U.S. Reps Green Light School Sustainability Legislation
A U.S. House of Representatives’ rules committee has passed H.R. 2187 (“21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities Act”), legislation that aims to authorize $6.4 billion in 2010 for school construction projects that meet certain environmental standards.
Through its lobbying efforts the National Burglar Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA) was able to insert language into the bill that allows grants for modernization, renovation or repair of public K-12 facilities to bring “public schools into compliance with fire, health, seismic, and safety codes, including professional installation of fire/life safety alarms …”
Qualifying projects could include maximizing green space, finding efficient ways to control room temperature with windows and building materials, maximizing daylight, using organic compound cleaning products and tapping into renewable energy sources like solar power. The bill would provide additional funding for such projects until 2015, by which time all publicly-funded school construction projects would have to meet environmental standards.
The NBFAA will now begin to work with its state chapters and individual members in persuading the Senate rules committee to pass the bill.