Maryland passed legislation that requires all K-12 public schools in the state to use only green cleaning products if economically feasible.

According to Delegate Nic Kipke — who along with Delegate Peter Murphy spearheaded the legislation — Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley is expected to sign the bill in May.

Maryland would be the third state in the nation after New York and Illinois to mandate the use of green products in their schools.

According to the bill, green products would have to be biodegradable, have low toxicity, low volatile organic compound (VOC) content, reduced packaging and low life cycle energy use.

The bill will acknowledge product certifications such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Design for the Environment (DfE) Program, Green Seal, Green Label, Environmental Choice, U.S. Green Building Council and any other accreditation the county board determines to be appropriate. When signed, the legislation will take effect October 1, 2009.

Green Disinfectants May Be Easier To Identify

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Design for the Environment (DfE) and Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) are developing two internal pilot programs to allow manufacturers of green disinfectants and sanitizers to display the EPA’s DfE logo on their products and make factual environmental claims related to the products’ environmental attributes on the packaging of the product.

The EPA’s Workgroup on Comparative Claims recommended the policy because the group sensed a consumer interest in having a designation for sanitizers and disinfectants, says Marty Monell, OPP, deputy director for management and chairperson of the workgroup.

The group intends to launch one of the pilots this June with the intention of implementing both external pilots in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Green Seal Develops GS-42 Training Program

Green Seal, Washington, D.C., will implement a training program in response to the demand for GS-42 compliant programs. The Training Accreditation Program (GS-42 TAP) has been developed to qualify and validate training organizations and trainers, including jan/san distributors, that assist cleaning services in becoming GS-42 certified or maintaining GS-42 certification.