STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1189
RE: H.B. No. 1538
Honorable Colleen Hanabusa
President of the Senate
Twenty-Fifth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2009
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Health and Education and Housing, to which was referred H.B. No. 1538, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO ENVIRONMENTALLY-SENSITIVE PRODUCTS,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to ensure the health and safety of public schools by requiring the Department of Health to establish guidelines and specifications for environmentally-sensitive cleaning and maintenance products for use in all public school facilities.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Education and the Sierra Club. Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Department of Health and The Consumer Specialty Products Association. The American Chemistry Council submitted comments on this measure.
Written testimony presented to the Committees may be reviewed on the Legislature's website.
Your Committees find that children are vulnerable to and may be severely affected by exposure to chemicals, hazardous waste, and other environmental hazards. Children, teachers, janitors, and other staff members spend a significant amount of time inside school buildings and are continuously exposed to chemicals from cleaners, waxes, deodorizers, and other maintenance products.
Your Committees further find that Green Seal is an independent, internationally recognized, non-profit organization that evaluates and promotes the use of environmentally responsible products and services. Several states, including New York, Maine, and Illinois, have implemented the Green Seal program in the purchase of environmentally-safe products in public schools.
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Requiring the Department of Education to require that all public school facilities give first preference, where feasible, to the purchase and use of environmentally-sensitive cleaning and maintenance products that have been approved by the Green Seal program for use in public school facilities; and
(2) Requiring the Department of Health to maintain a list of products that have been approved by the Green Seal program for public school facilities to use as a first preference guideline when purchasing and using environmentally-sensitive cleaning and maintenance products; provided that the department may add or remove any product from the list as deemed necessary by the director.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Health and Education and Housing that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1538, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1538, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be placed on the calendar for Third Reading.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Health and Education and Housing,
NORMAN SAKAMOTO, Chair
DAVID Y. IGE, Chair