By Allison Rich, Children's Health Specialist, Maryland Environmental Health Network
Maryland Environmental Health Network is pleased to announce that all of Maryland's 24 independent public school districts have implemented or are in the process of implementing a green cleaning policy. All public school districts in the state are now using green cleaning products in various capacities.
This progress comes less than a year after launching a peer learning network, in partnership with the Maryland State Department. of Education and EPA Region 3 to support implementing toxics protections in schools, as required by Maryland law. Prior to the launch of the peer network, only 2 school districts in the state had fully implemented Maryland's green cleaning law, which went into effect in July 2014. Several other school districts were working on policies, but lacked technical resources and advisors.
As further evidence of the transition to robust adoption of toxics protections, Marylanders were 30% of participants at the National Green Clean Schools Leadership Summit held in July 2016. All these attendees had participated in the peer learning network in some capacity over the past year. Green cleaning progress continues in Maryland through the Facilities & Operations Roundtable, bolstered by this EPA funded partnership.
Specifics on the progress made in Maryland:
· Nineteen (19) Maryland School Districts have fully implemented green cleaning policies and products
· An additional 3 Maryland School Districts primarily utilize green products, however their Boards of Education have chosen to not mandate green cleaning but rather implement it as a procedure
· Two other Maryland School Districts are using green products and are in the process of having policies reviewed and approved by local Boards of Education.