California lawmakers eye construction material carbon ‘pollution’ disclosure

Sources: Office of California Assembly member Rob Bonta, Sacramento; CP staff

Billed as the first measure of its kind in the U.S., the Buy Clean California Act would require Golden State agencies to evaluate the greenhouse gas emissions of cement, steel, asphalt and other products specified for infrastructure work.

AB 262 calls for a) California to develop a formula to comparatively assess emissions associated with designated building or construction material production; b) agencies to strive to purchase materials with the lowest emissions, regardless of production origin; and, c) infrastructure project bidders to complete a standard form stating cumulative greenhouse gas emissions in materials’ production. An Environmental Product Declaration developed in accordance with the ISO 14001 standards would satisfy the latter.

California steel producers have joined forces with clean air advocates and labor unions to support the “Buy Clean” mandate, according to Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), AB 262 sponsor. “This is a powerful example of unity from business, labor and environmental interests to protect our environment from dangerous carbon emissions,” he claims. “By focusing the buying power of California’s budget, of which approximately $10 billion goes to infrastructure each year, AB 262 will help ensure a thriving market exists for low-carbon industrial products.”