TRENTON – A bill, A1848, that requires the Department of Education to adopt a green cleaning policy for use in schools and child care centers with 50 or more students advanced in committee today, but not without concerns about how far-reaching it might be.
This policy would require the use of environmentally sensitive cleaning products in public, private and charter schools with 50 or more students, and child care centers with 50 or more students.
The bill defines “environmentally sensitive cleaning product” to mean any cleaning or maintenance product that minimizes potential impacts to human health and the environment, consistent with maintaining the effectiveness of these products for the protection of the public health and safety.
The bill requires the Department of Education to establish, and make available on its website, guidelines and specifications for the purchase of environmentally sensitive cleaning products for use in schools and child care centers. The bill would not preclude the use of an existing supply of cleaning products purchased on or prior to the date of enactment of this bill into law.
But Assemblyman Joseph Malone, (R-30), Bordentown expressed concerns about how far this bill might go and how many everyday substances would be prohibited as not being considered “green’’ enough.
The bill passed in the Assembly Education Committee basically along party lines with GOP members abstaining. Democrat Joan Voss, while voting for the bill, expressed similar concerns about how far reaching it would be.