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Executive Order 12873

Cleaning Products Pilot Project (CPPP)

Project History
Project Status
Lessons Learned

In October 1993, while the Philadelphia pilot was being conducted, former President Clinton issued Executive Order 12873 on Federal Acquisition, Recycling, and Waste Prevention. Although the Executive Order supported the type of project that the GSA/EPA team was developing, the Executive Order also temporarily disrupted the project's momentum. Several sections of the Executive Order increased EPA's responsibilities for shaping federal agency procurement programs for environmentally preferable products. Specifically, section 503 mandated that EPA "issue guidance that recommends principles that Executive agencies should use in making determinations for the preference and purchase of environmentally preferable products."

Pursuant to the Executive Order mandate, an EPA team, which included some members of the GSA/EPA cleaning products project, was assigned to draft environmentally preferable guidance for use by Executive agencies. Some of the initial guidance proposals, however, conflicted with proposals being considered by the cleaning products project team. As a result, progress stalled on the GSA/EPA cleaning products project while EPA was developing the section 503 guidance.

Meanwhile, the GSA and EPA Administrators signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), which had been under development before the Executive Order was signed, formalizing their cooperation on the cleaning project. After resolving inconsistencies between the EPA environmentally preferable guidance and the GSA/EPA cleaning products project, the GSA/EPA cleaning products project became the first environmentally preferable product pilot project under the Executive Order.

While the GSA/EPA project was integrating the principles of the EPA environmentally preferable products guidance, some of the vendors that had voluntarily cooperated with the cleaning project became alarmed by some of the language in EPA's proposed guidance. They feared that EPA, as a result of the Executive Order, would initiate additional regulations for the cleaning industry. This misunderstanding temporarily reduced the willingness of some vendors and trade associations to cooperate.

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