All Biobased and Renewable Products News

November 9, 2018
Call For Candidate Chemicals For Equivalency Determinations
Is your company engaged in Class 2 chemistries that are similar to existing Class 2 chemicals but are derived from an innovative bio-source? We are looking for pioneering companies working on new biobased Class 2 chemicals to assist in advancing an important project with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).   ISSUE:  While EPA sustainability goals would seemingly include adoption of improved biobased technologies, EPA’s policies under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) mean that many novel, sustainable technologies are considered “new chemicals” ... 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 >
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