Environmental Product Declarations (EPD)
Page Last Updated: December 29, 2022
The purpose of the Caltrans Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) Implementation Project is to collect EPDs for materials incorporated into construction projects in order to quantify the Global Warming Potential (GWP) emissions in the manufacturing of those materials for our transportation system.
Buy Clean California
The Buy Clean California Act, originally signed into law on October 15, 2017 mandates collection of EPDs for eligible materials (carbon steel rebar, structural steel, flat glass, and mineral wool board insulation).
- Department Exemptions to Environmental Product Declarations in Public Contract Code § 3503 (PDF)
- Caltrans Standard Special Provision 6-1.06_A2-25-22 (PDF)
- Construction Manual 3-606 Buy Clean California Act
For more information on the Buy Clean California Act, please visit the CA Department of General Services.
Product Category Rules
Use the product category rule in effect on the date of bid opening unless otherwise authorized. Where a product category rule for material or product has expired without replacement as of the bid opening date, no environmental product declaration is required for that particular material or product.
Where separate bid item exists (Pilot Projects only): Submit a schedule of values for material and product environmental product declarations within 15 days after Contract approval.
The current PCR for Concrete has replaced Version 1.1 dated December 2013, published by Carbon Leadership Forum.
Program Operator Consortium (POC) develops PCRs, reviews and verifies EPDs, reports Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), and publishes customized Type III environmental declaration formats in accordance with the International Standard ISO 14025.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. References: Where can I get more information on EPDs and the Buy Clean California Act (BCCA)?
A. Below are a list of resources related to BCCA guidance and implementation:
- Department of General Services EPD page
- Caltrans EPD Authorized Materials List (AML) for Carbon Steel Rebar
- Caltrans Construction Procedure Directive: CPD 22-4 BCCA - Update (PDF)
- Data Interchange for Materials Engineering (DIME)
Q. BCCA: What is the BCCA?
A. The Buy Clean California Act (BCCA) (Public Contract Code Sections 3500-3505) is part of California’s overall strategy to address climate change. The BCCA requires facility specific EPDs reflecting Global Warming Potential (GWP) values within the limits set forth by the Department of General Services (DGS) for specified structural steel, concrete reinforcing steel, flat glass, and mineral wool board insulation.
Q. Applicability: Do the BCCA provisions only apply to projects with an estimate over $1M and 175 working days? So if a project is $2M but only 150 working days, then the BCCA provisions do not apply, correct?
A. Correct, but to clarify, the dollar value criterion is based on the total bid amount, not the Engineer’s estimate amount for Caltrans projects. On non-emergency construction contracts, both criteria need to be met to trigger the requirement. The requirement will not apply if only one of the criteria is met, like in the example you provided.
Q. GWP Limits: How did DGS set the limits? And will they change?
A. DGS set the limit at the industry average of facility-specific GWP for that material. See Buy Clean California Act Legislative Report (Issued 1-1-22).
A. Beginning on January 1, 2025, and every three years thereafter, DGS will review the GWP limits for each material and may adjust the limit downward. The BCCA legislation prohibits DGS from adjusting the limit upward.
Q. DIME: How do I submit an EPD on DIME?
A. Under "Additional Resources" there is a walkthrough of how to submit an EPD on DIME.
Q. Temporary structures: Are EPDs exempted when the material is for a temporary structure? For example, we have the following bid items:
- 108 TEMPORARY BRIDGE (BAR REINFORCING STEEL, BRIDGE) 269,787 LB
- 109 TEMPORARY BRIDGE (STRUCTURAL STEEL, BRIDGE) 27,597 LB
A. There are no exceptions for BCCA eligible materials that are temporary in nature. There are other exemptions that may apply (based on the size of the project, the cost of project, or the weight from the source mill), but there is no exemption based solely on temporary items.
Q. Temporary "Bailey" bridge: We are providing a temporary modular bridge superstructure using a “Bailey” bridge type system. Is an EPD required for this? The bid item is: 110 TEMPORARY BRIDGE (MODULAR BRIDGE SUPERSTRUCTURE)
A. A “Bailey” bridge type system is portable and reusable, and there will generally not be any components milled or fabricated for this project’s specific use. As such, the “Bailey bridge” will not require EPDs.
Q. Emergency projects: Are EPDs required for "Emergency" projects?
A. No, EPDs are not required on Emergency projects. See your project’s Special Provisions to verify if the project has requirements for EPDs which will be in Section 6-1.06, BUY CLEAN CALIFORNIA ACT.
Q. Epoxy Coated rebar: Caltrans Special Provisions Section 6-1.06, BUY CLEAN CALIFORNIA ACT, specifically excludes Epoxy Coated rebar from EPD requirements. However, the DGS website for the Buy Clean California Act lists in FAQs/Table 2 that epoxy coated rebar (ASTM ASTM A775) is an “eligible material”.
A. Caltrans Special Provisions Section 6-1.06 currently exempts epoxy coated rebar from the EPD requirements. The table in the DGS FAQs is only showing what materials the GWP limits can apply to.
Q. Stainless Steel rebar: Are EPDs required for stainless steel rebar, specifically ASTM A955/A955M Standard Specification for Deformed and Plain Stainless Steel Bars for Concrete Reinforcement?
A. No, EPDs are not currently required for stainless steel rebar. Special Provisions Section 6-1.06, BUY CLEAN CALIFORNIA ACT, refers to Section 52-1.02B which references the following rebar specifications which apply to the BCCA:
- ASTM A706/A706M Standard Specification for Deformed and Plain Low-Alloy Steel Bars for Concrete Reinforcement
- ASTM A615/A615M Standard Specification for Deformed and Plain Carbon-Steel Bars for Concrete Reinforcement
Q. Stockpiled material: We have material that was produced many years ago, before the EPD for the mill was issued. Can we still provide this material if there is a current and valid EPD from the mill?
Q. Local agency projects: We are a local agency and are advertising, awarding, and administering a project on the Caltrans right of way. Do these provisions apply if we’re only installing traffic control devices within Caltrans right of way?
A. If project criteria, including project bid and total working days are met, then the provisions will apply to specific materials listed in Caltrans standard special provision Section 6-1.06, BUY CLEAN CALIFORNIA ACT. Footnotes for each of the materials state the quantity thresholds that also need to be met in order for the provisions to apply.
Q. Local agency projects partially on Caltrans ROW: If only a small portion of our project is within Caltrans right of way, do the BCCA provisions apply to the entire project, or only the portion that is within Caltrans right of way?
A. If you are the advertising, awarding, and administering agency, then BCCA would only need to be met on that portion of work within the state right of way. However it may be easier to apply the requirements to the total project.
- How to submit EPD data on DIME (video)
- How to access DIME and submit EPD data (PDF)
- Find PCRs and EPDs on their website programoperators.org
- Caltrans EPD Authorized Materials List
- For any project specific questions, please contact your METS Representative
- For general EPD questions, contact EPD@dot.ca.gov
Pilot Project Updates
Five major building materials put into service by Caltrans have been identified to include Concrete, Carbon Steel Rebar, Structural Steel (SS), Asphalt, and Aggregate and will be the initial set of materials to which EPDs will be collected on pilot projects and used for determining baseline environmental impacts.
- Latest Non-Standard Special Provision (NSSP) for Pilot Projects 6-1.06_N03-05-19_2019
Current Pilot Projects Requiring EPDs (updated 03/27/2020, additional projects to be added)
|Project EA||Contract Award Approval||Eligible Materials per Buy Clean California Act||Concrete||Asphalt||Aggregate|
|Rebar||Structural Steel||Flat Glass||Mineral Wool Board Insulation|
|02-1H110||December 31, 2019||✔||✔||✔|
|02-4G500||October 24, 2019||✔||✔|
|05-1F740||May 1, 2019||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|07-31040||November 4, 2019
|08-0K121||January 22, 2020||✔
|08-1F690||October 24, 2019
|12-0N490||January 22, 2020||✔||✔||✔|
✔ Indicates pilot project has anticipated quantity of material meeting threshold to require EPD as set forth in NSSP