Requires the commissioner of education and the commissioner of general services to promulgate standards for the procurement and use of environmentally sensitive commodities and services for schools and boards of cooperative educational services; provides that these provisions shall be applicable to all school districts and boards of cooperative educational services.
BILL NUMBER: S537
TITLE OF BILL :
An act to amend the education law and the state finance law, in
relation to the procurement and use of environmentally sensitive
commodities and services
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL :
The purpose of the bill is to require the commissioner of education in
consultation with the commissioners of the office of general services,
the department of health, and the department of labor to create
specifications and guidelines for environmentally preferred
commodities and services for use in schools. The bill would also
require each school district to consider environmentally preferred
products and services when choosing which items, services, or
construction materials to procure for schools.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS :
Section 1. Legislative Intent. Amends the education law to include
New York City school districts and boards of cooperative educational
services for the purposes of this act.
Section 2. Subdivision 1 of section 409 of the education law as
amended by section 4 of part L of chapter 405 of the laws of 1999,
amends the education law to require all school districts to comply
with section 409-j of this article.
Section 3. The education law is amended by adding a new section 409-j
which defines certain terms and amends the education law to require
the commissioner of education, in consultation with the commissioners
of general services, the department of health and the department of
labor, to establish guidelines and specifications for environmentally
preferred products and services. This section requires the
commissioner of education to disseminate the guide- lines and
specifications to all school districts for the purchase of
environmentally preferred products, services and construction
materials. The commissioner is also required to disseminate a sample
list of environmentally preferred commodities and services that meet
these specifications along with their related health benefits. School
districts must consider these specifications, guidelines, and list of
sample products and services when making procurement choices. School
districts must also notify the schools under their jurisdiction of the
guidelines, specifications, and lists of products and services. The
commissioners are also directed to already existing guidelines of the
federal environmental protection agency for the purpose of developing
appropriate criteria for the guidelines and specifications. A report
on the impact of this voluntary procurement program will be issued by
June 1, 2010 by the education department.
Section 4. Amends the state finance law to require OGS to develop a
list of firms that produce, manufacture, or offer for sale
environmentally preferred products.
Section 5. Effective Date.
Reports of environmental problems in schools have raised public
concerns to new levels. Areas of particular concern include asbestos,
lead, pesticides, radon, electromagnetic fields, and indoor pollution
originating from new carpeting, copiers, glued roofing, paints,
cleaning agents and insulation. Students and school personnel have
experienced mild to serious health problems which interfere with
health, activity and ability to learn. Recent experiences in the New
York City public schools with closings and delays because of asbestos,
lead and sanitation problems, demonstrate the potential adverse impact
on education caused by environmentally-based health threats.
Additionally, when health threats are present, the costs to individual
districts and the State are enormous in terms of staff time and
effort, cleanup costs, school closings and liability. Schools are
major consumers and disposers of supplies and materials and can serve
as role models for environmentally responsible behavior with regard to
energy conservation, and reduced consumption and disposal of toxic and
hazardous materials. By requiring schools to consider purchasing
cleaner products and services, school environments and the health of
the state's children will benefit.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY :
2007-2008 - Education
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS :
None. The program is voluntary.
EFFECTIVE DATE :
July 1st next succeeding the date on which it shall become law.
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