All Biobased and Renewable Products News

April 10, 2020
EPA Submits Letter To Congress: “Correct The Record On The Temporary Enforcement Policy”
EPA announced on April 2, 2020, that it sent a letter to all members of Congress to correct the record on its temporary policy regarding enforcement of environmental legal obligations during the COVID-19 pandemic. EPA states that “[a]s should be apparent to anyone who reads the policy, allegations that EPA ‘will cease all enforcement actions during the coronavirus pandemic’ and that the temporary policy ‘absolves polluters of all responsibility’ are simply not true.” According to EPA, it expects regulated entities to comply with all obligations, and if they ... read more >
June 12, 2020
EPA Announces Request For Comments On ICR For Its P2 Awards Program
On June 11, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that its Pollution Prevention (P2) Awards Program is planning to submit an information collection request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. Before proceeding with the ICR, however, EPA is soliciting public comments on specific aspects of the proposed ICR. EPA’s P2 Program consists of a voluntary program that encourages businesses and facilities to adopt P2 projects that reduce financial costs associated with waste management and cleanup, as well as environmental costs ... read more >
June 12, 2020
MASBDA Announces Availability Of Grants For Biofuel Entities
On June 4, 2020, the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority (MASBDA) announced the creation of the Biofuel Infrastructure Program (BIP). Designed to increase the availability of higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel in Missouri, BIP partners with private entities to support biofuel producers in applying for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development’s Higher Blends Infrastructure Investment Program (HBIIP) funding. The MASBDA Board of Directors has allocated up to $2 million statewide in grant funds. The maximum grant amount is $200,000 for each ... read more >
June 12, 2020
NEXT WEEK: B&C To Present At The 23rd Annual GC&E Conference, June 15-19, 2020
From June 15-19, 2020, the American Chemical Society (ACS) will be hosting its annual Green Chemistry and Engineering (GC&E) Conference virtually. On June 15, 2020, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (EDT), during the “Enabling a Circular Economy for Materials in the Consumer Goods Industry,” Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., B&C’s Director of Chemistry, will proudly present his abstract titled “Road-map for Innovators - Commercialization in a Circular Economy.” In addition, Engler will present a poster titled “TSCA Tutor -- The Importance of Regulatory Awareness ... read more >
June 5, 2020
EPA Issues Pre-Publication Version Of Its Proposed Anti-Backsliding Determination For Renewable Fuels And Air Quality
On May 29, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a pre-publication version of a proposed anti-backsliding determination that no additional measures are necessary pursuant to the Clean Air Act (CAA) Section 211(v) to mitigate the adverse air quality impacts of renewable fuel volumes required under CAA Section 211(o). The proposed determination will be published in the Federal Register for a 30-day comment period. CAA Section 211 requires EPA to take two actions. The first action is for EPA to complete a study to determine whether renewable fuel volumes required under CAA ... read more >
June 5, 2020
EPA Releases Biannual Update To Public TSCA Inventory
EPA announced on June 1, 2020, the availability of the latest Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Inventory. EPA notes that this biannual update to the public TSCA Inventory is part of its regular posting of non-confidential TSCA Inventory data. EPA plans the next regular update of the Inventory for early 2021. According to EPA, the Inventory contains 86,405 chemicals, of which 41,587 are active in the United States commerce. Other updates to the TSCA Inventory include updates to commercial activity data and regulatory flags, such as consent orders and significant new use rules ... read more >
June 5, 2020
DOE EERE Announces Workshop On Tools To Accelerate Scaling-Up Of Biobased Fuels
On June 3, 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced that it will be hosting a public virtual workshop titled “Workshop on Predictive Models and High Performance Computing as Tools to Accelerate the Scaling-up of New Bio-Based Fuels.” The goal is to determine if predictive models and high performance computing can and should be used to reduce biotechnology uncertainty and accelerate scaling-up of biorefinery/chemical production equipment and optimize operations. The virtual workshop will be held from June 9 to June ... read more >
June 5, 2020
Workshop On Bioanalysis To Be Held By FDA
On June 30, 2020, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (EDT),the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will host a free regulatory training for industry on bioanalysis requirements and expectations. Focused on how FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) approaches various issues in bioanalysis, the workshop aims to provide participants with a better understanding of how FDA performs bioanalysis. Topics to be covered, among others, include: Bioanalytical method validation: history, process, and regulatory perspectives;   Biosimilars;   Regulated bioanalysis for ... read more >
May 29, 2020
U.S. Senators Join Forces In Bipartisan Bill Supporting Biofuel Producers
On May 21, 2020, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced a bill directing the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary to establish a renewable feedstock reimbursement program. Aiming to support biofuel producers that have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, this bill can be cited as the Renewable Fuel Feedstock Reimbursement Act of 2020. Under the reimbursement program, biofuel producers will be reimbursed for their feedstock purchases from January 1, 2020, through March 31, 2020, through the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC). Eligible ... read more >
May 29, 2020
EPA Issues Small Manufacturer Definition Update Rule In Final
On May 28, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the issuance of the final rule amending the definition of small manufacturer, including a new definition for small government in accordance with the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Effective June 29, 2020, these amendments affect certain reporting and recordkeeping requirements in the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule under ... read more >
May 29, 2020
EPA Seeking Comments On The Registration Of A Novel Biopesticide And Product
On May 22, 2020, EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) announced the opening of a 15-day comment period on its proposal to register a new active ingredient and biopesticide product. The biopesticide product, PHC-91398, would contain Ea peptide 91398, the new active ingredient that was derived from naturally occurring bacterium and induces natural plant defenses. The plant’s reaction to the peptide “activates a hypersensitive response in treated plants, which enables resistance to bacterial and fungal infection, as well as suppression of nematode egg production.” ... read more >
May 29, 2020
DOE EERE Announces Funding Availability For Selected Small Businesses
On May 21, 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced the availability of approximately $21.3 million in funding for 106 Phase I small business innovation projects. The funds, announced by U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette, are part of DOE’s $53 million available for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) research and development projects. The selected small businesses represent 26 states. Most Phase I awards are $200,000 for a performance period of less than ... read more >
May 22, 2020
Final SECURE Rule Will Update And Modernize USDA’s Biotechnology Regulations
On May 18, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) issued the much-anticipated final Sustainable, Ecological, Consistent, Uniform, Responsible, Efficient (SECURE) rule. 85 Fed. Reg. 29790. The rule is intended to update and modernize USDA’s biotechnology regulations under the Plant Protection Act. The final rule amends the regulations regarding the movement (importation, interstate movement, and environmental release) of certain genetically engineered (GE) organisms in response to advances in genetic engineering and ... read more >
May 22, 2020
USDA Issues Biobased Manufacturing Program Rule In Final
On May 18, 2020, USDA issued its final rule for the Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program (9003 Program), which incorporates the statutory definition changes as required in the Agricultural Act of 2018 (Farm Bill) and adopts the interim rule published on June 14, 2015. The 9003 Program replaces the Biorefinery Assistance Program (BAP), which guaranteed loans to fund the development, construction, and retrofitting of commercial-scale biorefineries using eligible technology. The final rule makes several specific changes to BAP, ... read more >
May 22, 2020
U.S. Senators Introduce Bipartisan Bioeconomy Act
On May 15, 2020, U.S. Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Ed Markey (D-MA), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced the Bioeconomy Research and Development Act of 2020, creating a federal research initiative to ensure continued United States leadership in engineering biology. The National Engineering Biology Research and Development Initiative would focus on the advancement of societal well-being, national security, sustainability, and economic productivity and competitiveness. It would accomplish these goals through: Advancement of areas of research at the intersection of ... read more >
May 22, 2020
U.S. Air Force Synthetic Biology Challenge Deadline Approaches
The U.S. Air Force (USAF) Research Laboratory is sponsoring a $1 million challenge for synthetic biology solutions to reduce the cost and improve the quality for aerospace thermosets. This scientific challenge is focused on the use of biotechnology to create products or product precursors required by USAF. Interested parties must submit white papers on the viability of the approach to bio-synthesize two molecules A and B needed for aerospace thermosets. This is the first of three challenges and consists of three phases. Phase One is the white paper submission as previously described. Phase ... read more >
May 22, 2020
EPA Approves Addition Of New Cleaning Ingredients Submitted By ACI
On May 14, 2020, the American Cleaning Institute (ACI), a BRAG member, announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved eight cleaning product ingredients submitted by ACI for inclusion in EPA’s Safer Chemical Ingredients List (SCIL). EPA’s Safer Choice Program focuses on assisting consumers, businesses, and purchasers to find products that perform and contain ingredients that are safer for human health and the environment. SCIL is a list of chemical ingredients that have been evaluated and determined by the Safer Choice Program to be safer than traditional ... read more >
May 22, 2020
“TSCA Reform—Four Years Later” Virtual Seminar
From the current impacts of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) on science policies to challenges faced by industry, Lautenberg Implementation continues to evolve even four years after becoming law. B&C, The Environmental Law Institute (ELI), and the George Washington University (GWU) Milken Institute School of Public Health are pleased to present “TSCA Reform -- Four Years Later,” a complimentary virtual seminar bringing together government and industry officials to reflect on the accomplishments and challenges since the implementation of the 2016 Lautenberg Amendments ... read more >
May 15, 2020
Mayors Submit Letter To EPA Administrator On RFS Uphold And Proposed Waivers
On May 11, 2020, a total of 70 Mayors from various cities in the United States submitted a letter to Andrew Wheeler, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, criticizing the decision not to uphold the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and not to reject proposed waivers under Section 211(o)(7) of the Clean Air Act. The Mayors state that this decision on waivers is already causing damage to the economy and will continue to devastate farmers, workers, and families who depend on the biofuels industry. The letter emphasizes: The request for these waivers is unjustified under the law. ... read more >
May 15, 2020
Renewable Fuel Reimbursement Program Included In HEROES Act
On May 12, 2020, a bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, which would make emergency supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending on September 30, 2020. Titled the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act (HEROES Act), this bill addresses various issues, many of which have been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of these issues include provisions of revenue, health, retirement, government operations, and support for processed commodities, among others. Of particular interest to the biofuels industry is the bill’s introduction of a ... read more >
May 15, 2020
Purple Book Database Of Biological Products Updated By FDA
On May 12, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the release of an update to its Purple Book: Database of FDA-Licensed Biological Products (Purple Book). The update adds all FDA-licensed biological products, including products approved in the new drug applications (NDAs) that were deemed to be licenses (transition biological products). This update also includes a new feature allowing users to download reports. Historical reports now include highlighted sections reflecting changes made in the previous month. This is the second phase of FDA’s Purple Book planned ... read more >
May 15, 2020
New Reporting Procedure For Co-Manufacturers Under TSCA CDR Rule May Catch Certain Manufacturers Off Guard
One of several changes to the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule, issued in final on April 9, 2020, is that in the 2020 cycle, EPA has changed the way that toll manufacturing must be reported. In this cycle, EPA will not accept reporting from only the contracting manufacturer in situations where a company contracts with another company (i.e., a toll manufacturer) for the production of chemicals. As in years’ past, EPA states in its final rule that if no report is filed, both the contracting and producing companies will be held liable if no reporting ... read more >
May 15, 2020
EPA’s Updated Small Manufacturer Definition Will Apply To CDR Reporting Period Beginning June 1
On May 12, 2020, EPA released the signed final rule updating the definition of small manufacturers, including a new definition of what is considered a small government, used to determine reporting and recordkeeping requirements under TSCA. According to EPA, the updated definitions will reduce reporting burdens on chemical manufacturers and small governments while maintaining the Agency’s ability to receive the information it needs to understand exposure to chemical substances manufactured in the United States. The final rule makes a technical correction to the small manufacturer ... read more >
May 15, 2020
EPA Will Hold Webinar On CDR Requirements On May 19
EPA will host a webinar on May 19, 2020, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (EDT) to provide an overview of the 2020 CDR requirements. The webinar will include information about the revised reporting requirements, including: New requirements for making confidential business information (CBI) claims; Reporting refinements related to byproducts, including exemptions; Phasing in certain processing and use data codes; and Process improvements for reporting co-manufacturing. The webinar will also introduce the updated e-CDRweb reporting tool. EPA notes that the presentation will be similar to the ... read more >
May 8, 2020
Russian Federation Extends Deadline For Submissions To New Chemical Inventory
The Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation formally announced that the May 1, 2020, deadline to submit substances and mixtures to its chemical inventory is extended to August 1, 2020. Entities exporting products to the Russian Federation should nominate their substances and mixtures to the Russian chemical inventory to ensure continued access to the Russian market. New substance registration is required for substances or mixtures not on the inventory after the nomination process closes. A company without a legal entity in Russia can appoint an Authorized Representative ... read more >
May 8, 2020
Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., Presents “TSCA New Chemicals” During GlobalChem Webinar Series, May 13, 2020
The 2020 GlobalChem webinar series addresses major developments in chemicals management and provides participants a chance to engage with policymakers and other key experts throughout the chemical industry value chain. On May 13, 2020, at 12:00 p.m. (EDT), Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., Director of Chemistry, Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®), will present during the “TSCA New Chemicals” webinar. Other presenters include Lynn Dekleva, Ph.D., Associate Deputy Assistant Administrator for New Chemicals, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Chemical Safety and ... read more >
May 8, 2020
Register Now For The “TSCA Reform -- Four Years Later,” Virtual Symposium, Wednesday, June 24, 2020, 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (EDT)
B&C, the Environmental Law Institute (ELI), and the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health are pleased to present "TSCA Reform -- Four Years Later," on June 24, 2020. This complimentary virtual conference marks the fourth Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Annual Conference, reflecting on the accomplishments and challenges since the implementation of the 2016 Lautenberg Amendments and where TSCA stands today. Speakers include: Lynn L. Bergeson, Managing Partner, B&C;   Yvette T. Collazo, Director, OPPT, EPA;   Thomas M. ... read more >
May 1, 2020
DOE EERE Announces Intent To Issue Funding For Manufacturing Innovation
On April 24, 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced that it intends to issue a funding opportunity to: Stimulate technology innovation;   Enable manufacturing of cutting-edge products in the United States; and   Improve energy productivity of manufacturing. On behalf of the Advance Manufacturing Office (AMO), this potential funding opportunity aims to advance the Trump Administration’s goal of enhancing manufacturing competitiveness through technological innovation. The Funding Opportunity ... read more >
May 1, 2020
House Representative Finkenauer Introduces The Clean Fuels Deployment Act Of 2020
On April 28, 2020, U.S. Representative Abby Finkenauer (D-IA) introduced the Clean Fuels Deployment Act of 2020, which would fund installation and conversion of fuel pump infrastructure to deliver higher blends of biofuel. Co-sponsored by Representatives Angie Craig (D-MN), Don Bacon (R-NE), and Roger Marshall (R-KS), this bipartisan bill creates a clean fuels grant program with $600 million over a six-year period to help biofuel retailers. The plan is to assist retailers to offer higher ethanol blends; expand the geographic area selling ethanol blends; accelerate the deployment of fueling ... read more >
May 1, 2020
EPA ORD Announces BOSC CSS-HERA Subcommittee Meeting
On April 29, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Research and Development (ORD) announced a virtual meeting of the Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC) Chemical Safety for Sustainability and Health and Environmental Risk Assessment (CSS-HERA) Subcommittee. The purpose of the meeting will be to review the draft 2019-2022 Strategic Research Action Plan (StRAP) of the HERA research program. The videoconference meeting will be held over a period of two days on May 12, 2020, from 12:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (EDT), and May 13, 2020, from 12:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. ... read more >
May 1, 2020
BRAG To Present At The 23rd Annual GC&E Conference, June 11-13, Reston, VA
From June 15 to 19, 2020, the American Chemical Society (ACS) will be hosting their annual Green Chemistry and Engineering (GC&E) Conference virtually. Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., Director of Chemistry at Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) will be proudly presenting a poster titled: “TSCA Tutor -- The Importance of Regulatory Awareness and Applications.” The poster presentation will highlight B&C’s complete suite of TSCA TutorTM regulatory training courses online and on-demand. This year’s conference registration is free, so check out B&C’s ... read more >
April 24, 2020
USDA Announces Relief Funding For Farmers And Ranchers, But Does Not Address Biofuels Industry Request For Assistance
On April 17, 2020, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary, Sonny Perdue, announced $19 billion to farmers and ranchers as part of its COVID-19 relief program. Aimed at providing critical support in maintaining the integrity of the U.S. food supply chain and ensuring that every American has access to the food needed, the funds will be used not only to directly support farmers and ranchers, but also for USDA purchase and distribution. The latter goal means that USDA will partner with regional and local distributors affected by the closure of businesses to purchase $3 billion in fresh ... read more >
April 24, 2020
Scientist Suggests Algae-Based 3D Printing For Habitation Structures In Space
In March 2020, a paper by master’s degree student Anastasia Prosina titled “Algae-Based Printer Ink as the Way to Foster In-Situ Resource Utilization in Habitation Structures” was published in ResearchGate. Prosina’s paper, submitted to Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA), proposes that the most feasible long-term habitat off-Earth will consist of a 3D printed mixture of algae and regolith, the layer of unconsolidated rocky material covering bedrock. Proposed as an alternative to building structures in space that require intensive mining and ... read more >
April 24, 2020
DOE Announces Funding For RAPID Manufacturing Institute Projects
On April 22, 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment (RAPID) Manufacturing Institute announced the availability of $4 million for five selected projects. The projects align with RAPID’s research focus areas in chemical and commodity processing, renewable bioproducts, natural gas upgrading, modeling and simulation, module manufacturing, and intensified process ... read more >
April 24, 2020
EPA’s OCSPP Will Host Webinars On Federal Opportunities In Research Triangle Park
EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) is hosting the following webinars to educate scientists on the more than 30 federal opportunities available in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina: Thursday, April 16, 2020, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (EDT). Join the webinar; Thursday, April 23, 2020, 2:00 p.m.to 3:00 p.m. (EDT). Join the webinar; and Thursday, April 30, 2020, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (EDT). Join the webinar. Webinar participants will learn about OCSPP’s role in protecting human health and the environment, OCSPP’s newly formed worksite ... read more >
April 21, 2020
Register Now for “Navigating the Jurisdictional Tightrope Between Biopesticides, Biostimulants, and Related Emerging Technologies” on April 29, 2020, 12:00 pm (EDT)
Register now for the American Bar Association (ABA) webinar “Navigating the Jurisdictional Tightrope Between Biopesticides, Biostimulants, and Related Emerging Technologies” with Bergeson & Campbell P.C. (B&C®) professionals deconstructing the jurisdictional boundaries distinguishing pesticides, biopesticides, plant regulators, biostimulants, and related technologies. The webinar will focus on draft EPA guidance intended to clarify the lines between and among those products that are subject to FIFRA registration as plant regulators and those biostimulant products not ... read more >
April 17, 2020
FDA Requests Comments On Product User Fee Programs
On April 6, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a report that provides options and recommendations for a new methodology to evaluate changes in resource capacity needs of human drug and biosimilar biologic review programs. Titled “Independent Evaluation of the PDUFA and BsUFA Resource Capacity Planning Adjustment Methodology: Evaluation and Recommendations,” the analysis of the methodology was reviewed by an outside consultant, contracted by FDA. The report summarizes the evaluation of FDA’s proposed capacity planning adjustment methodology to ... read more >
April 17, 2020
DOE STEAB Virtual Meeting Announced
On May 6, 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) will host a virtual meeting of the State Energy Advisory Board (STEAB). The virtual meeting will take place from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (EDT). Interested parties must contact the Board’s Designated Federal Officer, Jay Nathwani, via e-mail or phone at ... read more >
April 17, 2020
EPA Publishes Updated Data On TSCA CBI Reviews
On April 10, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a quarterly update of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) confidential business information (CBI) review statistics. The data summarize the number of CBI cases under review and results of completed reviews through March 1, 2020. In addition, a spreadsheet showing the details of completed TSCA CBI determinations through March 1, 2020, is available. EPA states that making this information publicly available “continues to demonstrate the agency’s commitment to transparency while fulfilling its ... read more >
April 17, 2020
EC Launches Initiative Aimed At Connecting Stakeholders With Biobased Compounds
On April 10, 2020, the European Commission (EC) announced the launch of its new online service that connects crop and food producers with biorefineries. This European Union (EU) project aims to address food waste by enabling crop producers, food processors, and agricultural cooperatives to sell their waste as feedstock for use by two biorefineries in Spain and Italy. The multi-feedstock biorefineries, designed by Agrimax, convert farming and food processing byproducts into compounds that can be used in biobased food packaging as well as in the biobased chemical and agricultural sectors. ... read more >
April 17, 2020
USDA Report States That Brexit Will Not Change Policies Affecting GE Plants
On April 9, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published a report titled “Agricultural Biotechnology Annual,” which argues that under any scenario, the United Kingdom’s (U.K.) separation from the EU (Brexit) is unlikely to change policy or trade in genetically engineered (GE) industries. According to the report prepared by USDA’s Jennifer Wilson, given the fact that the EU is the U.K.’s trading partner and has been for many years, the U.K. will retain much of the EU’s food laws in the short to medium term. Although Brexit could potentially ... read more >
April 10, 2020
Senators Submit Bipartisan Letter To USDA Secretary Requesting Assistance For The Biofuel Industry
On April 6, 2020, 15 United States Senators submitted a bipartisan letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary, Sonny Perdue, requesting the use of its authority to assist the biofuels industry’s economic circumstances brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Highlighting the negative impacts of the pandemic on farmers and producers who will bear the impact of the decrease in consumption, in the letter, the Senators have also taken the opportunity to criticize the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failing to implement the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). ... read more >
April 10, 2020
EPA Announces CDR 2020 Submission Period Extension
On April 9, 2020, EPA issued a final rule amending the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) regulations by extending the 2020 report submission deadline to November 30, 2020. The extension applies to the 2020 submission period only. As many are aware, CDR regulations require manufacturers (including importers) of certain chemical substances to report data on the manufacturing, processing, and use of the chemical substances. This final rule is effective as of April 9, 2020. This final rule has been published alongside EPA’s CDR Revisions final rule, which ... read more >
April 10, 2020
EPA Extends Comment Period For SNPRM On Strengthening Transparency
On March 3, 2020, EPA announced the availability of a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) to the Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science proposed rule. EPA notes that the SNPRM “is not a new rulemaking; rather, it provides clarifications on certain terms and aspects of the 2018 proposed rule.” The SNPRM: Proposes that the scope of the rulemaking applies to influential scientific information, as well as significant regulatory decisions; Defines and clarifies that the proposed rule applies to data and models underlying both pivotal science and pivotal ... read more >
April 3, 2020
EPA Requests SAB And SAB Standing Committee Nominations
On April 1, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it is now accepting nominations of scientific experts to be considered for appointment to its Science Advisory Board (SAB) and four SAB standing committees. EPA is seeking candidates from a wide range of disciplines including analytical chemistry, forestry, modeling, toxicology, and benefit-cost analysis, among many others. The four SAB standing committees seeking experts are: The Agricultural Science Committee (ASC) – It provides advice to the chartered SAB on matters that have been determined to have a ... read more >
April 3, 2020
USDA Solicits Stakeholder Input On Agricultural Innovations
On April 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) requested written stakeholder input on objectives and opportunities leading to research goals and informed product goals to facilitate transformative breakthroughs that enable U.S. agriculture to meet its goal of increasing agricultural production by 40 percent by ... read more >
April 3, 2020
DOE EERE Looking For Volunteers To Pilot EPIC Application Submissions
On March 31, 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced its intention to replace eXCHANGE for a new system for funding opportunity announcements (FOA) and application submissions. Starting in Fiscal Year 2021, parties interested in responding to EERE’s opportunities will use the EERE Program Information Center (EPIC). As DOE EERE transitions into EPIC, it is currently looking for volunteers to test the new system and provide feedback. Pilot testing will be from May through June 2020. Interested parties will have a ... read more >
April 3, 2020
EPA Announces and Clarifies Temporary Enforcement Discretion Policy
EPA announced on March 26, 2020, a temporary policy regarding enforcement of environmental legal obligations during the COVID-19 pandemic. EPA states that its temporary enforcement discretion policy applies to civil violations during the COVID-19 outbreak. The policy addresses different categories of noncompliance differently. For example, according to EPA, it “does not expect to seek penalties for noncompliance with routine monitoring and reporting obligations that are the result of the COVID-19 pandemic but does expect operators of public water systems to continue to ensure the safety ... read more >
March 27, 2020
DOE Announces BERAC Virtual Meeting
On March 25, 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a meeting of the Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee (BERAC). The meeting will be held digitally via webcast on April 16, 2020, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (EDT). Information on how to access the meeting will be posted here. Tentative agenda topics include: BERAC business and discussion; News from the Biological Systems Science and Climate and Environmental Sciences Divisions; News from the Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER); Report brief(s); and Public comment. The ... read more >
March 27, 2020
EPA Will Consider Exemptions To TSCA Fees Rule For EPA-Initiated Risk Evaluations
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on March 25, 2020, that it will consider a proposed rule that would look at providing exemptions to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) fees rule in response to stakeholder concerns about implementation challenges. EPA states that by considering a proposal to narrow the broad scope of the current requirements, it “could significantly reduce burden on potentially thousands of businesses across the country while maintaining the ability to successfully implement the Lautenberg Act amendments” to TSCA to protect human health ... read more >
March 27, 2020
Yvette T. Collazo Will Be New Director Of EPA’s OPPT
Effective March 29, 2020, Yvette T. Collazo will be the new Director of EPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT). Ms. Collazo previously worked for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), where she led activities related to federal contracts and agreements of more than $250 million for the cleanup of radiological, industrial, and groundwater hazards resulting from decades of nuclear material production at DOE’s Savannah River facility. Ms. Collazo also served as Senior Advisor and Director for the Office of Technology Innovation and Development at DOE’s Office of ... read more >
March 27, 2020
Safer Choice Program Accepting Submissions For 2020 Safer Choice Partner Of The Year Awards
EPA published a Federal Register notice on March 23, 2020, announcing that the EPA Safer Choice program is accepting submissions for its 2020 Safer Choice Partner of the Year Awards. 85 Fed. Reg. 16334. EPA states that it developed the Partner of the Year Awards to recognize the leadership contributions of Safer Choice partners and stakeholders who, over the past year, have shown achievement in the design, manufacture, selection, and use of products with safer chemicals, furthering outstanding or innovative source reduction. All Safer Choice stakeholders and program participants in good ... read more >
March 27, 2020
EPA Seeks Nominations For TSCA SACC
EPA published a Federal Register notice on March 20, 2020, inviting the public to nominate scientific experts from a diverse range of disciplines to be considered for appointment to the TSCA Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC). 85 Fed. Reg. 16094. EPA is seeking nominations of individuals who have demonstrated high levels of expertise in scientific and/or technical fields relevant to chemical safety and risk assessment, including, but not limited to: human health and ecological risk assessment, biostatistics, epidemiology, pediatrics, physiologically based pharmacokinetics, ... read more >
March 20, 2020
EPA Will Amend CDR Rule And Extend 2020 Submission Period
On March 17, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of a final rule amending the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule. According to EPA, the amendments are intended to reduce the burden for certain CDR reporters, improve the quality of CDR data collected, and align reporting requirements with the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act’s (Lautenberg Act) amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). EPA states that some of the key revisions include: Simplifying reporting, including allowing manufacturers to use ... read more >
March 20, 2020
EPA Announces Latest Update To TSCA Inventory
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on March 11, 2020, the availability of the latest Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Inventory. EPA states that this biannual update to the public TSCA Inventory is part of its regular posting of non-confidential TSCA Inventory data. According to EPA, this update adds 81 new chemicals, and the Inventory as a whole now contains 86,405 chemicals, of which 41,484 are active in U.S commerce. Other updates to the TSCA Inventory include: Updates to commercial activity data, or active/inactive status;   Updated regulatory flags, ... read more >
March 20, 2020
EPA Announces SNPRM On Strengthening Transparency In Regulatory Science
On March 18, 2020, EPA published its supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) titled “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science” in the Federal Register. Per last week’s Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) blog post, the supplemental notice proposes the following changes to the 2018 proposed rulemaking: A scope that applies to influential scientific information and significant regulatory decisions;   A modified approach to the availability provisions for data and models that would underlie influential scientific information and significant ... read more >
March 20, 2020
DOE Cancels Biomass R&D Technical Advisory Committee Meeting
On March 16, 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced the cancellation of the March 24 and March 25, 2020, Biomass Research and Development (R&D) Technical Advisory ... read more >
March 20, 2020
DOE Releases FOA For Plastics Recycling R&D
On March 16, 2020, DOE EERE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office and Bioenergy Technologies Office used a joint funding opportunity announcement (FOA) of up to $25 million for plastics recycling R&D. As part of the Department’s Plastics Innovation Challenge, this FOA has been titled “BOTTLE: Bio-Optimized Technologies to Keep Thermoplastics Out of Landfills and the Environment.” The BOTTLE FOA will support the development of new plastics capable of efficient recyclability and improvement of recycling strategies that can break existing plastics into chemical building ... read more >
March 20, 2020
EPA Releases Final Rule On Procedures For Review Of CBI Claims For The Identity Of Chemicals On The TSCA Inventory
On March 6, 2020, EPA published its final rule on procedures for review of confidential business information (CBI) claims made under TSCA. 85 Fed. Reg. 13062. The final rule includes the requirements for regulated entities to substantiate certain CBI claims made under TSCA to protect the specific chemical identities of chemical substances on the confidential portion of the TSCA Inventory, and EPA’s plan for reviewing certain CBI claims for specific chemical identities. EPA sets out the review criteria and related procedures that it will use to complete the reviews within the five-year ... read more >
March 20, 2020
The Product Stewardship Society Is Accepting Board Nominations
The Product Stewardship Society is now accepting nominations for officials from member companies to serve on its Board of Directors. The Board establishes the organization’s strategic direction and goals, and monitors progress toward reaching those goals. Nominees must be members in good standing; self-nominations are allowed. “Our Board members are leaders in a diverse range of business sectors. We are looking for leaders who have a passion for the Society and who wish to work with like-minded professionals to grow the profession and make a difference,” stated Lynn ... read more >
March 13, 2020
EPA Announces Grant Opportunity Supporting Innovative Solutions For Reducing Pollution, Including In The Chemical Manufacturing, Processing, And Formulation Sector
On March 5, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it is seeking grant applications through the Source Reduction Assistance Grant Program from states, federally recognized tribes, universities, local governments, and other groups to support innovative solutions for source reduction or pollution prevention (P2) through research, education, training, or certain other methods. EPA notes that as it highlights chemical safety during the month of March, “these grants support that goal by providing information, training, and tools to improve public health and the ... read more >
March 13, 2020
EPA Adds Two Microorganisms To List Of Microoganisms Eligible For Exemption From Certain TSCA Reporting Requirements
On March 10, 2020, EPA announced that it issued a final rule to add two strains of microorganisms to the list of microorganisms eligible for an exemption from certain reporting requirements under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). EPA states that manufacturers of new intergeneric Trichoderma reesei (strain QM6a) and Bacillus amyloliquefaciens (subspecies amyloliquefaciens) may now be eligible to undergo a streamlined review process under TSCA’s new chemicals review program with reduced TSCA fees. The final rule is intended to ensure the safety of human health and the environment ... read more >
March 13, 2020
EPA Announces SNPRM On Strengthening Transparency In Regulatory Science
On March 3, 2020, EPA announced that a supplemental notice of the proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) titled “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science” will be published in the Federal Register in the near future. While the notice would only modify EPA internal procedures, industry stakeholders are asked to comment on the proposed rule during a 30-day period after the date of publication in the Federal Register. The supplemental notice proposes the following changes to the 2018 proposed rulemaking: A scope that applies to influential scientific information and significant ... read more >
March 13, 2020
EPA Announces Latest Update To TSCA Inventory
On March 11, 2020, EPA announced the availability of the latest TSCA Inventory. EPA states that this biannual update to the public TSCA Inventory is part of its regular posting of non-confidential TSCA Inventory data. According to EPA, this update adds 81 new chemicals, and the Inventory as a whole now contains 86,405 chemicals, of which 41,484 are active in U.S. commerce. Other updates to the TSCA Inventory include: Updates to commercial activity data, or active/inactive status; Updated regulatory flags, such as consent orders and significant new use rules (SNUR); and Additional ... read more >
March 13, 2020
DOE Announces Funds Available For Workforce Development At Universities
On March 6, 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that up to $20 million in funding is available for workforce development at universities in emerging energy fields. Aiming to prepare the next generation of scientists and engineers, DOE’s investment will fund a land grant university to pursue interdisciplinary research through the support of expansions of existing joint graduate education programs with DOE National Laboratories. This effort will be led by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) as part of the implementation of the ... read more >
March 13, 2020
EPA Publishes Final Rule Establishing CBI Claims Review For TSCA Inventory
On March 6, 2020, EPA announced via the Federal Register its final rule on requirements for regulated entities to substantiate certain confidential business information (CBI) made under TSCA. The substantiation requirements describe the applicable procedures and provide instructions for regulated entities, providing the review criteria and related procedures that EPA will use to complete the reviews within the five-year time frame set in TSCA. The final rule will be effective on May 5, ... read more >
March 6, 2020
USPTO Announces Nominations Opportunity For NMTI
On February 25, 2020, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced that nominations are now open for the 2020 National Medal of Technology and Innovation (NMTI) to recognize those who have worked to advance U.S. competitiveness and quality of life and who have strengthened the workforce through technological innovations. The award is presented annually by the President of the United States to leading technological honorees. Applications will be accepted until April 3, 2020, for individuals, teams (up to four individuals), companies, and company divisions that have contributed to the ... read more >
March 6, 2020
New Guidance Portal Provides Public Access To EPA Guidance Documents
On February 28, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that, in support of President Trump’s (R) Executive Order to promote transparency, EPA launched a new guidance portal that provides public access to its guidance documents. According to EPA, the new searchable database will make it easier for the regulated community to find and follow agency guidance. On October 9, 2019, President Trump issued Executive Order 13891, Promoting the Rule of Law Through Improved Agency Guidance Documents, to promote transparency by ensuring that all active guidance documents are ... read more >
March 6, 2020
DOE Announces Biomass R&D Technical Advisory Committee Meeting
On March 2, 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced open meetings of the Biomass Research and Development (R&D) Technical Advisory Committee. Occurring on March 24, 2020, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (EDT) and March 25, 2020, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (EDT), both meetings will take place in Arlington, VA. The purpose of the meetings is to develop advice and guidance that promotes R&D leading to the production of biobased fuels and biobased products. Parties interested in participating in the meeting and/or making ... read more >
March 6, 2020
FDA Announces Educational Initiative To Inform Consumers Of GE Foods
On March 4, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in collaboration with EPA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), launched a new initiative called “Feed Your Mind” to help consumers better understand genetically engineered (GE) foods. Consisting of science-based information, the initiative’s features include a wide range of resources designed to teach consumers, health care professionals, and students about what a genetically modified organism (GMO) is, how GMOs are created and grown, the types of crops that can be GE, and to address questions about the ... read more >
March 6, 2020
Guidance On Biological Product Transition Issued By FDA
On March 4, 2020, FDA announced that it has issued in final a guidance for industry titled “The ‘Deemed to be a License’ Provision of the BPCI Act: Questions and Answers,” which addresses FDA’s “transition” provision of the BPCI Act. Established in 2009, the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPCI Act) deemed applications for an approved biological product under Section 505 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) to be a license for the biological product under Section 351 of the Public Health Service Act (PHS Act) as ... read more >
March 6, 2020
USDA Requests Comments On Updates To Technical Guidelines For GHG Quantification And Carbon Sequestration
On March 4, 2020, USDA announced that it is now accepting comments on its technical guidelines and science-based methods to quantify greenhouse gas (GHG) sources and sinks from the agriculture and forest sectors at the entity-scale. USDA intends to update the technical guidelines based on newly available data and methodologies within the next three years. Interested parties must submit comments on or prior to April 20, ... read more >
March 6, 2020
FDA Requests Comments On Its Licensed Biological Products Database
On March 5, 2020, FDA opened a public docket for comments on its enhancement of the Purple Book, which is otherwise known as FDA’s “Database of FDA-Licensed Biological Products.” As reported in B&C’s biobased products blog on February 28, 2020, FDA is working to expand the Purple Book by transitioning from its current table list format to a searchable online database for all approved biosimilar products and their reference products. These upgrades will be released in multiple phases. FDA has now completed phase I, which consists of the full search functionality of ... read more >
March 6, 2020
Madison Le Will Be Director Of EPA’s Chemical Control Division
Effective March 15, 2020, Madison Le will join the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT) as Director of the Chemical Control Division (CCD). Ms. Le will replace Acting Director Lynn Vendinello. Ms. Le is currently Director of the Fuels Compliance Policy Center within the Office of Air and Radiation. In that capacity, Ms. Le manages the implementation of EPA’s national fuels programs, including the Renewable Fuel Standard Program, Tier 3 Gasoline, Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel, and Fuels and Fuel Additives Registration. Prior to ... read more >
March 6, 2020
IEDA Opens Applications For Renewable Chemicals Production Tax Credit
The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) is offering the first Renewable Chemicals Production (RCP) Tax Credit in the United States. What does this mean? It means that the program provides an opportunity for industry stakeholders to advance Iowa’s economy through a focus on biomass as a feedstock for the production of renewable chemicals. As an attempt to incentivize the production of 30 high-value chemicals derived from biomass feedstocks, IEDA developed the RCP Tax Credit program to “capitalize on its resources and infrastructure and to capture the renewable chemical ... read more >
March 6, 2020
Helsinki Announces Energy Challenge
On February 26, 2020, the city of Helsinki announced the opening of applications for the Helsinki Energy Challenge (HEC), which aims to address challenges associated with urban heating produced with coal. According to its press release, Helsinki is one of the leading cities in the transition toward a sustainable future. Its aim is to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035. Currently, however, Helsinki needs solutions to meet its heat demand. Given Finland’s coal ban starting in 2029, Helsinki is seeking heating solutions that go beyond coal and beyond burning biomass. Helsinki Mayor, Jan ... read more >
February 28, 2020
FDA Issues Final Rule Amending The Definition Of “Biological Product”
On February 21, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a final rule to amend its regulation that defines “biological product.” The new definition incorporates changes made by the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 (BPCI Act) and the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (FCA Act). Under the final rule, the statutory term “protein” is interpreted to mean any alpha amino acid polymer with a specific, defined sequence that is greater than 40 amino acids in size. Intended to clarify the statutory framework under which such ... read more >
February 28, 2020
FDA Upgrades Its Database Of Licensed Biological Products
On February 24, 2020, FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D., announced that FDA is upgrading its Purple Book, which is otherwise known as its “Database of FDA-Licensed Biological Products.” According to Dr. Hahn, FDA is working to expand the Purple Book by transitioning from its current list format to a searchable online database for all approved biosimilar products and their reference products. An upgrade planned to be released in multiple phases, the full search functionality is the first step. Subsequent phases will include the expansion of the number of FDA-licensed ... read more >
February 28, 2020
DOE EERE To Host Public Workshops On ESGC Across The Country
On February 21, 2020, U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), announced that it will hold a series of workshops to receive input on the approaches and activities for its new initiative, the Energy Storage Grand Challenge (ESGC). Launched in January 2020 by DOE Secretary Dan Brouillette, ESGC was created to accelerate the development, commercialization, and utilization of next-generation energy storage technologies. With the aim to sustain American global leadership in energy storage, ESGC builds on the $158 million Advanced Energy ... read more >
February 28, 2020
DOE ORNL Develops Method For Observing Biomaterials’ Nanostructure
On February 25, 2020, DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) announced that its scientists have developed a novel technique to closely observe the nanostructure of biomaterials without damaging the sample. Using a nonintrusive soft mechanical nanoablation (sMNA) technique can confirm structural features in starch, which is an important carbohydrate in the production of biofuels. ORNL’s chief scientist for systems biology and biotechnology, Brian Davison, highlighted the importance of plant cell wall structures in the next generation of biofuels, stating that the “study ... read more >
February 28, 2020
DOE ORNL Develops Method For Observing Biomaterials’ Nanostructure
On February 25, 2020, DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) announced that its scientists have developed a novel technique to closely observe the nanostructure of biomaterials without damaging the sample. Using a nonintrusive soft mechanical nanoablation (sMNA) technique can confirm structural features in starch, which is an important carbohydrate in the production of biofuels. ORNL’s chief scientist for systems biology and biotechnology, Brian Davison, highlighted the importance of plant cell wall structures in the next generation of biofuels, stating that the “study ... read more >
February 28, 2020
ASTM International Biotechnology Task Group Seeking Members
The international standards organization, ASTM International, is seeking additional task group members to further develop the current terminology standard in industrial biotechnology (E3072-19). ASTM International develops and publishes voluntary consensus technical standards for a wide range of materials, products, systems, and services. Its sub-committee, E62.91 for Terminology in Industrial Biotechnology, is responsible for suggesting new terms and definitions to be added to the current standard and for revising existing terms and definitions as needed. The meanings and explanations of the ... read more >
February 28, 2020
Finnish Scientists Develop Bioplastic With Capacity To Block UV Radiation
On February 19, 2020, the University of Oulu, Finland, announced that scientists from its Research Unit of Sustainable Chemistry have developed a new synthetic bioplastic that provides protection from ultraviolet (UV) radiation. In addition to its UV-light blocking capacity, the transparent bioplastic made from a biomass-based copolymer with bisfuran structure, the new bioplastic also has airtightness capabilities three to four times higher than polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic. The raw materials used in the production of this entirely biomass-based plastic are hydroxymethylfurfural ... read more >
February 21, 2020
EPA Issues Review Plan For CBI Claims Under TSCA
On February 19, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its review plan for certain confidential business information (CBI) claims under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Aiming to provide clarity for affected stakeholders and efficiently fulfill CBI requirements under TSCA, EPA will review CBI claims made for chemical substance identity for chemicals on the “active” portion of the TSCA Inventory. The final rule is a follow-on to the 2017 TSCA Inventory Notification (Active-Inactive) Rule, amending certain substantiation provisions in response to a ... read more >
February 21, 2020
EPA Pollution Prevention Program Requests Applications
The EPA Pollution Prevention (P2) Grant Program has announced the availability of funds to provide technical assistance (e.g., information, training, tools) to businesses to encourage the development and implementation of source reduction practices. EPA states that source reduction practices can help businesses save money by reducing resource use, expenditures, waste, and liability costs, while at the same time reducing their environmental footprint and helping to protect human health and the environment. Applications for fiscal years (FY) 2020 and 2021 are due March 31, 2020. EPA states ... read more >
February 21, 2020
UMass Amherst Unveils A Renewable Device Capable Of Generating Energy
On February 17, 2020, researchers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass Amherst) announced that one of its laboratories has developed a device using a natural protein to create electricity from moisture in the air. Electrical engineer Jun Yao and microbiologist Derek Lovley have created what they call “Air-Gen,” which consists of an air-powered generator with electrically conductive protein nanowires produced by the microbe Geobacter. The Air-gen connects electrodes to the protein nanowires in such a way that electrical current is generated from the water vapor ... read more >
February 14, 2020
Democrats Propose Legislation To Phase Out Single-Use Plastic Products
On February 11, 2020, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM), U.S. Representative Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and U.S. Representative Katherine Clark (D-MA) introduced a bill that would phase out unnecessary single-use plastic products: Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2020. The legislation would also hold corporations accountable for wasteful products, reform the broken waste and recycling collection system, and reduce wasteful packaging. According to Udall, 92 percent of plastic waste in the United States is never recycled. Focused on waste reduction and waste ... read more >
February 14, 2020
TSCA Stakeholders Beware: Enforcement Is On The Rise
Federal enforcement of chemical product laws is alive and well, despite a broadly held misconception to the contrary. We have seen over the past 18 months or so an uptick in federal enforcement under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) writes to alert stakeholders of this fact. B&C believes that this trend will continue in 2020. Check out its memorandum on the topic ... read more >
February 14, 2020
Wyoming Governor Requests Funding For The Establishment Of A New Energy Program
On February 10, 2020, the Governor of Wyoming, Mark Gordon, delivered his 2020 State of the State Address, which included a request to lawmakers of a $25 million investment to establish the Energy Commercialization Program. The program is designed to provide a coordinated approach to support research on technologies that advance zero or net-negative carbon uses for coal and other fossil fuels. Gordon stated: “Wyoming will always advocate for our industries, whether it be to protect against unconstitutional restraint of trade, or in their endeavors to deliver cleaner, more dependable, ... read more >
February 14, 2020
EC To Host Webinar On Fast Pyrolysis Oil Biobased Products
The European Commission (EC) will host a webinar on biobased products developed from fast pyrolysis oil, where four companies will present their work. A technology that can convert a wide range of biomass into clean and uniform bio-oil that is easy to transport and store, fast pyrolysis has mostly focused, thus far, on the use of pyrolysis oil for energy purposes. According to EC, the Horizon 2020 project called Bio4Products, however, has recently developed a technology to divide pyrolysis oil into multiple fractions that could be used for material applications. In its webinar, EC will ... read more >
February 7, 2020
EPA Pollution Prevention Grant Program Requests Applications
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Pollution Prevention (P2) Grant Program has announced the availability of funds to provide technical assistance (e.g., information, training, tools) to businesses to encourage the development and implementation of source reduction practices. EPA states that source reduction practices can help businesses save money by reducing resource use, expenditures, waste, and liability costs, while at the same time reducing their environmental footprint and helping to protect human health and the environment. Applications for fiscal years (FY) 2020 and 2021 ... read more >
February 7, 2020
EPA Issues Final Rule On RFS Program Standards For 2020 And Biomass-Based Diesel Volume For 2021
On February 6, 2020, EPA issued its final rule setting 2020 renewable fuel percentage standards under its Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Program. The final rule established the annual percentage standards for cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel that apply to gasoline and diesel transportation fuel produced or imported in 2020. The volume requirements set are below the statutory volume targets. In addition to the 2020 annual percentage standards, the final rule establishes the applicable volume of biomass-based diesel for 2021. Other changes ... read more >
February 7, 2020
USDA Requests Comments On Its Draft Instructions On Testing Methods For BE Foods
On February 3, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) published a notice requesting comments and feedback on its draft instructions on testing methods under the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (Standard). According to the Standard, which became effective in 2019, with a mandatory compliance date of January 1, 2022, foods that do not contain bioengineered (BE) material do not require label disclosure. USDA’s definition of BE food (7 CFR 66.1) states that food does not contain modified genetic material if the genetic material ... read more >
February 7, 2020
DOE EERE Looks To Fill Vacant Positions
On February 4, 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced that it is searching for professionals to fill vacant general engineer and physical scientist positions. Resumes can be submitted directly to EERE’s hiring staff with information on the position of interest and EERE office (Solar, Geothermal, Vehicles, and Buildings, among others). Should EERE be interested in a particular resume, DOE’s Human Capital Office will reach out to the applicant requesting a transcript demonstrating educational background. Further ... read more >
February 7, 2020
FDA/FTC To Host Public Workshop On Biosimilars’ Competitive Market
On March 9, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in collaboration with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), will host a public workshop titled “FDA/FTC Workshop on a Competitive Marketplace for Biosimilars.” The focus of the workshop will be on FDA and FTC’s collaborative efforts to support appropriate adoption of biosimilars, deter anticompetitive behaviors in the biologic marketplace, and discourage false or misleading statements about biosimilars. The workshop will take place in Silver Spring, MD, and requires registration. Webcast attendance will also be ... read more >
February 7, 2020
NYSDEC Will Hold Public Meeting To Discuss Amendments To The Household Cleansing Product Regulations
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) will hold a public meeting on February 24, 2020, at 1 p.m. (EST) in Albany, New York, “to discuss amendments to the household cleansing product rules that are being considered for adoption.” According to NYSDEC, amendments include specifying what information must be reported about covered products and their ingredients, how information should be shared with NYSDEC for the public record, the type of studies that must be reported, and how confidential business information (CBI) should be handled. NYSDEC states that ... read more >
February 7, 2020
NBB Submits Comments To USDA On HBIIP
On January 30, 2020, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) submitted comments to USDA in response to its request for information (RFI) on the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP). A new USDA Rural Development project, HBIIP is designed to expand the availability of domestic ethanol and biodiesel by incentivizing the expansion of sales of renewable fuels. USDA’s RFI solicited information on options for fuel ethanol and biodiesel infrastructure, innovation, products, technology, and data derived from all HBIIP processes and/or science that drive economic growth, promote ... read more >
January 31, 2020
DOE Announces More Than $96 Million In Funding For Bioenergy R&D
On January 23, 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the availability of more than $96 million in funding for bioenergy research and development (R&D) in support of the U.S. bioeconomy. DOE’s funding efforts also align with its own goal to provide secure, affordable, and reliable domestic energy options for consumers and business. This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) aims to advance DOE’s Bioenergy and Technology Office’s (BETO) objectives of: (1) reducing the price of drop-in biofuels; (2) enabling high-value products from biomass or waste ... read more >
January 31, 2020
DOE Releases FOA For Its H2@Scale Initiative
Also on January 23, 2020, DOE announced that up to $64 million will be available in funding to advance innovations that will build new markets for the H2@Scale initiative. H2@Scale is an initiative focused on exploring the potential for wide-scale hydrogen production and utilization in the United States to enable resilience and sustainability of the power generation and transmission sectors. The initiative’s goal is to align diverse multibillion-dollar domestic industries with domestic competitiveness and job creation. The funding will support transformational R&D and innovative ... read more >
January 31, 2020
DOE To Collaborate With IMSA
On January 24, 2020, as part of its sustainable transportation efforts, DOE announced a collaborative project with the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) to encourage the development of advanced fuels and efficient technologies in motorsports. Focused on vehicles at the racetrack, the collaboration was formalized by a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that names the combined effort the Green Racing Program (GRP). GRP aims to emphasize the importance of promoting reduced greenhouse gases (GHG); clean, fast, and efficient vehicle technologies in motorsports competition; the ... read more >
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