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Environmentally Preferable Products (EPP)

Organization(s) Massachusetts Office of Technical Assistance
Project Description A few years ago, the Massachusetts Office of Technical Assistance (MA OTA) was contacted by the Consumer Products Specialty Manufacturers Association (CPSMA) to discuss their concerns that public information relating to household hazardous waste was not scientifically correct. During these meetings, CPSMA mentioned that similar contacts were occurring throughout the country. After the meeting, MA OTA reviewed their household hazardous waste fact sheets and discovered one debatable recommendation. The Agency had mentioned the possibility of using borax as a disinfectant, and although such use is common, it is not listed as a disinfectant under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.

This incident inspired OTA to develop scientifically defensible criteria for defining environmentally preferable products (EPP). OTA staff met with the state's purchasing agency, the Operational Services Division, and representatives from other agencies to formulate a contract specification for EPP janitorial cleaners. The group selected cleaning products to create a useful model for other groups of products, and to help reduce a ubiquitous source of pollution and exposure to harmful substances. OTA set mandatory and desirable criteria, and put them out for review. Now they can be downloaded from www.magnet.state.ma.us/osd/enviro/cleaner.htm by clicking on the Comm-PASS link and then clicking on the Request for Response. OTA presented the criteria at a number of forums where industry had a chance to comment.

The state contract for EPP cleaners is not mandatory - that is, state agencies can still buy other cleaners under other state contracts. On the other hand, any subdivision of the state, (i.e., municipalities) can buy these products at the listed price.

Six vendors have qualified under this system, and preliminary surveys have indicated positive results. A user said the new cleaner (Liquid Sunshine, United Laboratories) worked better than anything he has used before.

The existence of the EPP state contract, which is based on carefully designed criteria that have undergone public, industry and peer review, has given OTA the confidence to promote the listed products without fear of favoritism or sloppy science.

More Info mass.gov/portal/index.jsp?pageID=agcc&agid=osd&agca=es&agcc=es_green&s=0&=
 
Project Contact
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Phone
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Project Keywords
Processes Cleaning
Areas of P2 Expertise Environmentally Preferable Purchasing
Activity Keywords Policy/Legislative
 
Source
Newsletter Northeast States Pollution Prevention News - Vol. 9 No. 2, Summer 1999 [PDF]

 

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Last Modified 09/08/2009

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