According to a recent ISSA Legislative and Regulatory Update, several green cleaning initiatives were the focus of state action in recent weeks.

Both New Jersey and Oregon recently issued "Request for Proposals" that set forth specifications for "green" cleaning products. At the prodding of ISSA, the recently issued New Jersey Request for Proposal for Environmentally Preferable Cleaning Products defines as "green" those chemical based cleaning products that are recognized by the U.S. EPA Design for the Environment (DfE) Formulator Program, in addition to products certified by Green Seal and Environmental Choice.

Under the New Jersey RFP, if a cleaning product is not certified by Green Seal, or Environmental Choice, or is not recognized under the DfE Formulator Program, it may still be considered environmentally preferable if the supplier submits a signed affidavit from a certified laboratory stating that the products meet or exceed the performance and health and environmental criteria set forth in the RFP. As a result of a recent bidders conference, New Jersey is expected to revise certain non-environmental aspects of the RFP prior to finalizing the document.

On a related note, the Oregon RFP also specifies environmental requirements for cleaning products. In effect, Oregon requires that the chemical based cleaners either have Green Seal certification or recognition by the EPA Design for the Environment. For products that are not certified by Green Seal or recognized by DfE, Oregon indicates a preference for products that are the least toxic, readily biodegradable, and which have minimal and recyclable packaging.

The Oregon RFP also specifies that all paper products shall be chlorine free and shall contain a minimum amount of post consumer recycled content based on the product category.

The Oregon RFP is issued on behalf of the Western States Contracting Alliance (WSCA) and members of the Oregon Cooperative Purchasing Program, Members of the WSCA include Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

In early February, legislation (HB 895) was introduced in Illinois that would require all elementary and secondary public and non-public schools to purchase and use "environmentally sensitive" cleaning supplies. Currently the bill is in the Rules Committee, and will soon be introduced into the Environmental Health Committee.

Lastly, legislation has been introduced in both the Florida Senate and House that would require state agencies to procure environmentally preferable cleaning products. Under both bills state agencies would be allowed to pay up to a 10 percent price preference for green cleaning products.