Green Legislation Passed From Coast To Coast
The advancement of green cleaning programs in Boston and California has coincided with a green cleaning alteration to legislation in Missouri.
The “Green Building Maintenance Order,” was signed by Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino to reduce costs, eliminate toxic chemicals from city buildings and improve operations. The executive order recommends the purchase of environmentally preferred products such as green cleaning supplies, expands the recycling programs in city facilities and advances other green policies. The order will apply to nearly 400 buildings and facilities throughout the city.
The policy was instituted to protect the health and safety of workers and residents and eliminate or reduce toxics that create hazards. The policy also calls for an increase in the use and availability of environmentally preferable products that protect the environment and establish guidelines for purchasing environmentally preferable products in hopes to encourage other purchasing managers in the community to create a similar procedure.
The city of Oakland, Calif., instituted the “Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Policy.” Among the policy qualifications, the city has to purchase products that minimize environmental impacts, toxics, pollution and hazards, and create a model for successfully purchasing environmentally preferable products.
To implement the policy, janitorial contractors have to supply industrial and institutional cleaning products that meet Green Seal certification or other equivalent standards for environmental preferability and performance. All vacuum cleaners have to meet the requirements of the Carpet and Rug Institute “Green Label” Testing Program, capturing 96 percent of particulates 0.3 microns in size or larger.
As a state, California has adopted the Green Building Standards Code. The standards will take effect July 1, 2009, and require green building practices, including energy-efficient measures, to be implemented for all new construction in the state.
Finally, a Missouri bill similar to the Illinois Green Cleaning Schools Act that established green cleaning requirements for schools was altered before Missouri Governor Matt Blunt signed it into law. Instead of establishing requirements, the legislation proposes guidelines and recommendations for green cleaning in schools.
Impact Products, LLC, has purchased Layflat Products, LLC, Schreveport, La.
Layflat is a 72-year-old manufacturing company specializing in mops, handles and microfiber products.
New hiring Initiatives for federal contractors
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced two initiatives that will promote the hiring of veterans and protect applicants with disabilities.
The Good Faith Initiative for Veterans Employment (G-FIVE) recognizes federal contractors for employing and advancing veterans. The policy “reaffirms OFCCP’s commitment to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act and creates an excellent incentive for federal contractors to hire veterans,” says Charles E. James Sr., deputy assistant for the OFCCP, in a news statement.
The other initiative, Ensuring the Accessibility of Online Application Systems, is designed to ensure that federal contractors and subcontractors provide equal opportunity to qualified applicants with disabilities, including disabled veterans, to compete for jobs when using an online application system.
Minimum Wage Increases
The federal minimum wage rose 70 cents on July 24, from $5.85 to $6.55 per hour. The increase is the second of three annual increases as part of the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007. The new minimum is less than the inflation-adjusted 1997 level of $7.02 and below the inflation-adjusted calculator from 40 years ago, according to a Labor Department inflation calculator.
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