Environmentally Preferable Products

By Loretta Macktal, Executive Assistant to the Vice President, Government Relations

Capitol Update, May 28, 2004 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

In 2001, SB 373 (Tom Torlakson, D-Antioch) passed in the Legislature and was chaptered. It required the Division of State Architects (DSA), in consultation with the Integrated Waste Management Board, to develop and maintain on its website a list of recycled materials and a list of environmentally preferable products (EPP) that may be used in the construction and modernization of public school facilities. Without a mandate to do so and without industry input, DSA has begun to publish draft specifications (essentially underground regulations) for EPP for State purchasing.

These new standards will make it extremely difficult to meet criteria parameters. They totally ignore the federal government's EPP program and recognized industry programs. DSA has apparently contracted with an independent company, Scientific Certification Systems, to identify the criteria for qualifying as an EPP.

Initially, DSA is targeting the following ten products: composite panel, gypsum wallboard, insulation, finish wall panels, carpet, acoustical ceiling tile, adhesives and sealants, resilient flooring, paint and casework/cabinetry. Their intent is to roll out standards on a different product group every two weeks with a 30 day comment period on each. A website has been set up at www.eppbuildingproducts.org with links to the applicable standards.

DSA has already quietly released standards for composite panels and gypsum. Manufacturers of both product groups say that their products can not qualify. A coalition of concerned manufacturers is being formed to address the issue with DSA, the Administration or the courts, if necessary. If your company has an interest, please contact CMTA's environmental lobbyist, Mike Rogge, at mrogge@cmta.net.
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