All Biobased and Renewable Products News

December 6, 2019
Scientists Uncover Production Of Aromatic Alcohols From Lignocellulosic Biomass
First published last week, on November 25, 2019, the article titled “Consolidated Production of Coniferol and Other High-Value Aromatic Alcohols Directly from Lignocellulosic Biomass” has gained media attention across the globe. Given the finite geological oil reserves, the competition to identify alternative biobased and biorefinery processes continues to grow. According to the article, the aim in identifying such products is not only to find alternatives, but most importantly to “overcome significant costs and productivity barriers.” In the aforementioned article, ... read more >
December 6, 2019
Iowa Governor Demonstrates Further Support For The Biofuels Industry
On December 3, 2019, Governor of Iowa, Kim Reynolds, signed an Executive Order that requires all new contracts for the purchase of state vehicles with diesel engines to have written support from the manufacturer to use B20 biodiesel (a mix of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum-based diesel) or more. The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) started using biodiesel blends in 1994. B20 is used for most of the year already, in most equipment with a diesel engine, including motor graders and snowplows, among others. Largely contributing to Iowa’s job market and accounting for ... read more >
December 6, 2019
DOE To Host Workshop On Plastics For A Circular Economy
From December 11 through 12, 2019, DOE’s Office of Bioenergy Technologies Office will host a workshop titled “Plastics for a Circular Economy” in Denver, Colorado. The workshop will include discussions on technology solutions to address plastic waste and focus on the development of new recycling and degradation strategies. The objective of the workshop will be to identify early-stage applied research problems in the aforementioned area that need to be addressed both in the long- and near-term. Representatives from waste management facilities, circular economy experts, ... read more >
November 22, 2019
Bicameral Bills Seek To Reform RFS
On November 14, 2019, Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and Representative Peter Welch (D-VT) introduced legislation seeking to reform the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) under the Clean Air Act (CAA). The Growing Renewable Energy through Existing and New Environmentally Responsible (GREENER) Fuels Act is intended to mitigate the “harmful environmental impacts of the corn ethanol mandate,” according to a press release issued by the lawmakers. The bill would phase out the corn ethanol mandate and immediately reduce the amount of ethanol in fuel by as much as 1 billion gallons by capping the ... read more >
November 22, 2019
EPA Announces OCSPP Meeting To Discuss TSCA New Chemicals Program
On November 20, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) announced a public meeting to engage with stakeholders interested on the implementation of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) New Chemicals Program. The meeting will be held on December 10, 2019, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (EST), and will include: An overview of EPA’s updated “Working Approach” document that builds on EPA’s “New Chemicals Decision Making Framework: Working Approach to Making Determinations under Section ... read more >
November 22, 2019
FDA Acting Director Of Therapeutic Biologics And Biosimilars Provides Statement On Continued Efforts To Facilitate Competition In The Biologic Marketplace
On November 15, 2019, Sarah Yim, M.D., acting director of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Therapeutic Biologics and Biosimilars in FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, released a statement on FDA’s continued progress facilitating competition in the biologic marketplace with approval of its 25th biosimilar project. In her statement, Dr. Yim highlights FDA’s approval of one of nine new biosimilar products approved in 2019. Bringing the overall total of biosimilar approvals to 25, Dr. Yim states: “I’m pleased to see this progress and am ... read more >
November 15, 2019
DOE Announces Funding Opportunity To Address Plastics Recycling
On November 8, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that $12 million will be available in funds for new projects to support research and development (R&D) and education and workforce development to increase plastics recovery, recycling, reuse, and remanufacturing. Designed for U.S. manufacturers, 12 to 18 exploratory and full R&D projects and four to eight education and workforce development projects will be funded by DOE’s Reducing Embodied Energy and Decreasing Emissions (REMADE) Manufacturing Institute. REMADE was founded in 2017 in partnership with DOE’s ... read more >
November 15, 2019
DOE Announces SBIR/STTR Phase I Release 2 Funding Opportunity
On November 12, 2019, DOE published a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for topics for its Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I Release 2 funding. Participating in this FOA are the following DOE program offices: Office of Cyber Security, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER);   Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation (NNSA);   Office of Electricity (OE);   EERE;   Office of Environmental Management (EM);   Office of Fossil Energy (FE);   Office of Fusion ... read more >
November 15, 2019
EPA Holds Webinar on Green Chemistry Challenge Awards Program
On Wednesday, November 13, 2019, at 3:00 p.m. (EST), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held a webinar on the Green Chemistry Challenge Awards Program.  Participants learned about applying for the 2020 Green Chemistry Challenge Awards.  The webinar presentation covered award eligibility, the application process, and evaluation criteria.  There were also questions from the webinar participants. As reported in Bergeson & Campbell’s (B&C®) September 20, 2019, blog item, EPA is now accepting nominations for the 2020 Green Chemistry ... read more >
November 15, 2019
EPA Announces New Web Pages Providing New Chemical Notices Receipt Information
EPA announced on November 13, 2019, that it published “new, easily-searchable” web pages displaying information on: Premanufacture Notices (PMN), Significant New Use Notices (SNUN), Microbial Commercial Activity Notices (MCAN), and Test Market Exemption Applications (TMEA);   Notices of Commencement of Manufacture or Import (NOC); and   Test information submitted under Section 5 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).   EPA notes that it is required to publish information pertaining to new chemical submissions under TSCA Section 5. EPA states that ... read more >
November 8, 2019
House Committee Will Hold Hearing On Future Science In EPA Rulemaking
On November 13, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. (EST), the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology will hold a hearing on “Strengthening Transparency or Silencing Science? The Future of Science in EPA Rulemaking.” The Committee will hear from the following witnesses: Panel 1 Dr. Jennifer Orme-Zavaleta, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for Science, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Research and Development (ORD); EPA Science Advisor.   Panel 2 Dr. Linda S. Birnbaum, Scientist Emeritus, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences ... read more >
November 8, 2019
EPA Announces New Opportunity For Public Comment Period On CBI Procedures
On October 30, 2019, EPA announced that in response to an April 2019 court decision on the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Inventory Notification (Active-Inactive) Requirements Final Rule, EPA will publish a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking that includes two additional questions about “reverse engineering” that manufacturers and processors would be required to answer when making confidential business information (CBI) claims. According to EPA, these questions would help provide additional information on CBI claims for specific chemical identities and would ensure ... read more >
November 8, 2019
Biofuels Industry Supporters Come Together In Letter To Trump
On November 4, 2019, 60 organizations unified in an effort to urge U.S. President Donald Trump to reconsider EPA’s proposed amendments to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. Signed by organizations such as the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), a Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) member, the letter to the President indicates flaws within the aforementioned proposal released on October 15, 2019. Arguing that the proposed amendments would not accurately account for small refiner exemptions (SRE), the letter authors state that “[t]he flawed ... read more >
November 1, 2019
DOE Announces Open Meeting Of The Biomass R&D Technical Advisory Committee
On October 30, 2019, 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. The first meeting is scheduled for November 19, 2019, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (EST), and the second meeting will take place on November 20, 2019, from 8:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (EST) in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the committee is to advise the Secretaries of Energy and Agriculture with respect to the Biomass Initiative. The committee also evaluates and makes recommendations ... read more >
November 1, 2019
USDA And DOE Under Secretaries Sign MOU To Promote Energy Technology Development
USDA Deputy Under Secretary Donald LaVoy and DOE Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes announced on October 24, 2019, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the two departments to promote rural energy and the development of technologies to support and advance rural and agricultural communities and domestic manufacturing. Required under Section 6501 of the 2018 Farm Bill, the MOU is meant to improve collaboration and coordination between DOE and USDA. A number of areas are covered by the MOU, including: Streamlining, leveraging, and optimizing program ... read more >
November 1, 2019
Industry Criticizes EPA Publication Of Supplemental Proposal On RFS
On October 28, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published in the Federal Register a supplemental proposal on adjustments to the percentage standards for 2020 that result from the amended definitions of two terms used to calculate the percentage standards under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Signed and pre-published on October 15, 2019, by EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, the notice of the proposed rule is no surprise. The proposed supplemental proposal, if approved, will establish the cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel volumes for 2020 and ... read more >
November 1, 2019
ISU Hires CTO To Serve As A Bridge Between Research And Industry
On October 25, 2019, Iowa State University’s (ISU) Vice President for Research, Dan Kirkpatrick, announced that Sundeep Vani, Ph.D., has joined the team as the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for Biobased Products, a newly created role. Announced in an ISU press release, Dr. Vani’s role will be to serve as a conduit between research and industry. Dr. Vani will work closely with the Biobased Product platform leader, Brent Shanks, his team, and the Iowa Innovation Corporation (IIC) CEO. Identifying promising emerging technologies and facilitating their development into market scale ... read more >
November 1, 2019
Non-Profit Announces Opportunity For Start-Ups With Innovations To Address Plastic Waste In The Environment
On October 23, 2019, the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW) announced a partnership with innovation platform Plug and Play to develop an accelerator program focused on the plastics value chain to identify start-ups with innovative ideas addressing plastic waste. Named the End Plastic Waste Innovation Platform (EPWIP), this initiative will focus on solutions to lower the impact of plastic waste in the environment. Focus areas include but are not limited to collecting, managing, and sorting plastic waste; recycling and processing technologies; and creating value from post-recycled plastics. ... read more >
October 25, 2019
House Committee Approves Sustainable Chemistry Research And Development Act
On October 17, 2019, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology unanimously approved the Sustainable Chemistry Research and Development Act (H.R. 2051), a companion bill to legislation introduced in the Senate by Senators Chris Coons (D-DE), Susan Collins (R-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV). Representative Dan Lipinski (D-IL) introduced the House bill on April 3, 2019. It is co-sponsored by Representative John Moolenaar (R-MI). The bill is intended to improve coordination of federal activities, including research and development of more sustainable ... read more >
October 25, 2019
House Committee Announces Legislative Hearing On EPA’s Mismanagement Of RFS Program
On October 22, 2019, Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee Chair, and Paul Tonko (D-NY), Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee (ECCS), announced that a legislative hearing will be held on October 29, 2019, at 10:30 a.m. (EDT) on Capitol Hill. Titled “Protecting the RFS: The Trump Administration’s Abuse of Secret Waivers,” the hearing will focus on the EPA’s mismanagement of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Program under the Trump Administration. The Subcommittee has not yet released the witness list for the legislative hearing; it ... read more >
October 25, 2019
University Of Surrey Announces New Study On Microbial Organisms To Digest Plastic Waste
On October 16, 2019, the University of Surrey, United Kingdom, announced that its researchers have partnered with colleagues from France, Germany, and Spain to start working on a new technique to tackle plastic waste. According to the university’s article, this novel technique may revolutionize the recycling industry. The plan is to create engineered microbial communities that will digest two types of plastic polymers -- polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polyurethane (PU) -- and transform them into molecules that can be used to develop a more environmentally friendly material called ... read more >
October 18, 2019
EPA OIG Will Audit EPA’s Safer Choice Program
On September 23, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) announced that it plans to begin fieldwork on EPA’s Safer Choice program. According to OIG, its objectives are to identify and assess the controls that EPA has in place to verify that the Safer Choice program meets its goals and achieves quality standards through its product qualification, renewal, and required audit process. OIG states that Safer Choice “is a voluntary labeling program that helps consumers and commercial buyers find chemical-based products that are safer for ... read more >
October 18, 2019
USDA Solicits Applications For Funds Under The Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, And Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program
On October 15, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBCS) announced via the Federal Register the solicitation of applications for funds under the Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program (the Program). Under the Program, USDA provides guaranteed loans to fund the development, construction, and retrofitting of commercial scale biorefineries using eligible technology. The loans are also used to fund the development of biobased product manufacturing facilities that use technologically new ... read more >
October 18, 2019
EPA Releases Its Supplemental Proposal On RFS
On October 15, 2019, EPA Administrator, Andrew Wheeler, signed a supplemental notice of the proposed rule on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) that proposes to establish the cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel volumes for 2020 and the biomass-based diesel volume for 2021. Although the rule does not change the volumes for 2020 and 2021 proposed in July 2019, it proposes and seeks comment on adjustments to the way that annual renewable fuel percentages are calculated. Annual renewable fuel percentage standards are used to calculate the number of gallons each ... read more >
October 18, 2019
Senator Lankford Releases Statement On EPA’s Supplemental RFS Proposal
In response to EPA supplemental proposal outlined above, on October 15, 2019, U.S. Senator James Lankford (R-OK) issued a statement expressing his disappointment with EPA’s RFS mandates. Senator Lankford’s statement reads in part: The RFS has been a problem since day one, and the proposed increase to the mandate only further complicates a broken federal requirement to blend biofuels into gasoline. This proposal continues allowing exemptions for small refineries but spreads their biofuels-blending obligation out to other refiners in the market. Despite the possibility that small ... read more >
October 11, 2019
Negotiated Agreement On RFS
On October 4, 2019, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, Andrew Wheeler, and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary, Sonny Perdue, announced President Trump’s negotiated agreement on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).  Under the agreement, EPA and USDA will undertake the following actions: In a forthcoming supplemental notice building off the recently proposed 2020 Renewable Volume Standards and the Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2021, EPA will propose and request public comment on expanding biofuel requirements beginning in 2020. ​ EPA will ... read more >
October 11, 2019
FDA Publishes Technical Specifications Guidance For Bioanalytical Methods Templates
On October 3, 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that a technical guidance for industry titled “Bioanalytical Methods Templates” is now available.  The technical specifications guidance provides ready-to-use templates for sponsors to submit summaries of bioanalytical methods used in clinical pharmacology studies that require pharmacokinetic concentration evaluation.  The templates provided are applicable to bioanalytical procedures such as chromatographic assays (CC) and ligand-binding assays (LBA) that quantitatively determine the levels of ... read more >
October 11, 2019
Government Of Quebec Publishes Draft Regulation On Renewable Fuel Minimum Volume
On October 2, 2019, the government of Quebec, Canada, published in its Official Gazette a notice of a draft regulation setting standards for the integration of renewable fuels into gasoline and diesel fuel.  Under the draft regulation, the standards will apply on July 1, 2021, and will then increase. As of July 1, 2025, the integration of a minimum volume of ethanol of 15 percent into gasoline and a minimum volume of biobased diesel fuel of 4 percent into diesel fuel will be required. Given the evaluation by the Canadian government of this matter, the notice states that the proposed ... read more >
October 11, 2019
Green Party Of Canada Action Plan Calls For Plant Waste Biofuels
On October 2, 2019, the Green Party of Canada commented, via a press release, on its Green Climate Action Plan called “Mission:  Possible.” Aiming to exceed the U.S. Green New Deal, under this plan, the Green Party outlines a 20-step action plan to achieve the goal of zero emissions by 2050.  Part of the strategy outlined emphasizes the idea that heavy-duty industrial machinery will need to rely on biofuels.  Although the plan is to ban internal combustion engines and ensure that cars, buses, and trains are powered by electricity by 2030, biofuels will still be ... read more >
October 11, 2019
Governor Tim Walz Announces Applications For Seats On The Governor’s Biofuels Council
On October 2, 2019, the Governor of Minnesota, Tim Walz, announced that applications are now open for all 15 seats on the Governor’s Biofuels Council.  Established in September 2019 by Governor Walz, the Governor’s Biofuels Council advises the Governor and cabinet on how best to support Minnesota’s biofuels industry. Council members will include representatives of agriculture, biofuels, and transportation industries and environmental and conservation groups.  The Governor’s Biofuels Council is tasked with creating a report to advise the Governor and cabinet ... read more >
October 4, 2019
DOE Announces Funding For Bioenergy R&D Projects
On October 1, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that 35 projects have been selected to receive funding for bioenergy research and development (R&D). Totaling $73 million in funding provided by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), the selected projects aim to: Reduce the price of drop-in biofuels; Lower the cost of biopower; and Enable high-value products from biomass or waste resources. According to DOE, the United States has the potential to produce 1 billion dry tons of non-food biomass without the disruption of agricultural ... read more >
October 4, 2019
LLNL To Host Webinar On HPC4EI Program
On September 30, 2019, DOE announced that the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) will host an informational webinar about the High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation (HPC4EI) Program. In honor of National Manufacturing Day, the webinar is scheduled for October 4, 2019, at 12:00 p.m. (EDT). The HPC4EI Program pairs national laboratory scientists with partners in industry to apply high-performance computing technology and improve energy utilization in the manufacturing sector. Eighty-four projects currently exist under the HPC4EI Program, encouraging National ... read more >
October 4, 2019
DOE SBIR/STTR Programs Office Opens Applications For The Cohort of Innovators
On September 30, 2019, DOE’s Smart Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs Office announced the opening of applications for Cohort of Innovators through October 31, 2019. Three DOE National Laboratories are accepting such applications: (1) Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) Chain Reaction Innovation; (2) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Innovation Crossroads; and (3) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL) Cyclotron Road program. Each of the programs recruits a cohort of entrepreneurial scientists and engineers from around the ... read more >
October 4, 2019
FDA Announces Availability Of Draft Guidance On Bioequivalency For Soluble Powder Oral Dosage Form Products And Type A Medicated Articles
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), on September 30, 2019, announced the availability of a draft guidance for industry (GFI) #171 titled “Demonstrating Bioequivalence for Soluble Powder Oral Dosage Form Products and Type A Medicated Articles Manufactured from Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients Considered to be Soluble in Aqueous Media.” The draft GFI describes how EPA intends to evaluate requests for waiving the requirement for performing in vivo bioequivalence studies for animal drugs administered orally as soluble powders or as Type A medicated articles manufactured from ... read more >
September 27, 2019
DOE And NOAA Announce Prize Competition With NOAA
On September 18, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced a $3 million prize competition to power ocean observing platforms with marine renewable energy. To generate innovation, the Powering the Blue Economy Ocean Observing Prize will offer a series of contests to demonstrate marine renewable energy use for observing platforms. DOE hopes that this prize will help spur technological innovation through a path from concept to design to construction. Part of DOE’s Powering the Blue Economy initiative, the prize ... read more >
September 27, 2019
DOE Announces $6.7 Billion In Energy Savings
On September 25, 2019, DOE EERE announced that its Better Buildings, Better Plants partners have saved more than 1.3 quadrillion British thermal units (BTUs) and $6.7 billion in energy costs. With more than 220 partners, DOE accepted 22 new companies this year, which include more than 3,200 facilities and represent approximately 12 percent of the U.S. manufacturing energy footprint. Designed to work with partners who have set ambitious energy, water, and/or waste reduction goals, DOE’s program collects partners’ energy performance data and solutions to expand innovation and ... read more >
September 27, 2019
DOE Announces RFI For Geothermal Field Research Applications
September 25, 2019, DOE EERE announced via the Federal Register a request for information (RFI) on the identification of wells of opportunity for critical geothermal field research applications. DOE’s RFI is directed to the geothermal community, seeking information about underutilized wells in known geothermal resource areas in the United States. Its aim is to obtain feedback on industry willingness to partner with DOE’s Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) to test downhole tools, technologies, and methodologies that can improve the probability of successful geothermal ... read more >
September 27, 2019
EPA Calls For Nominations For 2020 Green Chemistry Challenge Awards
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on September 18, 2019, that it is now accepting nominations for the 2020 Green Chemistry Challenge Awards for companies or institutions that have developed a new process or product that helps protect public health and the environment. EPA defines green chemistry as the design of chemical products and processes that reduce both the generation and use of chemicals that are hazardous to the environment and people’s health. Nominations for innovative technologies featuring the design of greener chemicals and products, greener chemical ... read more >
September 27, 2019
Winners Of The 2019 Safer Choice Partner Of The Year Award Announced
On September 25, 2019, EPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT) recognized fourteen Safer Choice Partner of the Year award winners for their outstanding achievements in the design, manufacture, selection, and use of products with safer chemicals for use in households and facilities nationwide. Representing businesses, including woman-owned, small- and medium-sized, local government, and associations, winners from across 12 states and the District of Columbia were ... read more >
September 27, 2019
DOE Announces American-Made Solar Prize Winners
On September 24, 2019, DOE EERE’s Assistant Secretary, Daniel R. Simmons, announced the winners of the first round of the American-Made Solar Prize. The prize consists of a $3 million competition to revitalize U.S. solar manufacturing. Each prize winner received $500,000 for use at DOE National Laboratories. In addition to the aforementioned announcements, DOE also declared two initiatives led by EERE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO): the National Community Solar Partnership and the teams participating in the new Solar District Cup. The National Community Solar ... read more >
September 27, 2019
USGBC Publishes Report On ZE Buildings In Massachusetts
The U.S. Green Building Council Massachusetts (USGBC) recently published its 2019 Report titled Zero Energy Buildings in Massachusetts: Saving Money from the Start. The report assesses zero energy (ZE) upfront building costs, model performance, and life-cycle costs in Massachusetts (MA). Local MA leaders have been working to curb greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and reduce energy use in the built environment. This work has been done by retrofitting existing buildings and constructing new buildings to achieve ZE standards. Although many stakeholders and decision-makers cite high costs as the ... read more >
September 20, 2019
OSTP Requests Information On The U.S. Bioeconomy
On September 10, 2019, the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) announced in the Federal Register a request for information (RFI) on the U.S. bioeconomy. Calling for input from all interested parties on the U.S. bioeconomy, OSTP’s RFI aims to inform notable gaps, vulnerabilities, and areas to promote and protect in the bioeconomy that may benefit from federal government attention. Input from the public is welcome, including those with capital investments, those performing innovative research, and those developing enabling platforms and applications in the field of ... read more >
September 20, 2019
Network Director For TEAMER Program Announced
On September 17, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced the selection of the Pacific Ocean Energy Trust (POET) as Network Director for the U.S. Testing Expertise and Access for Marine Energy Research Team (TEAMER) Program. TEAMER is a three-year program that supports testing and research for marine energy technologies. It provides access to test facilities and technical expertise to assist technology developers with designing devices that save energy. In a collaborative effort, universities, established DOE National ... read more >
September 20, 2019
Virginia Governor Sets Targets For Clean Energy Development
On September 16, 2019, Governor of Virginia, Ralph S. Northam (D), signed Executive Order Forty-Three, establishing statewide objectives for clean energy production expansion. The target goals outlined in the Executive Order include a 30 percent increase of electricity powered by renewable energy resources by 2030, and achieving 100 percent of energy by carbon-neutral resources by 2050. Directing the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) to develop a plan of action to meet the renewable energy goals, the plan should address issues related to storage, energy efficiency, equity, and ... read more >
September 20, 2019
Senator Murkowski Speaks On The Relationship Between Renewable Energy And Mining
On September 17, 2019, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) chaired a hearing to discuss the use and sourcing of minerals needed for clean energy technologies. Highlighting the fact that renewable technologies such as batteries and wind turbines are built from minerals, Senator Murkowski stated that “[t]he United States is capable of being a leader in the development of the minerals needed for clean energy technologies.” As Chairman for the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, she further argued that for this to be achieved, the production, manufacturing, and recycling of ... read more >
September 20, 2019
NDCUC Creates The North Dakota Unleaded88 Expansion Program With NDEC
Recently, the North Dakota Corn Utilization Council (NDCUC) announced the implementation of its new program, the North Dakota Unleaded88 Expansion Program, in partnership with the North Dakota Ethanol Council (NDEC). The goal of the program is to partner with fuel retailers to provide drivers with Unleaded 88, which consists of a higher octane fuel containing 15 percent ethanol blend with 85 percent gasoline. Through June 30, 2020, NDCUC will grant funds to fuel retailers for infrastructure needs to offer Unleaded88. Claiming that Unleaded88 provides a safe, economical, and cleaner fuel ... read more >
September 20, 2019
ACI Releases Its 2019 Sustainability Report
This month, the American Cleaning Institute (ACI), a Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) member, published its 2019 Sustainability Report titled The Future Is Clean. In its 2019 report, ACI outlines its sustainability goals, which include increased transparency, the reduction of GHG emissions, and the move toward a circular global economy. As part of its activities to achieve such goals, ACI has worked on filling knowledge gaps, harnessing power in the power of convening, uniting for a cleaner world, and further developing its sustainability organizations. In its ... read more >
September 20, 2019
China Issues Guideline For Environmental Risk Assessment Of Chemical Substances
On September 3, 2019, the Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) and National Health Commission (NHC) jointly issued a final Technical Framework Guideline for Environmental Risk Assessment of Chemical Substances (Trial). This Trial Guideline provides a basic framework, including evaluation steps, technical requirements, and report preparation, for the environmental risk assessment of a single chemical substance under standard production and uses. The Trial Guideline does not apply to mixtures or exposures due to accidents or leakages. The “four-step” evaluation includes ... read more >
September 20, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
WTVB News, “Trump Meets with Senators from Key Farm States, Touts Biofuel Deal Progress” Market Realist, “Big Biofuels Issue: Trump Meets with Refiners, Senators” Cornell Alliance for Science, “Plant Breeding Innovations Required to Weather Climate Change, Report Says”  Global News Canada, “Burnaby Becomes Latest B.C. City to Declare a Climate Emergency” just-food, “Danone-Backed Meat-Analogue Business Sustainable Bioproducts Eyes Launch” CBS Minnesota, “Governor Walz Establishes Biofuels Council” Los Angeles ... read more >
September 13, 2019
EPA Updates FY 2018-2022 Strategic Plan
On September 9, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced an update to its Fiscal Year (FY) 2018-2022 Strategic Plan. According to EPA’s announcement, the only part of the plan that has been modified is its language of the strategic goals. Aiming to better reflect EPA’s environmental and policy goals, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler stated that this “update helps us [EPA] more clearly articulate our goals and commitment to providing greater regulatory certainty to states, tribes, and local governments.” The update includes three updated goal ... read more >
September 13, 2019
EPA Criticized By Academics: Identifying Susceptible Populations
On August 29, 2019, an article titled Population susceptibility: A vital consideration in chemical risk evaluation under the Lautenberg Toxic Substances Control Act was published in the PLOS Biology Journal. The article, written by academics, criticizes EPA for not identifying pregnant women, infants, children, families near industrial sites, and other susceptible and highly exposed populations in its risk evaluations. This lack of consideration for vulnerable populations, according to the article, is the lead cause of EPA’s future challenge to incorporate current scientific principles ... read more >
September 13, 2019
House Passes Package Of Energy Bills
On September 9, 2019, the House of Representatives returned to work after a six-week August recess and passed a package of energy-related bills. By a roll call vote of 295 to 114, the House approved a bill (H.R. 1768) that would extend the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act through 2024. The vote would keep alive an EPA program that takes older diesel-powered equipment off the market. House lawmakers also approved: H.R. 1420 to improve energy efficiency in federal buildings; H.R. 2114 to provide states with financial and technical support on energy security; and H.R. 1760 that would require the ... read more >
September 13, 2019
House Subcommittee Holds Hearing On Growing The Clean Energy Economy
On September 10, 2019, the House Small Business Subcommittee on Rural Development, Agriculture, Trade, and Entrepreneurship held a hearing on the clean energy economy. In a notice, the Subcommittee stated that there are growing opportunities for small companies, including farmers, to respond to energy challenges through new and innovative solutions. The clean energy economy covers many industries that are dominated by small businesses, including construction, agriculture, and renewable energy sectors. The Committee explored the economic opportunities for small businesses that come through ... read more >
September 13, 2019
Lynn Bergeson Inducted As President Of PSS
The Product Stewardship Society (PSS) Board of Directors inducted Lynn L. Bergeson as President during its annual board meeting preceding the Product Stewardship conference being held in Columbus, Ohio, September 10-12, 2019. Ms. Bergeson, Managing Partner of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®), will serve as President through 2021. Ms. Bergeson has served on the PSS Board of Directors since 2015. PSS is an affiliate of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA®), launched in 2012 to drive the product stewardship profession forward by providing resources, professional ... read more >
September 13, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
SuccessfulFarming, “Court: EPA Must Consider Environmental Impact When Setting Ethanol Mandate” Research Matters, “Researchers Design Salt-Tolerant Varieties of Indian Rice” Newsweek, “Scientists Turn Carbon Dioxide into Ant Venom Biofuel” Err.ee, “Finance Ministry Rejects Economic Affairs Ministry Biofuel Legal Amends” GreenBiz, “How Synthetic Biology Can Help Build Sustainable Cities” British Plastics and Rubber Magazine, “New Compounds Extend the Range of Applications for Biobased Thermoplastics” Reuters, ... read more >
September 6, 2019
DOE Office Of Science Announces BERAC Open Meeting
On September 5, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science announced an open meeting of the Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee (BERAC). The purpose of the meeting will be to provide advice to the Office of Science Director on various technical issues that occur in the development and implementation of the Biological and Environmental Research Program. Tentative agenda topics listed by DOE include news from the Office of Science and the Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER); workshop briefing and research topic discussions; a report from ... read more >
September 6, 2019
2020 Presidential Candidate, Elizabeth Warren, Writes Article On Achieving 100 Percent Clean Energy
On September 3, 2019, Medium published an article by U.S. Senator and 2020 Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren where she outlines her plan for achieving 100 percent clean energy. Highlighting the fact that the United States is the world’s largest historical carbon polluter, Warren claims that the United States has a “special responsibility to lead the way” in the clean energy movement. As an original supporter of the Green New Deal, which outlines a plan to achieve zero-net domestic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030, Warren continues her public campaign calling for ... read more >
September 6, 2019
National Chicken Council Submits Comments To EPA On The RFS Program Standards For 2020 And Biomass-Based Diesel Volume For 2021
On August 30, 2019, the National Chicken Council submitted a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) expressing concerns with the proposed required volume obligations (RVO) for 2020 combined with the recent waiver that will increase the use of ethanol-15 (E15) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Representing companies that produce and process over 95 percent of the chicken in the United States, the National Chicken Council’s concerns are related to its broiler production, which comprises the largest single user of corn not operating under RFS. In its letter, the ... read more >
September 6, 2019
ELI To Host Webinar On Genetic Engineering
By Lynn L. Bergeson On September 11, 2019, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. (EDT), the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) will host a webinar titled “Genetic Engineering: The Good, The Bad, and The Necessary.” The webinar is designed to cover the vast possibilities offered by genetic engineering in a world where regulatory officials face increasing pressure to guarantee global food security. Along with the many possibilities associated with genetic engineering, however, there are great concerns about the environmental, health, and ethical implications of it. Webinar panelists will ... read more >
September 6, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Live Kindly, “Edible Vegan Seaweed Pods Are the New Soda Bottles” Nikkei Asian Review, “Trapping CO2 into Concrete to Be Cheaper” Reuters, “Trump Promises Ethanol-related ‘Giant Package’ to Please Farmers” ZME Science, “This Fashionable Ski Jacket Is Made from Spider Silk Grown by Bacteria” Composites Manufacturing Magazine, “Lessons in Sustainability” Hellenic Shipping News, “Oil Industry Urges Trump Administration to Dismiss Biofuel Industry Wish List” Oil Review, “Chemical Firms to Explore ... read more >
August 30, 2019
DOE Announces Annual Wind Market Reports
On August 23, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released annual market reports on data and trends in wind technologies, costs, installations, prices, and performance through 2018. The reports cover three sectors: offshore, distributed wind, and utility-scale land-based. According to Under Secretary of Energy, Mark W. Menezes, onshore wind installations continue to proliferate across the United States. Demonstrating support for the Trump Administration, Menezes stated that it has been “proven that we can pursue renewable energy advancements and deployment, particularly wind ... read more >
August 30, 2019
EPA Announces Revision To Current Pesticide Crop Grouping Regulations
On August 27, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced via the Federal Register, proposed revisions to its pesticide tolerance crop grouping regulations. These regulations allow the establishment of tolerances for multiple related crops based on data from a representative set of crops. EPA is proposing the revision of one commodity definition and the addition of three new commodity definitions. In addition, EPA’s proposal includes an amendment to the herbs and spices crop group currently provided in Crop Group 19. The crops in current Crop Group 19: Herbs and ... read more >
August 30, 2019
FAO Publishes Report On Aquatic Genetic Resources
The United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recently published a report titled The State of the World’s Aquatic Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, which is the first ever of its kind and focuses on farmed aquatic species and their wild relatives within national jurisdictions. The report builds the information and knowledge base required for action at the national, regional, and international levels sustainably to conserve, use, and develop aquatic genetic resources for food and agriculture. With contributions from more than 90 countries, the report portrays ... read more >
August 30, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Reuters, “Facing Farmer Anger, Trump Scrambles Cabinet to Brainstorm on Biofuel Policy: Sources” Cosmeticsdesign.com, “Sulapac: The Startup Making Biodegradable, Plastic-Free Beauty Packaging a Reality” The Times, “EU Curbs Used Cooking Oil in Biodiesel Due to Fears of Fraud” Plastics News, “Resin Distributors Taking Different Paths to Sustainability” Engineering.com, “Algae Filter Paper Offers New Hope for Stopping Waterborne Illness” The Gazette, “Amy Klobuchar: Trump Treating Farmers Like ‘Bargaining ... read more >
August 23, 2019
DOE Announces Funding For H2@Scale Concept
On August 15, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced approximately $40 million in funding for 29 projects to advance the H2@Scale concept.  H2@Scale is a concept that explores the potential for wide-scale hydrogen production and utilization in the United States to enable resiliency of the power generation and transmission sectors while also aligning diverse domestic industries, competitiveness, and job creation. Funded through DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and the Office of Nuclear Energy, the 29 selected projects will advance hydrogen ... read more >
August 23, 2019
DOE Announces Funding For Advanced Vehicle Technologies R&D
On August 16, 2019, DOE Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes announced funding for new and innovative advanced vehicle technologies research. DOE’s EERE is providing $59 million to 43 projects dedicated to advanced batteries and electric drive systems, co-optimized engine and fuel technologies, materials for more efficient power trains, and alternative fuels and new energy-efficient mobility ... read more >
August 23, 2019
FDA Announces Collection Of Information Submission To OMB
On August 19, 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced in the Federal Register that a proposed collection of information on the Review Transparency and Communication in Reviews of 351(k) Biologics License Applications in Biosimilars User Fee Act has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. This information collection supports the review program under the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA), which allows FDA to collect user fees for the review of human drug and biologics applications for fiscal years 2013 through 2021. OMB is ... read more >
August 23, 2019
EPA IG Asked To Investigate Exemptions From RFS
On August 21, 2019, Iowa Democratic Representative Cindy Axne asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Inspector General (IG) to investigate how EPA decided to grant the exemptions from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) requested by oil refiners. EPA approved 31 petitions for waivers from the 2018 requirements.  Lawmakers are not pleased at what appears to be EPA favoring the oil industry. Hence, Representative Axne’s call for an IG investigation into how EPA decided to expand the number of waivers it issued since President Trump came into office. Representative ... read more >
August 23, 2019
Brazilian Research Institute Partners With Government To Evaluate Bio-Agricultural Inputs
On August 16, 2019, the Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada (Ipea – Institute of Applied Economic Research) announced its partnership with the Ministério da Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento (Mapa - Brazilian Agriculture, Livestock, and Supply Ministry) to develop indicators to evaluate the implementation of the Programa Nacional de Insumos para Agricultura Orgânica (Bioinsumos – National Input for Organic Agriculture Program). The objective is to organize the sector’s milestones to facilitate rural producers’ access to organic inputs ... read more >
August 23, 2019
NEB To Host Free Workshop For Fuel Retailers
On August 28, 2019, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (CDT), the Nebraska Ethanol Board (NEB) will host a free workshop for fuel retailers across the state to demonstrate the benefits and ease of offering ethanol-15 (E15) fuel to customers. The one-day workshop will cover misconceptions about the cost of offering E15, best practices, and resources to make implementing and labeling infrastructure easy and affordable. Space is limited, and interested parties must register by August 23, ... read more >
August 23, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Business Times, “Trump intervention triggered EPA’s surprise biofuel waiver decision: sources”   newelectronics, “Greener and Cheaper Way to Make Patterned Metals for Electronics”   TechXplore, “Researchers Turn Plastic Water Bottles into Prosthetic Limbs”   Wisconsin State Journal, “Wind, Solar Developers Say Transmission Line Key to Achieving Tony Evers’ Clean Energy Goal”    npr, “U.S. Recycling Industry Is Struggling to Figure Out a Future Without ... read more >
August 16, 2019
DOE Issues SBIR/STTR FOA
On August 12, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced its Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Phase I Release 1 funding opportunity for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. In its announcement, DOE encourages small businesses with strong research capabilities in science or engineering to apply. DOE’s Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) includes participation from its Advanced Scientific Computing Research, Basic Energy Sciences, Biological and Environmental Research, and Nuclear Physics program offices. On August 19, ... read more >
August 16, 2019
EPA OIG Publishes Report On Its Compliance With The Law
On August 9, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a report on its compliance with the law titled EPA Exceeded the Deregulatory Goals of Executive Order 13771. Executive Order 13771, titled Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs, includes regulatory savings goals for FYs 2017 and 2018, EPA’s deregulatory actions, and its compliance with the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) goal-setting requirements. EO 13771 was issued to manage costs associated with existing and new regulations established by federal agencies. Commonly referred to as ... read more >
August 16, 2019
FDA Announces Biosimilar User Fee Rates For FY 2020
On August 2, 2019, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced via the Federal Register the rates for biosimilar user fees for FY 2020. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) authorizes FDA to assess and collect user fees for certain activities in connection with biosimilar biological product development; review of certain applications for approval of biosimilar biological products; and each biosimilar biological product approved in an application. The established fees will apply to the period from October 1, 2019, ... read more >
August 16, 2019
WBC To Host Small Business Awards Ceremony—Applications Open
On September 18, 2019, the D.C. Women’s Business Center (WBC) and the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) will host the 2019 Just Ambitious Small Business Awards. The awards honor woman entrepreneurs who have demonstrated achievements, innovation, and vision in support of the District of Columbia’s small business community and economic vitality. WBC and NCRC are now accepting applications for the 2019 awards in the following categories: NCRC Community Engagement of the Year   NCRC Youth Entrepreneur of the Year   Environmental Entrepreneur of the ... read more >
August 16, 2019
ELI To Host The GreenTech Conference, October 2-3, 2019, Seattle, WA
Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) is a proud sponsor of the Environmental Law Institute’s (ELI) GreenTech Conference, bringing together leaders from some of the world’s most innovative companies to engage with policymakers, lawmakers, technologists, and non-governmental organizations (NGO) to explore environmental protection in an era of transformative technological change. Dr. Andrey J. Zarur, CEO and President of GreenLight Biosciences, will discuss using targeted biocontrol of RNA interference to increase yields during the Food for the Future panel on October 2, ... read more >
August 16, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Redshift, “Bamboo Transcends the Tropics for Carbon-Negative Construction”   New Age, “Trump’s EPA Grants 31 Refinery Waivers from Biofuel Laws, Angering Corn Lobby”   Plastemart.com, “New Bio-Based Thermoplastic Adhesive for the Bonding of Compostable Plastic Coating”   AgWeek, “EPA Official Talks about Future of Biofuels and Carbon Sequestration”   FoodBev Media, “Unilever Debuts Magnum Tubs Created from Recycled Plastic”   Tech Explorist, “Solar Energy Turns into Biofuel without ... read more >
August 9, 2019
EPA Improves Transparency For New Chemicals Review Program Under TSCA
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on August 1, 2019, that it is making additional information about new chemical notices available on its website.  The new web page, “Statistics for the New Chemicals Review Program under TSCA,” allows users to view and search monthly updates for any active Premanufacture Notice (PMN), Significant New Use Notice (SNUN), and Microbial Commercial Activity Notice (MCAN) of interest by case number.  Users can also download a spreadsheet with a list of all active cases and each case’s status.   As reported in ... read more >
August 9, 2019
DOE Announces Funding For Innovative Research Technologies For Trucks, Off-Road Vehicles, And The Fuels That Power Them
On July 29, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that $50 million of funding is now available for innovative research of technologies for trucks, off-road vehicles, and gaseous fuels research. Funded through DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), “it is important our trucking industry has access to advanced technologies, such as electrification and fuel cells, as a way to move goods efficiently and economically,” stated Mark W. Menezes, Under Secretary of Energy. Given EERE’s successful track record in research and development ... read more >
August 9, 2019
Toomey-Feinstein RESTORE Act Would Abolish Ethanol Mandate
On July 26, 2019, U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) announced that he is working with U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) on the Restore Environmental Sustainability to Our Renewable Energy (RESTORE) Act. In an effort to end what Toomey describes as an “egregious form of corporate welfare that hurts the environment and drives up the cost of everything,” the RESTORE Act would abolish the corn ethanol mandate under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Toomey further argues that, because the RFS forces drivers to purchase billions of gallons of corn ethanol annually, it also harms the ... read more >
August 9, 2019
MDA Announces Grants To Expand Biofuel Access And Production
On August 6, 2019, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) announced four grants aiming to expand biofuel access and production to advance the state’s renewable energy efforts. Awarded to four recipients by MDA’s Agricultural Growth, Research and Innovation (AGRI) Program, the grants total more than $500,000. One Bioenergy/Biochemical Pilot Project Grant was awarded, providing funding to advance bioenergy and biochemical production technology to a commercial scale. Three Biofuel Blending Infrastructure Grants were awarded to expand the use of blending infrastructure ... read more >
August 9, 2019
Utility Workers Announce Apprenticeship Program In The Renewable Energy Sector
On August 6, 2019, the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) announced its partnership with The Power for America Training Trust Fund (P4A) for the launch of a renewable energy specialist apprenticeship program. Certified by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the program aims at assisting individuals with a path to employment for highly demanded jobs in the renewable energy sector. Under this program, individuals will be taught specialized skills in the fields of solar generation, battery storage, and offshore and onshore wind. An earn-while-you-learn program, this two-and-a-half-year ... read more >
August 9, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
PlasticsToday, “A Visual Tour of Packaging and Products from Ocean Plastics” geek.com, “Scientist Creates Bioplastic from Mango Peels and Seaweed” foodingredientsfirst.com, “European Scientists Call for EU Rethink of ‘Retrograde’ Gene-Editing Legislation” New Atlas, “Wormy Chemicals Used to Trick Crops into Protecting Themselves” Regulatory Focus, “Industry Groups Support FDA’s Latest Biosimilar Analytic Assessment Guidance” Financial Post, “EPA Chief Defends Biofuel Waivers in Meeting with Farm ... read more >
August 2, 2019
Zero Waste Act Introduced By U.S. Representative Omar
On July 25, 2019, U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) introduced the Zero Waste Act, which intends to create a federal grant program to invest in solutions that address waste. The bill, if passed, will go towards recycling infrastructure or the creation of partnerships with local businesses focused on waste reduction. Representative Omar believes the bill will not only create jobs, but also reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, grow domestic manufacturing, clean waterways, save energy, ensure safety from health hazards, and grow the U.S. economy. Omar’s bill has been endorsed by ... read more >
August 2, 2019
EPA Assistant Administrator Dunn Speaks About The Future Of TSCA
On July 25, 2019, Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) hosted a webinar titled “New TSCA at 3: Key Implementation Issues” led by B&C’s Managing Partner, Lynn L. Bergeson. Webinar speakers included the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Assistant Administrator, Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, and B&C’s Director of Chemistry and former EPA staff, Richard E. Engler, Ph.D. Assistant Administrator Dunn’s presentation outlined EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) accomplishments and priorities three years after ... read more >
August 2, 2019
DOE Announces Winners Of AIM Onshore Competition
On July 29, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced the winners of the American Inventions Made Onshore (AIM Onshore) Prize Competition. Opened in 2018, this competition was an initiative aimed at closing the gap between American innovators who develop new energy technologies and manufacturers who produce them. Selected among four finalists, two winners were awarded for their innovative proposals. In first place was Fuzehub, awarded $250,000, and in second place was ADL Ventures, awarded $100,000. Fuzehub is a non-profit ... read more >
August 2, 2019
EPA Holds Public Hearing On RVO Proposed Rule Under RFS
On July 31, 2019, EPA held a public hearing in Ypsilanti, MI, to obtain stakeholders’ input on its proposed rule to set Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) 2020 renewable volume obligations (RVO) and 2021 biomass-based diesel volume. Among the various stakeholders providing oral statements to EPA were representatives from Growth Energy, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), Hero BX, and the National Biodiesel Board (NBB). Most of the oral comments provided were in opposition to the proposed rule. Industry representatives highly critized the ... read more >
August 2, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
The Intelligencer, “Buckingham Center Offers Biotech Startups $50 Million” Science Codex, “Solar Energy Becomes Biofuel without Solar Cells” ScienceDirect, “Development of a Biorefinery Scheme to Produce Biofuels from Waste Cooking Oil” Sierra Sun Times, “U.S. Senators Renew Bipartisan Effort to Repeal Ethanol Mandate” Feedstuffs, “EPA Issued RFS Exemptions against DOE Advice” The Philadelphia Inquirer, “Trump Administration Official Visits Delaware County Refinery to Hear Gripes about Ethanol” Forbes, ... read more >
July 26, 2019
DOE EERE Continues To Support Small Businesses
On July 22, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) highlighted small businesses funding under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. Having received $43.6 million in funding from DOE thus far, small businesses continue to grow as DOE announces Phase II awards. Last week, DOE announced Phase II Release grants that demonstrate commercial feasibility for innovations during the second phase of small businesses’ research. Nine EERE technology offices will fund 42 awards ranging from $975,000 to $1,150,000, with a ... read more >
July 26, 2019
DOE Recognizes BBA Partner For Leadership In Energy Efficiency
On July 23, 2019, DOE announced its recognition of Gundersen Health System (Gundersen), a Better Buildings Alliance (BBA) partner, for its portfolio-wide energy efficiency advances at its Sparta Clinic in Sparta, Wisconsin. Gundersen, as part of its Envision Sustainability Program, continues to pursue energy efficiency through low-energy design standards and renewable energy combined. According to DOE, since 2008, Gundersen has saved over $11 million dollars through energy efficiency upgrades. Today, Gundersen’s Sparta Clinic uses less than 50 percent of the energy used by an average ... read more >
July 26, 2019
U.K. Announces Open Consultation Call For Evidence To Develop Standards For Compostable, And Biobased Plastics
On July 22, 2019, the United Kingdom (U.K.) Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs announced an open consultation for the development of standards for biodegradable, compostable, and biobased plastics. The consultation welcomes views from any interested parties to identify gaps and provide expert advice on: The overall sustainability of biobased and biodegradable plastic products in comparison with other materials;   Existing relevant plastic degradation standards and how they are promoted without adverse ... read more >
July 26, 2019
Brazil Approves Measures To Clarify Agrochemical Classification In Accordance With GHS
On July 23, 2019, the Agencia Nacional de Vigilancia Sanitaria (ANVISA -- National Sanitation Surveillance Agency) in Brazil approved measures that clarify the toxicological classification of agrochemicals. Under the approved rules, the evaluation criteria of agrochemicals’ toxicity categories are established and label requirements are updated to include clearer warnings and pictograms. The changes established by ANVISA were based on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), aligning Brazil’s regulations with European Union (EU) and Asian ... read more >
July 26, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
World Economic Forum, “Cheese Energy Could Power Hundreds of UK Homes” Iran Front Page, “Iran Ready to Tackle Biotechnology Sanctions: VP” Digital Journal, “Switching to Biobased Plastics: IDTechEx Research Asks Why So Slow?” The Yucatan Times, “Yucatan Cenotes to Be Sanitized with Biotechnology” World Economic Forum, “Your Next Pair of Sneakers Could Be Made from Coffee” CleanTechnica, “NextEra Energy Predicts 50% Renewable Energy in US by 2030” inhabitat, “Sustainable Toiletries Packaged in Soap Aim to ... read more >
July 19, 2019
Bipartisan Patent Bill Introduced To House And Senate That Would Protect Biotechnology Innovation
On July 10, 2019, Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Representatives Steve Stivers (R-OH) and Bill Foster (D-IL) reintroduced the STRONGER (Support Technology & Research for Our Nation’s Growth and Economic Resilience) Patents Act of 2019. This legislation, an improvement on legislation introduced last year under the same name, would reform the inter partes post-grant review process, ensure all fees paid to the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) are used for their intended purposes, and protect patent holders and small businesses from predatory demand letters. The ... read more >
July 19, 2019
DOE Funded Study Gets Closer To Accurate Algae HTL Economic Model
On July 10, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have developed a model that predicts commercial biocrude outcomes from algae hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) significantly more accurately than previous analyses. “Techno-economic uncertainty quantification of algal-derived biocrude via hydrothermal liquefaction,” funded by DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), focused on  quantifying economic uncertainties, including algae ... read more >
July 19, 2019
House Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucus Co-Hosts Annual Renewable Energy Policy Forum
On July 12, 2019, the House Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucus and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute co-hosted the 22nd Annual Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency EXPO and Policy Forum. The forum brought together government agencies, businesses, and trade associations to showcase renewable energy technologies and discus sustainable public policy options. Ruth McCormick, Director, Federal and State Affairs, Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE), focused on the economic benefits of renewable energy saying that shifts to using a diverse set of ... read more >
July 19, 2019
NCGA Announces Winners Of The Second Annual Consider Corn Challenge
On July 8, 2019, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) announced the winners of the Consider Corn Challenge II, a challenge intended to highlight the range of biobased materials that can be produced with field corn feedstock. The three winners included: ExoPolymer, Inc. for a plan to create a new profile of customizable, polysaccharide-based hydrocolloids that are domestically produced by microbial fermentation using corn sugar as a feedstock. These new hydrocolloids will meet the growing needs and performance gaps in the healthcare, personal care, food, pharmaceutical and energy ... read more >
July 19, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
U.S. Department of Energy, “Algae Technology Educational Consortium Prepares Students for Careers in Algae Cultivation and Technologies” World Economic Forum, “These Are the Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2019” Somaiya, “Godavari Biorefineries Ltd. Earns USDA Certified Biobased Product Label for Acetic Acid.” Plastics Today, “Sustainable Plastics: How Far and How Fast Can We Go?” Science Daily, “Left out to Dry: A More Efficient Way to Harvest Algae ... read more >
July 12, 2019
EPA Accepting Submissions For 2019 Safer Choice Partner Of The Year Awards
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a Federal Register notice on June 28, 2019, announcing that the EPA Safer Choice Program is accepting submissions for its 2019 Safer Choice Partner of the Year Awards. The Safer Choice Program partners with businesses and others to help consumers and commercial buyers identify products with safer chemical ingredients, “without sacrificing quality or performance.” Toward this end, according to EPA, the Safer Choice Program certifies products containing ingredients that have met the Program’s “specific and rigorous ... read more >
July 12, 2019
USDA To Amend Guidelines For Designating Biobased Products For Federal Procurement
On July 5, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Office of Procurement and Property Management published a final rule that will amend the Guidelines for Designating Biobased Products for Federal Procurement (Guidelines) to add 30 sections designating the product categories within which biobased products would be afforded procurement preference by federal agencies and their contractors. These 30 product categories contain finished products that are made, in large part, from intermediate ingredients that have been designated for federal procurement preference. Additionally, USDA is ... read more >
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