Why Steel

Buy Clean

Buy Clean regulations are intended to encourage the use of products and materials with a smaller carbon footprint.

As of May 2021, a Buy Clean law has been passed in California, and the list of states that have considered Buy Clean legislation includes Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Texas, Minnesota, New York, and New Jersey.

The Buy Clean California Act

California has been promoting clean energy and energy efficiency to support growth and prosperity since 2006. In 2013, California's 800 largest industrial facilities began tracking, reporting, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Despite their efforts, California still uses a substantial portion of its annual state revenues to purchase goods and services that produce high levels of climate pollution, leading to the passage of The Buy Clean California Act (Assembly Bill 262) in October 2017. This bill was intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by considering the products that companies buy, including steel.

The legislation went through several iterations, and the law now requires facility-specific Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for suppliers of carbon-steel rebar, flat glass, mineral-wool board insulation, and structural steel. As 90% of the global warming potential (GWP) impacts for fabricated structural steel occur during mill production, acceptable EPDs are those that report mill facility-specific impacts, not fabricator-specific.

Other building materials such as concrete and mass timber were never included and thus benefit from uneven reporting requirements. However, legislative efforts are underway to add more materials, which would bring parity to the law and create a level playing field.

AISC worked diligently with California regulators at the Department of General Services (DGS) to help them implement the Buy Clean California Act, and we’re leveraging that experience to other Buy Clean efforts around the country.

Need Help?

Fabricators and service centers who do business on public California projects should assume they need to comply. See the resources below and/or contact Max Puchtel, Director of Government Relations and Sustainability, for help navigating this law.


  1. A Quick Guide to Buy Clean California
  2. Regulations of the Act as published by the California Department of General Services (DGS)
  3. Buy Clean California and the Steel Supply Chain, a May 12, 2021 recorded webinar by the Steel Tube Institute and AISC
  4. Additional requirements set by individual California agencies: 
    1. Caltrans
    2. More to come


Where can I find U.S. mill-specific EPDs?

For Hot-rolled Sections


*GWP information for each Nucor location is within the same EPD

For Plate

  • **Cleveland Cliffs
  • **Nucor Corporation
  • **SSAB


**no EPDs available as of June 2021

For Hollow Structural Shapes

  • **Atlas
    • Birmingham, Ala.
    • Blytheville, Ark.
    • Blytheville, Ark.
    • Chicago, Ill.
    • Plymouth, Mich.
  • **Nucor Tubular
    • Chicago, Ill.
    • Marseilles, Ill.
    • Birmingham, Ala.
    • Decatur, Ala.
  • **Bull Moose Tube Company
  • **Eugene Welding Co.
  • **Hanna Steel Corp
  • **Hannibal Industries Inc.
  • **Longhorn Tube LP
  • **Maruichi America
  • **Maruichi Leavitt
  • **MOST
  • **Northwest Pipe Co.
  • **PROLAMSA Inc.
  • **Searing Industries
  • **Southland Tube Inc.
  • **Valmont Industries Structural Tubing
  • **Vest, Inc.
  • **Welded Tube of Canada


**no EPDs available as of June 2021