established, independent program developed for the purpose of identifying environmentally preferable products and that meets, at a minimum, all of the following criteria:
(1) Has a formal process of open participation and consultation among interested parties.
(2) Clearly defines the fees a manufacturer must pay to the certification program.
(3) Clearly avoids conflicts of interest in the standard setting and product evaluation process.
(4) Has the criteria and standards for certification published and publicly available and easily accessible to purchasers, manufacturers, and the general public, such as through the program’s Internet Web site, and includes a list of certified products that meet the standards.
(5) Bases certification of the product and its packaging on criteria for product performance and efficacy, reducing harmful effects on human health and safety, including effects on children, ecological toxicity, other environmental impacts, and resource conservation, including, but not limited to, consideration of chemicals that cause cancer, mutagenic and reproductive harm, organ and nervous system damage, asthma, smog, ozone depletion, aquatic toxicity, bioaccumulation, and eutrophication.
(6) Develops and selects criteria based on sound scientific and engineering principles and data that support the claim of environmental preferability.
(7) Has certification standards that remain consistent with current research about the potential impact of chemicals on human health and the environment.
(8) Monitors and enforces compliance with the standards, provides for the authority to inspect the manufacturing facilities, and periodically does so.
(9) Has a registered, legally protected certification mark or a mark protected by other means so that it may not be misappropriated.
(10) If possible, develops criteria by consensus among key stakeholders.
(11) Establishes a leadership level in environmental and health standards for products.
17615.2.
 (a) (1) By the 2021–22 school year, or when it is economically feasible, a local educational agency with more than 2,500 units of average daily attendance shall purchase exclusively environmentally preferable cleaning and cleaning maintenance products if an environmentally preferable cleaning and cleaning maintenance product exists. For antimicrobial cleaning products, the local educational agency shall strive to use environmentally preferable products, however, it may use other antimicrobials regulated under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (7 U.S.C. Sec. 136 et seq.).
(2) A local educational agency with 2,500 or fewer units of average daily attendance shall comply with paragraph (1) by the 2023–24 school year, or when it is economically feasible.
(3) (A) Notwithstanding paragraph (2), a school district or county office of education is not required to comply with this section for its schools with fewer than 250 pupils.
(B) Notwithstanding paragraph (2), a charter school with fewer than 250 pupils is not required to comply with this section.
(b) A local educational agency subject to this section may deplete its existing cleaning and maintenance supply stocks and implement the new requirements in the next procurement cycle.
(c) If a local educational agency subject to this section determines that it is not economically feasible to purchase environmentally preferable cleaning and cleaning maintenance products by the 2021–22 school year or the 2023–24 school year, as applicable, it shall submit a letter indicating that it will not purchase environmentally preferable cleaning and cleaning maintenance products to the department and the governing board or body of the local educational agency, annually, until it determines that it is economically feasible to comply with the requirements of subdivision (a). The letter shall provide detailed reasons why compliance is not feasible. The department shall post any letter or explanation submitted to it on the department’s Internet Web site with a notification titled “Reasons for Noncompliance with the Clean and Healthy Schools Act.”
17615.3.
 The department shall post information on its Internet Web site to assist local educational agencies subject to Section 17615.2 in complying with Section 17615.2.
17615.4.
 This article sets minimum standards for cleaning products used in schools. Nothing in this article prevents local jurisdictions from adopting guidelines that are more stringent than those defined in this article.
SEC. 3.
 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.