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Mission, Overview and Background of the Environmental Services Unit
Elementary and Secondary Schools in the State
Chapter 584 of the Laws of 2005 - New York State Green Cleaning Law amends the New York State Education Law and Finance Law to require elementary and secondary schools to procure and use environmentally sensitive cleaning and maintenance products with assistance from, and in accordance with, guidelines prescribed by the OGS Commissioner. The Law went into effect in September 2006.

Joint Letter from Commissioners to School Administrators.

State Agencies
Executive Order 4 - Establishing a State Green Procurement and Agency Sustainability Program (EO 4) was signed on April 24, 2008 and promotes policies within state agencies and authorities that reduce the potential impacts on public health and the environment and reduce the consumption of materials and energy. EO 4 requires every state agency and authority to develop and implement a Sustainability and Environmental Stewardship Program, which must include projects, programs and policies designed to reduce the public health and environmental impacts of their operations, such as reduction or elimination of the use and generation of toxic substances, pollution and waste. Additionally, the EO 4 interagency committee has identified green cleaning products as an item for which green specifications will be issued. OGS considers the continuation and enhancement of agency green cleaning programs to be part and parcel of compliance with EO 4, and that agencies and authorities must utilize green cleaning practices in complying with EO 4. Therefore, the Green Cleaning Guidelines and list of approved cleaning products apply to both school districts and state agencies.
2010 Guidelines
OGS has updated the Guidelines and Specifications for the procurement of environmentally sensitive cleaning and maintenance products for elementary and secondary schools as well as state agencies and public authorities. This comprehensive Guidelines and Specifications document details all aspects of a green cleaning program that schools and state agencies need to follow to comply with the Green Cleaning Law and EO 4.

Other Policies and Guidelines
Other state and federal policies and guidelines that, under certain circumstances, supersede the policies described above.
Information on Seasonal Influenza - The New York State Department of Health has posted a number of documents on their website, including guidance on three different flu viruses: an H3N2 virus, an influenza B virus and the H1N1 virus.
Prevention of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) Infections - The New York State Department of Health has posted several online health advisories for the prevention of MRSA in various settings including schools. These advisories describe the symptoms and transmission of the disease, and outline preventative measures including environmental cleaning and disinfection. The site contains additional general information on MRSA.
Information on Hand Sanitizers in Schools - The State Education Department addresses several questions related to hand sanitizing products and hand cleaners/soaps.
June 2007 Environmentally Sensitive Cleaning and Maintenance Product School Impact Report Pursuant to Chapter 584 of the Laws of 2005 (Updated 2010). This report documents the State Education Department's (SED) analysis of the impact of the guidelines and specifications on the purchase, procurement, and use of environmentally sensitive cleaning and maintenance products by elementary and secondary schools.
Response to Comments (2010)

The public comments received by November 20, 2009 on the Green Cleaning Proposed Guidelines have been reviewed. We would like to thank everyone who took the time to provide public comments.

Based on our review of all comments, the Office of General Services, in consultation with representatives from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Department of Health, Department of Labor and State Education Department, developed groupings of similar comments, which we called categories. We then created a heading or title for each category, provided our response to that category, and attached all associated or related comments. Below you will find a Table of Contents that lists all 8 categories. Please find the category you wish to view and click on it. You will be linked to that specific category, which will be followed by the response, then by all the related comments.

Feedback from these comments was helpful in amending the final Guidelines for Green Cleaning document below where appropriate.

Please find the category you wish to view and click on it in the Table of Contents. You will be linked to that specific category, which will be followed by the response, then by all the related comments.

Contact us at (518) 408-1782 or E-Mail the OGS Environmental Services Unit.
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