Biobased and Renewable Products News: EPA

April 13, 2018
EPA Announces Safer Choice Partner & Stakeholder Summit 2018
On April 11, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the third Safer Choice Partner & Stakeholder Summit 2018 in a Federal Register notice. The Summit is open to all Safer Choice program partners and stakeholders, and will include informational and breakout sessions, with a focus on dialogue and problem-solving. The event is being held on May 14, 2018, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (EDT) in Oxon Hill, MD. Registration is available ... read more >
April 6, 2018
EPA Requests Comment On Registration Of Isobutanol As A Gasoline Additive
On March 29, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced in a Federal Register notice it is seeking public comment on the use of isobutanol in gasoline.  EPA specifically seeks comment on issues to consider regarding an application submitted by Butamax Advanced Biofuels, LLC (Butamax), a manufacturer of isobutanol, pursuant to the regulations titled “Registration of Fuels and Fuel Additives” for the registration of isobutanol as a gasoline additive at up to 16 volume percent, and any supplemental actions EPA should consider under the Clean Air Act (CAA). ... read more >
March 2, 2018
EPA Sends Letter To New Hampshire Governor On Treatment Of Biomass And Forest Products Industry
During a visit to New Hampshire on February 13, 2018, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt provided Governor Chris Sununu (R-NH) a letter announcing EPA's efforts to work towards a carbon-neutral policy for biomass and clarify federal procurement recommendations for responsibly managed forests.  According to Pruitt, EPA recognizes the importance of the forest products industry to the State of New Hampshire and is focused on clarifying regulations that were encumbering the industry.  Following the passage of the Consolidated Appropriations ... read more >
January 5, 2018
EPA Proposes New Fuel Pathways Under RFS Program
On December 27, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed to approve new fuel pathways under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program.  Specifically, EPA is proposing to amend RFS regulations to define the term “distillers sorghum oil” and to add approved pathways from the production of biodiesel and heating oil from distillers sorghum oil via a transesterification process, and renewable diesel, jet fuel, heating oil, naphtha, and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) produced from distillers sorghum oil via a hydrotreating process.  Distillers sorghum oil ... read more >
December 22, 2017
EPA Publishes Final 2018 RFS Requirements
On December 12, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published in the Federal Register the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Program:  Standards for 2018 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2019 final rule.  This final rule sets the annual percentage standards for cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel for motor vehicle gasoline and diesel produced or imported in 2018, as well as biomass-based diesel for 2019.  As reported in the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) blog post EPA Issues Final 2018 RFS Requirements, the ... read more >
December 15, 2017
EPA Seeks Comment On ICR On RFS Program
On December 8, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice in the Federal Register regarding its plans to submit an information collection request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on recordkeeping and reporting for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program.  The notices states that the ICR aims to streamline and update estimates related to the RFS program and consolidate all RFS estimates into one, consistent, and easy-to-understand format.   EPA is seeking public comment and information to enable it to:  Evaluate whether the ... read more >
December 8, 2017
EPA Issues Final 2018 RFS Requirements
On November 30, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its final 2018 volume requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program for cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel.  A pre-publication of the final rule is available now.  The final rule sets the annual percentage standards for cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel for motor vehicle gasoline and diesel produced or imported in 2018, as well as biomass-based diesel for 2019.  The proposed volume requirements ... read more >
December 1, 2017
EPA Denies Industry Request To Shift Point Of Obligation
On November 30, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice in the Federal Register announcing its decision to deny several petitions requesting that EPA initiate a rulemaking to change the point of obligation for compliance under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program.  Under the RFS program, refiners and importers of gasoline and diesel fuel are identified as “obligated parties” responsible for compliance with the RFS annual standards.  In 2016, EPA received several petitions requesting a revision of the definition of “obligated ... read more >
November 17, 2017
EPA Close To Issuing In Final 2018 And 2019 Renewable Fuel Standard Volumes
On October 31, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sent its final rule to set the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volumes for 2018 and 2019 to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review.  Under the Clean Air Act (CAA), EPA must issue a final rule to set standards for cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel by November 30, 2017.  Typically, OMB review is the last step before the final rule is published in the Federal Register and takes 30 days. Timely issuance of the final volume requirements is critical for ... read more >
November 17, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
The Hill, “Senate Moves Toward Confirming Trump EPA Air Nominee” Bloomberg Politics, “U.S. Subpoenas Icahn Over Biofuel Action While Trump Adviser” Newsweek, “Scientists Work To Make Better Plastics From Sunlight” University of Delaware, “Research Aims To Help Renewable Jet Fuel Take ... read more >
November 3, 2017
EPA Sends Letter To Senators Addressing RFS Issues
On October 19, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt sent a letter to Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA), Charles Grassley (R-IA), Pat Roberts (R-KS), John Thune (R-SD), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Deb Fischer (R-NE), and Ben Sasse (R-NE) to confirm his commitment to support the spirit and the letter of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program.  In the letter, Pruitt stated that, following a detailed analysis, numerous stakeholder meetings, and review of public comments, it was determined that EPA would not grant the petition to move the point of obligation to ... read more >
October 27, 2017
Congressmen Send Bipartisan Letter On Regulating Agricultural Biotechnology To USDA, FDA, EPA
On October 17, 2017, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), Congressman Neal Dunn, M.D. (R-FL), and 77 additional House members sent a bipartisan letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to urge the agencies to work together to promote innovative new technologies aimed at increasing crop yields and reducing the cost of production.  According to Congressman Panetta, the letter was prepared in response to duplicative or inconsistent regulatory proposals regarding biotechnology.  In the ... read more >
October 20, 2017
EPA Final Rule On Use Of TOFA Confirms Safety Of Unsaturated Fatty Acids
On October 10, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published in the Federal Register its final rule establishing exemptions for a tolerance limit to use tall oil fatty acids (TOFA) as an inert ingredient “[‌i]n pesticide formulations applied to growing crops and raw agricultural commodities after harvest; in pesticides applied in/on animals, and in antimicrobial formulations for food contact surfaces.”  Pursuant to Section 408(c)(2)(A)(i) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), EPA has the authority to establish exemptions from the ... read more >
October 6, 2017
Iowa Senators Respond To EPA NODA Regarding RFS Program
Last week, Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Joni Ernst (R-IA) responded to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Notice of Data Availability (NODA) regarding the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volume requirements (see EPA Issues NODA Regarding RFS Program).  On September 27, 2017, Ernst sent a letter to President Trump expressing concern over the proposed reduction in the volume requirements for 2018 and 2019.  In the letter, Ernst highlights the importance of renewable fuel with regard to jobs in rural America, and energy security for the U.S. Additionally, the ... read more >
October 6, 2017
EPA Issues NODA Regarding RFS Program
On October 4, 2017, EPA issued a NODA in the Federal Register to provide supplemental information and an opportunity for further public comment on potential reductions in the 2018 biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel volumes, and/or the 2019 biomass-based diesel volume under the RFS program.  The NODA follows the Agency’s July 21, 2017, proposed rulemaking on the volume requirements and provides additional information on production, imports, and cost of renewable fuel, and several options for how EPA may consider such data in establishing the final ... read more >
September 8, 2017
EPA Waives RFS Requirements For States Affected By Hurricane Harvey
On August 31, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that requirements for reformulated gasoline and low volatility gasoline would be waived through September 15, 2017, for Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Texas, Louisiana, and the District of Columbia.  EPA exercised its emergency fuel waiver authority to help ensure an adequate supply of fuel throughout the South, Southeast, and the Mid-Atlantic in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.  As required by law, EPA and the Department of ... read more >
August 25, 2017
Appellate Court Rules EPA RFS Exemption Criteria Too Strict
On August 15, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit ruled two to one that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) exceeded its statutory authority under the Clean Air Act (CAA) when it denied Sinclair Oil Corporation’s request for a hardship exemption from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program.  The statute requires that EPA grant exemptions on a case-by-case basis to small refiners that would suffer a “disproportionate economic hardship” in complying with the RFS program.  According to the court ruling, EPA’s interpretation that ... read more >
August 18, 2017
Biofuel Industry Testifies At EPA Hearing On RFS Program
On August 1, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held a public hearing to hear from all segments of the fuel industry on the proposed rule to set the 2018 renewable volume obligations (RVO) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program.  Among the nearly 150 individuals and organizations scheduled to testify at the hearing were numerous biofuel industry stakeholders who praised EPA for issuing the proposed rule on time and for maintaining the statutory 15 billion gallon volume requirement for conventional renewable fuels, but urged the agency to increase the proposed ... read more >
August 11, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Bloomberg, “Trump’s EPA to Reject Icahn-Backed Tweak to Biofuel Program” USDA, “Researchers Tap Papaya-Loving Algae to Make ‘Home-Grown’ Biodiesel for Hawaii” Oak Ridge National Laboratory, “Materials --Cooking Up Biofuel” Treasure Coast Research Park, “The Sweet Smell of Success…and ... read more >
August 4, 2017
EPA Publishes Analysis Of GHG Emissions From Sugar Beets
On July 26, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its analysis of the upstream greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions attributable to the production of sugar beets for use as a biofuel feedstock.  EPA considered a scenario in which non-cellulosic beet sugar is extracted for conversion to biofuel and the remaining beet pulp co-product is used as an animal feed.  Based on the findings, EPA anticipates that biofuels produced from sugar beets could qualify as a renewable fuel or advanced biofuel under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program, depending on the type and ... read more >
August 4, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
The Hill, “Court Rejects 2015 EPA Biofuels Waivers” Govenors’ Biofuels Coalition, “Action on E15 Bill not Expected Before August Recess” Department of Energy, “EERE Success Story -- New Membrane Technology Will Improve Efficiency of Biofuel Production” PWashington State University, “Algae Cultivation Technique Could Advance ... read more >
July 28, 2017
EPA Publishes Proposed 2018 RFS Requirements
On July 18, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published in the Federal Register its proposed rule on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Program:  Standards for 2018 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2019.  The rulemaking proposes the annual percentage standards for cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel for motor vehicle gasoline and diesel produced or imported in 2018, as well as biomass-based diesel in 2019, as reported in the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group’s (BRAG®) blog post EPA Releases Proposed 2018 RFS ... read more >
July 21, 2017
EPA Announces Public Hearing On RFS Program
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold a public hearing on the Renewable Fuel Standard [RFS] Program: Standards for 2018 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2019 proposed rule.  The hearing will take place at 9:00 a.m. on August 1, 2017, and will provide an opportunity for EPA to gather data, views, and arguments on the proposed rulemaking from interested stakeholders.  While EPA does not plan to respond to presentations, the Agency may ask clarifying questions.  EPA intends to use the information to inform a future rulemaking to reset the statutory volumes ... read more >
July 21, 2017
EIA Issues Short-Term Energy Outlook Report
On July 11, 2017, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) issued its June Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO).  EIA considered EPA’s recent rulemakings on the 2017 RFS volume requirements and proposed 2018 RFS volume requirements when developing its STEO for 2017 and 2018.    Biodiesel production averaged 101,000 barrels per day (b/d) in 2016, and, according to EIA, is expected to increase to an average of 105,000 b/d in 2017 and to 109,000 b/d in 2018.  Biomass-based diesel imports are expected to fall from 54,000 b/d in 2016 to 53,000 b/d in 2017 but rise to ... read more >
July 14, 2017
EPA Releases Proposed 2018 RFS Volume Requirements
On July 5, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued proposed volume requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program for cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel for 2018, as well as biomass-based diesel for 2019.  The proposal lowers the blending requirement for all renewable fuel with the exception of biomass-based diesel, which maintains the 2017 blending requirement.  The proposed volume requirements are: Cellulosic biofuel, from 311 million gallons in 2017 to 238 million gallons in 2018; Advanced biofuel, from 4.28 billion ... read more >
July 14, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, “Cellulosic Biofuels Can Benefit the Environment If Managed Correctly” Euractiv, “MEPs Ask Commission to Distinguish ‘Good And Bad’ Crop-Based Biofuels” American Oversight, “American Oversight Sues EPA to Release Communications with Carl Icahn” Arizona State University, “ASU Scientists Harness the Trial-and-Error Power of Evolution to Coax Nature into Revealing Answer to Energy Challenge” Pennsylvania State University, “Research Progressing on How to Spur Wide Use of Aviation ... read more >
July 3, 2017
NAS Releases Final Report on Preparing for Future Products of Biotechnology
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Margaret R. Graham On June 30, 3017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) released its final version of its report Preparing for Future Products of Biotechnology, which it states “analyzes the future landscape of biotechnology products and seeks to inform forthcoming policy making [and] … identifies potential new risks and frameworks for risk assessment and areas in which the risks or lack of risks relating to the products of biotechnology are well understood.”  This report is a collaboration among a committee of ... read more >
June 16, 2017
EPA Awards Green Chemistry Challenge Winners
On June 12, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded the 2017 Green Chemistry Challenge Award winners at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. in conjunction with the 21st Annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference.  The award recognizes landmark green chemistry technologies developed by industrial pioneers and leading scientists that turn potential environmental issues into business opportunities, spurring innovation and economic development.  The American Chemical Society (ACS) Green Chemistry Institute convened an independent panel of technical experts to ... read more >
June 2, 2017
Trump Releases Proposed Budget For FY 2018
On May 23, 2017, President Trump released the Administration’s proposed budget for fiscal year (FY) 2018, which includes significant cuts to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) budgets.  According to the proposed budget, funding for DOE would be cut by 5.6 percent to $28 billion, with $636 million allotted for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and $56.6 million for the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO).  The proposed DOE budget aims to eliminate the Advanced ... read more >
May 25, 2017
EPA Releases RIN Generation Data For April
On May 10, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released Renewable Identification Numbers (RIN) generation data for April 2017, reporting that nearly 1.5 billion RINs were generated during the month.      Nearly 17.3 million D3 cellulosic biofuel RINs were generated in April, bringing the total for 2017 to 49.9 million, including 1.3 million D3 RINs generated for ethanol, 17.9 million generated for renewable liquefied natural gas, and 30.7 million generated for renewable compressed natural gas.  Of the 49.9 million RINs, 44.7 million were ... read more >
May 19, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Platts, “White House Reviews US EPA's Proposed 2018-19 Biofuel Blending Volumes” U.S. Department of Energy, “Map Out Your Career in the Bioeconomy with BETO’s New Bioenergy Career Map!” Iowa Farm Bureau, “Perdue Pledges Support for Trade and Biofuels during Iowa Visit” Lancaster University, “New Breakthrough Makes it Easier to Turn Old Coffee Waste into Cleaner ... read more >
May 5, 2017
Judges Hear Oral Arguments On The Petition To Review RVO For 2014-2016
On April 24, 2017, U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) attorneys representing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the renewable fuels and petroleum industries presented oral arguments before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit regarding the petition to review the renewable volume obligations (RVO) for 2014-2016.  The petition, which was filed on January 8, 2016, by seven biofuel and agricultural groups, challenged EPA’s authority to set volume requirements for biofuel blending below standards put forth in the 2007 Renewable Fuel ... read more >
May 5, 2017
RFA Sends Letter To EPA On RVO Rulemaking
On April 24, 2017, Bob Dineen, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) sent a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt requesting that the 2018 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) rulemaking remain on schedule and maintain the conventional renewable fuel requirement at the statutory level of 15 billion gallons.  According to the letter, regulatory certainty and sufficient lead time for planning are required to allow regulated parties to adapt and comply with the RFS.    The letter states that ethanol producers are set to produce a ... read more >
April 13, 2017
EPA Awards $300,000 In Funding For Green Chemical Manufacturing
On April 5, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that Industrial Microbes, Inc. (Industrial Microbes) has been awarded $300,000 in funding through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program to develop a green fermentation platform to replace carbon-emitting petrochemical production with newer methods that use methane and carbon dioxide to produce chemicals.  The project aims to improve the efficiency of chemical manufacturing while limiting pollution using a fermentation process based on engineered enzyme pathways within living cells, similar to the ... read more >
March 31, 2017
EPA Implements 2017 RFS Volume Requirements
On March 21, 2017, the renewable fuel volume requirements for 2017, which were issued in final by EPA on December 12, 2016, were implemented.  The effective date for the 2017 requirements was delayed following the Presidential directive to postpone the implementation of new regulations to allow for review by the new administration.  Although EPA has yet to publish an announcement on the matter, industry stakeholders have welcomed the 2017 biofuel volumes and 2018 biomass-based diesel volumes.  As reported in the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) blog ... read more >
March 24, 2017
National Farmers Union Passes Resolution On Higher Blended Fuels
On March 13, 2017, the South Dakota Farmers Union announced that the National Farmers Union had passed a resolution calling for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to open the market to higher blends of ethanol during its annual meeting in San Diego.  The resolution, which was brought forward by the South Dakota Farmers Union delegation, promotes the use of higher blended fuels, such as E30, as a way to expand the retail fuels infrastructure and support the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).   In addition to passing the resolution, the National Farmers Union filed legal ... read more >
March 17, 2017
Bipartisan Bill Introduced To Broaden Ethanol Fuel Choices
On March 2, 2017, Congressmen Adrian Smith (R-NE) and Congressman Dave Loebsack (D-IA) reintroduced legislation to expand the current Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) waiver to include E15 motor vehicle fuel.  The Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act aims to foster the development of a robust energy marketplace by offering the same regulatory relief that has been extended to E10.  Under the Clean Air Act (CAA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is required to control the volatility of gasoline between June 1 and September 15 to limit vehicle emissions.  Congress ... read more >
March 9, 2017
EPA Extends Comment Period On Safer Choice Logo Redesign
On March 6, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced in the Federal Register that an information collection request (ICR) had been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regarding consultations on the Safer Choice logo redesign.  Following the launch of the new Safer Choice logo, EPA plans to conduct consumer surveys to gauge consumer recognition of the new logo and to determine whether the new logo and educational activities are changing purchasing decisions.  This ICR was previously published as part of a public review opportunity in the ... read more >
March 3, 2017
Senators Send Letter To Pruitt On Volatility Regulations
On February 17, 2017, several Republican Senators sent a letter to Scott Pruitt, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, to confirm their willingness to work with Pruitt to grow the nation’s economy and support American jobs and to request that Pruitt address EPA’s volatility regulation of ethanol fuel blends.  In the letter, the Senators describe the one pound per square inch (psi) waiver that allows gasoline blends containing ten percent ethanol (E10) to be sold during the summer months despite the gasoline volatility requirements in place from June 1 ... read more >
March 3, 2017
Sierra Club Files Notice Of Intent To Sue EPA Over Failure To Analyze RFS Program
On February 23, 2017, the Sierra Club filed a notice of intent to sue EPA for failure to conduct the required environmental impact analysis on the RFS program.  The notice states that EPA failed to assess and report to Congress on the environmental and resource conservation impacts of the RFS program and failed to complete the required anti-backsliding study to determine whether the renewable fuel volumes adversely impacted air quality.  According to the notice, EPA has issued only one triennial report on the environmental impact of the program despite the requirement under the ... read more >
February 24, 2017
Iowa Biofuel Industry Urges EPA To Reject RFS Point Of Obligation Petition
On February 16, 2017, a coalition of Iowa farmers, renewable fuel producers, and retailers urged Scott Pruitt, just prior to his being confirmed as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, to protect the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by rejecting the petition to change the program’s point of obligation.  The coalition, which includes the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA), the Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA), Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores of Iowa (PMCI), and the Iowa Biodiesel Board (IBB), stated that it is committed to opposing a change ... read more >
February 24, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
■  Biotechnology Innovation Organization, “BIO Submits Comments on EPA Renewables Enhancement and Growth Support Rule”   ■  EPA, “Draft Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2015”   ■  International Energy Agency, “New Bioenergy Roadmap Guide Released Jointly by IEA and ... read more >
February 10, 2017
Two Congressional Bills Aimed At Reforming The RFS
On January 31, 2017, two bills were introduced in the U.S. Congress that propose to reform the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and the national biofuels mandate.  The first bill would require the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to assess the performance, safety, and environmental impact of mid-level ethanol, and the implications of the use of mid-level ethanol blends compared to gasoline blends containing ten percent or less ethanol.  The second bill would reduce the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) cellulosic biofuel volume requirements under the RFS program to ... read more >
February 10, 2017
CSPA Sends Letter To Trump On Safer Choice Program
On January 24, 2017, the Consumer Specialty Products Association (CSPA) sent a letter to President Donald Trump to express its commitment to working with Trump and his administration and to outline its top priorities, including the continuation of EPA’s Safer Choice Program.  In the letter, CSPA states that companies have made significant financial and employee investments to develop products that qualify for the Safer Choice logo and to market the products as Safer Choice products.  CSPA requested that Trump support the voluntary program, arguing that elimination of it would ... read more >
February 10, 2017
UAI Petitions EPA To Withdraw Flawed Emissions Model
On January 25, 2017, the Urban Air Initiative (UAI), along with the Energy Future Coalition and the states of Kansas and Nebraska, filed a request for correction of information petitioning EPA to correct its models on motor vehicle fuel emissions that limit the use of higher blends of ethanol.  In the petition, UAI claims that EPA continues to publish inaccurate data regarding ethanol emissions that originated with its fuel effects study and vehicular emissions computer model, MOVES2014, and describes the fundamental flaws in the design of the study.  UAI relied on peer reviewed ... read more >
February 2, 2017
EPA Seeks Comments On GHG Analysis Of Sugar Beets For Biofuel Feedstock
On January 18, 2017, Christopher Grundler, the Director of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), signed a notice inviting comment on its analysis of the upstream greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the production of sugar beets for use as biofuel feedstock.  The notice describes the analysis performed, which considers the extraction of non-cellulosic beet sugar for conversion to biofuel and the use of the remaining beet pulp for animal feed, and how EPA may use the analysis to determine whether biofuels from sugar beets qualify ... read more >
February 2, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
■   Montana State University, “MSU Scientist Wins $1.2 Million Federal Grant to Improve Camelina Seed Qualities"    ■   Reuters, “U.S. Biofuels Credits Drop as EPA Delay Uncertainty Grips Market”   ■     European Environmental Bureau, “Joint Position Paper -- Bioplastics in a Circular Economy:  The Need to Focus on Waste Reduction and Prevention to Avoid False Solutions”   ■ Biofuels Digest, ... read more >
January 27, 2017
EPA Denies APFM’s Petition For Cellulosic Waiver
On January 17, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wrote to the American Petrochemical and Fuel Manufacturers (AFPM) denying its petition for partial supplemental waiver of the 2016 cellulosic biofuel standard under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).  The letter was sent in response to AFPM’s December 28, 2016, petition for a supplemental waiver on the basis of an inadequate domestic supply of cellulosic biofuel, as reported in the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group’s (BRAG ® ) blog post Petition for Waiver of 2016 Cellulosic Biofuel ... read more >
January 27, 2017
EPA Releases RIN Generation Data For December
EPA released RIN generation data for December 2016, reporting that more than 1.8 billion RINs were generated during the month.  More than 16.8 million D3 cellulosic biofuel RINs were generated in December, bringing the total for 2016 to 178 million, including 3.8 million D3 RINs for ethanol, 66.8 million for renewable liquefied natural gas, and 107.5 million for renewable compressed natural gas.  Of the 178 million RINs, nearly 160 million were generated by domestic producers, and nearly 19.2 million were generated by importers. More than 524 million D4 biomass-based diesel RINs ... read more >
January 27, 2017
EPA Delays Effective Date of 2017 RFS Requirements
On January 26, 2017, EPA published a final rule delaying the effective date of 30 EPA regulations, including the RFS Program:  Standards for 2017 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2018 final rule.  The rulemaking follows the Presidential directive to postpone for sixty days the effective dates of all regulations that had been published in the Federal Register but had not yet taken effect to give the President’s appointees or designees the opportunity for further review and consideration of new or pending regulations.  The new effective date is March 21, 2017.  ... read more >
January 13, 2017
White House Releases Updated Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology
On January 4, 2017, the White House announced the release of the 2017 Update to the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology. The 2017 Update provides a comprehensive summary of the roles and responsibilities of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) with respect to regulating biotechnology products. Together with the National Strategy for Modernizing the Regulatory System for Biotechnology Products, published in September 2016, the 2017 Update offers a “complete picture ... read more >
January 13, 2017
Third Party Auditor May Lose Ability to Verify RINs
On January 4, 2017, EPA issued a notice of intent to revoke Genscape’s ability to verify Renewable Identification Numbers (RIN) as a third party auditor under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Quality Assurance Program (QAP).  According to the notice, Genscape failed to meet all elements of its Quality Assurance Plan and verified approximately 68 million fraudulently-generated RINs.  To replace invalid RINs, Genscape is required to retire RINs within 60 days.  Obligated parties, however, do not have to replace invalid RINs to meet their compliance obligations if they ... read more >
January 13, 2017
Petition For Waiver Of 2016 Cellulosic Biofuel Volumetric Requirements
On December 28, 2016, the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) submitted a petition requesting that EPA waive the cellulosic biofuel volumetric requirements for the 2016 compliance year citing an inadequate domestic supply of the fuel.  Based on the amount of cellulosic fuel produced through November, AFPM estimated that between 173.8 and 190 million gallons will be produced in 2016, which is approximately 40 to 60 million gallons below the 230 million gallon target set by EPA in December 2015.  With a cellulosic waiver credit price of $1.33 for 2016, obligated ... read more >
January 6, 2017
EPA Extends Comment Period On REGS Rule And RFS Point Of Obligation Petitions
Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published two announcements in the Federal Register regarding an extension of the comment period for the proposed Renewables Enhancement and Growth Support (REGS) rule and the proposed denial of petitions for the rulemaking to change the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Point of Obligation.   On December 9, 2016, ten biodiesel and agricultural industry stakeholders, including the Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy, American Soybean Association, and the Corn Refiners Association, sent EPA a joint request for additional time ... read more >
December 16, 2016
EPA Publishes Final 2017 RFS Requirements
On December 12, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a final rule, Renewable Fuel Standard Program:  Standards for 2017 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2018, in the Federal Register.  This final rule sets the annual percentage standards for cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel for motor vehicle gasoline and diesel produced or imported in 2017, as reported in the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group’s (BRAG®) blog post EPA Signs Final RFS Requirements.  The proposed volume ... read more >
December 16, 2016
EPA Convenes Hearing On Proposed Renewables Enhancement and Growth Support Rule
On December 6, 2016, EPA held a hearing on its proposed Renewables Enhancement and Growth Support rule.  The proposed rule would update the regulatory structure to allow biofuel producers to process and convert biomass at different facilities, update fuel regulations to allow for more high-ethanol fuel blends in flex fuel vehicles, and permit cellulosic biofuels to be produced from new feedstock sources.  Testimony provided by Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) focused on the impact of the proposed rule on the development of the E15 market and strengthening ... read more >
December 16, 2016
EPA Accepting Nominations for 2017 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards
As previously reported in the BRAG Biobased and Renewable Products Update of October 21, 2016, EPA announced that it has opened nominations for the 2017 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards (PGCCA).  EPA’s strong support for the adoption of green chemistry has helped strengthen the development and commercialization of green chemistry products, leading to significant environmental benefits alongside economic benefits.  Previous PGCCA winners annually eliminate 826 million pounds of hazardous chemicals and solvents and 7.8 billion pounds of carbon dioxide ... read more >
December 9, 2016
EPA Announces Recipients Of $1.3 Million In Funding For Small Business Innovation Research Projects
On December 6, 2016, EPA announced its funding of $1.3 million in investments to 13 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) projects.  All 13 projects are focused on producing innovative and creative solutions to the country’s current environmental issues.  Each company will receive a SBIR Phase I contract for up to $100,000 to develop their green technology.  Companies that successfully complete Phase I can apply for a Phase II contract of up to $300,000 to commercialize their technology for the marketplace.  Two of the 13 projects involve repurposing waste to ... read more >
December 2, 2016
EPA Announces Opportunity To Comment On Changing The RFS Point Of Obligation
On November 22, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice in the Federal Register of an opportunity to comment on petitions requesting EPA initiate a rulemaking process to reconsider its regulations that impose the obligation for compliance with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) annual standards on gasoline and diesel fuel refiners and importers, as well as on EPA’s proposed denial of the petitions. As the notice states, EPA is looking for petitioners to demonstrate the change in the point of obligation would improve the effectiveness of the RFS program, thus ... read more >
December 2, 2016
EPA Signs Final RFS Requirements
On November 23, 2016, EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy, signed the final rule on the RFS volume standards for 2017 and biobased diesel standards for 2018. This final rule will increase the renewable fuel volume requirements as reported in the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) post “EPA Releases Proposed Renewable Fuel Volume Requirements.”  The proposed volume requirements are:   ■   Cellulosic biofuel, from 230 million gallons in 2016 to 311 million gallons in 2017;     ■   Advanced ... read more >
December 2, 2016
EPA Announces Potential Product Categories For The Safer Choice Program
During the Safer Choice Partner and Stakeholder Summit on November 15- 16, 2016, EPA announced that new product categories were under consideration for the Safer Choice chemical program, including arts and crafts, home improvements, food grade and marine lubricants, and paints and coatings. EPA invited suggestions from participants regarding additional product categories to consider; Summit participants were supportive of an increase to the number of chemicals, products, and product categories in the program.  A stakeholder noted that many paint manufacturers already sell paints with low ... read more >
November 18, 2016
EPA Publishes Proposed Renewables Enhancement And Growth Support Rule
As previously reported in the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group’s (BRAG®) Biobased and Renewable Products Update of November 11, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a notice in the Federal Register of a public hearing for the proposed “Renewables Enhancement and Growth Support Rule.”  The proposed rule updates the regulatory structure to allow biofuel producers to process and convert biomass at different facilities, update fuel regulations to allow for more high-ethanol fuel blends in flex fuel vehicles (FFV), and permit ... read more >
November 18, 2016
EPA Approves Redfield Energy’s Efficient Producer Petition
On October 27, 2016, EPA approved an Efficient Producer petition submitted by Redfield Energy, LLC (Redfield Energy) granting “a pathway for the generation of renewable fuel (D-code 6) Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program for the production of non-grandfathered ethanol” produced by dry milling.  The Efficient Producer petition process is designed to accelerate the registration process for starch and grain sorghum ethanol producers that exhibit superior process efficiency.  Redfield Energy claimed the process achieved a ... read more >
November 11, 2016
EPA Biotech Review Staff Prepares To Handle Engineered Microorganism TSCA Submissions
On November 9, 2016, Inside EPA published “ New TSCA Requirements Raise Challenges To EPA Biotech Review Staff” (subscription required), outlining what EPA has done to adapt to revised Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) requirements for engineered microorganisms.   Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., Senior Chemist with Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®), was quoted in the article discussing what to expect from approaching biotechnology regulations:   Richard Engler, a former EPA toxics official now a senior chemist with environmental law firm Bergeson & ... read more >
November 4, 2016
EPA Announces Meeting Of The BOSC Chemical Safety For Sustainability Subcommittee
On November 1, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Research and Development (ORD) announced a meeting of the Board of Scientific Counselors’ (BOSC) Chemical Safety for Sustainability Subcommittee meeting via notice in the Federal Register.  This meeting will be held at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Main Campus Facility in North Carolina, and will be open to the public.  Those interested in attending must register online by November 10, 2016, and submit comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2015-0635 via www.regulations.gov, ... read more >
November 4, 2016
EPA Delivers Proposed Renewable Fuel Standard Requirements To OMB
On October 19, 2016, EPA delivered the proposed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volume standards for 2017 and biobased diesel standards for 2018 via proposed rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).  This proposed rule will increase the renewable fuel volume requirements as reported in the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) post “EPA Releases Proposed Renewable Fuel Volume Requirements.”  The proposed volume requirements are:   ■   Cellulosic biofuel, from 230 million gallons in 2016, to 312 million ... read more >
October 28, 2016
Comment Deadline Approaches On Update To The Coordinated Framework For The Regulation Of Biotechnology
As previously reported in the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group’s (BRAG®) Biobased and Renewable Products Update of September 22, 2016, Clarifying Current Roles and Responsibilities Described in the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology (Update to the Coordinated Framework) was published in the Federal Register .  The Update to the Coordinated Framework provides a comprehensive summary of the roles and responsibilities of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Department of ... read more >
October 28, 2016
EPA’s Biogenic Carbon Emissions Panel Discusses SAB Comments On Draft Framework For Assessing Biogenic CO2 Emissions from Stationary Sources
On October 12, 2016, EPA convened a public advisory committee teleconference of the Biogenic Carbon Emissions Panel.  This advisory meeting discussed comments from chartered Science Advisory Board (SAB) members from the draft report on EPA’s Framework for Assessing Biogenic CO2 Emissions from Stationary Sources.  The SAB panel announced plans to overhaul the current draft report to provide emission examples at various time scales.  This change, to include longer time spans, is supported by industry professionals who believe it better represents the full carbon ... read more >
October 21, 2016
EPA Opens Nominations For The 2017 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards
On October 18, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it has opened nominations for the 2017 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards (PGCCA).  Since 1996, these awards have honored companies and institutions that develop processes and products to help protect public health and the environment.  EPA’s strong support for the adoption of green chemistry has helped strengthen the development and commercialization of green chemistry products, leading to significant environmental benefits alongside economic benefits.  Previous PGCCA winners ... read more >
October 14, 2016
EPA Announces Public Meeting To Comment On Algae Guidance Documents
On October 12, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a public meeting on the draft Algae Guidance for the Preparation of [Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)] Biotechnology Submissions (Algae Guidance) in the Federal Register.  This meeting will receive public input and comments on the draft Algae Guidance that describes EPA’s data needs for supporting risk assessments of genetically engineered algae and cyanobacteria that are manufactured, imported, or processed, and are subject to regulations under Section 5 of TSCA.  The meeting will be held in ... read more >
October 14, 2016
EPA Accepting Applications For 2017 Safer Choice Partner Of The Year Awards
On October 11, 2016, EPA published a notice in the Federal Register seeking applications for the 2017 Safer Choice Partner of the Year Awards.  The Partner of the Year Awards were developed in 2015 to recognize Safer Choice stakeholders advancing the goals of the Pollution Prevention Act, as well as the Safer Choice program through safer chemistry.  There are five broad categories of the awards: ■   Formulators/Product Manufacturers of both Consumer and Institutional/ Industrial (I/I) products;    ■   Purchasers and ... read more >
September 30, 2016
Update To The Coordinated Framework For The Regulation Of Biotechnology Published In The Federal Register
On September 22, 2016,  Clarifying Current Roles and Responsibilities Described in the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology (Update to the Coordinated Framework) was published in the  Federal Register . This proposed update provides a comprehensive summary of the roles and responsibilities of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) with respect to the regulation of biotechnology products. More information about what this means for the future of biotechnology and the ... read more >
September 23, 2016
Biotechnology: White House Releases Proposed Update To The Coordinated Framework And National Strategy For Modernizing The Regulatory System For Biotechnology Products
On September 16, 2016, the White House posted a blog item, "Building on 30 Years of Experience to Prepare for the Future of Biotechnology" and released two documents intended to modernize federal regulation of biotechnology products. In July 2015, the White House directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to develop a long-term strategy to ensure that the system is prepared for the future products of biotechnology, and commission an expert analysis of the future landscape of ... read more >
September 23, 2016
Governors Publish Open Letter To Administrator McCarthy Requesting End Of RVP Limit On E15
On September 13, 2016, governors of seven ethanol producing states wrote to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy requesting the removal of the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) limit on E15. RVP measures gasoline volatility, and E10 receives a one pound-force per square inch (psi) RVP waiver between June 1 and September 15 that is not extended to E15. The letter states "EPA's disparate handling of E10 and E15 with regard to fuel volatility regulation is stifling the widespread adoption of E15 and mid-level ethanol blends." The governors continue to argue that "This inequitable RVP ... read more >
September 9, 2016
EPA Announces Public Meeting On Algae And TSCA
On September 1, 2016, the Algae Biomass Organization (ABO) announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be hosting an "Opportunity for Public Comment on Algae Guidance for The Preparation of [Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)] Biotechnology Submissions." This meeting will receive public comments on EPA's algae guidance document, and will inform the development of EPA's "Algae Guidance for The Preparation of TSCA Biotechnology Submissions" document. Approximately 120 people will be able to attend in person, with unlimited access via web ... read more >
September 9, 2016
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
■ Plastics Industry, "100 Percent Compostable Single Serve Coffee Pod Wins International Innovation Award" ■ Market Wired, "Seventh Generation Develops EPA Safer Choice Certified Laundry Detergent Packs Mission-Led Household and Personal Care Products Company Introduces New Line Of Solid Laundry Detergent Packs Formulated With Plant-Based Ingredients" ■ Synthetic Genomics, "Synthetic Genomics Team Engineers Vmax™, an Advantaged Next-Generation Host Organism for a Wide Range of Biotechnology ... read more >
August 26, 2016
EPA Inspector General Reports EPA Has Not Followed Through On Studying Effects Of RFS
On August 18, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report stating that EPA has not complied with federal requirements to study the effects of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The report, "EPA Has Not Met Certain Statutory Requirements to Identify Environmental Impacts of Renewable Fuel Standard," found that while EPA is required to provide a report to Congress every three years on the impact of biofuels, there has not been a report since 2011. It was also determined that EPA's Office of Air and Radiation has ... read more >
August 26, 2016
ASTM International Updates Standard To Determine Biobased Content Of Bioproducts
ASTM International's Committee on Plastics recently approved revisions to standard D6866, Test Methods for Determining the Biobased Content of Solid, Liquid, and Gaseous Samples Using Radiocarbon Analysis. This standard was originally approved in 2004, and is used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) BioPreferred® Program, by EPA when it is determining the sustainability of plastics, and by other corporations using biobased plastics. D6866 is used to determine the percent of carbons present in the final product that come from plant-biomass carbon feedstock versus ... read more >
June 17, 2016
2016 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award Winners Announced
On June 13, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the winners of the 2016 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards (PGCCA). The PGCCA honors green chemistry technologies that solve climate and environmental problems through creating business opportunities. Jim Jones, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) stated, "these innovations reduce the use of energy, hazardous chemicals and water, while cutting manufacturing costs and sparking investments. They even turn pollution into useful products. Ultimately, ... read more >
May 27, 2016
Public Hearing Announced For Proposed Renewable Fuel Standard Volumes
On May 25, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a public hearing for the proposed rule "Renewable Fuel Standard Program: Standards for 2017 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2018." A pre-publication version of the proposed rule is available now, with the proposed rule being published separately in the Federal Register under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2016-0004. The proposed volumes include slight increases in all categories from the 2016 volumes, but still fall short of the volumes proposed for 2017 under Section 211 of the Clean Air Act. The public hearing ... read more >
May 20, 2016
EPA Releases Proposed Renewable Fuel Volume Requirements
On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a proposed increase of the renewable fuel volume requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program for all biofuels in 2017 and biomass-based diesel in 2018. While both the renewable fuel volume requirements and the proposed percentage standards are increases from previous years, the volume requirements for cellulosic biofuel, advance biofuel, and renewable fuel still fall short of the volumes proposed for 2017 under Section 211 of the Clean Air Act. The proposed volume requirements are: Cellulosic ... read more >
May 20, 2016
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
■ Energy.gov, "Energy And Commerce Departments Announce Lab Partnership Opportunities for U.S. Small Businesses and Manufacturers" ■ EPA, "EPA Awards 18 Grants For Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training" ■ The New York Times, "Biofuels Plant in Hawaii Is First to Be Certified as Sustainable" ■ The Motley Fool, "Can The U.S. Military Afford to Run on Biofuels?" ■ Quad-City Times, "Guest View: for the Farmers, the Biofuel Bubble Has Already ... read more >
April 29, 2016
EPA Close To Publicizing 2017 And 2018 Renewable Fuel Standard Volumes
On April 15, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sent its newly proposed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volumes for 2017 and 2018 to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. Under the Clean Air Act (CAA), EPA must set standards for cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel by November 30 of the year before the standard is set for, and 14 months before the year that the biodiesel standard is set for. EPA's issuance of the RFS volumes to OMB is typically the final step before the rule is publicized. OMB's ... read more >
April 8, 2016
Companies with Commercial Biofuels and Biobased Chemicals -- Get Ready For CDR
In less than two months, renewable fuel and biobased chemical companies that have successfully moved from research and development to commercialization will be required to respond to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). This may come as a surprise to some biobased chemicals companies that are under the misperception that they are not regulated under TSCA. This is simply wrong. Unless otherwise regulated as a pesticide, food, food additive, drug, cosmetic, or nuclear material, biobased chemicals ... read more >
April 8, 2016
Biodiesel Companies Can Thank BRAG For Cost Savings On CDR Reporting
As reported in last week's Update, EPA published its final rulemaking expanding the list of chemicals partially exemption from certain additional chemical data under the CDR. This action, which formally amended the list of chemicals that do not have to report the onerous downstream processing and use information under the CDR Form U, Part III, occurred because of the forward thinking actions of the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®). In October 2014, recognizing an advocacy opportunity to equalize what had been an uneven regulatory reporting field for biodiesel ... read more >
April 1, 2016
EPA Publishes Final Rule on Partial Exemption of Certain Chemical Substances from Reporting Additional Chemical Data In The Federal Register
On March 29, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the Partial Exemption of Certain Chemical Substances from Reporting Additional Chemical Data final rule in the Federal Register. This final rule amends the list of chemical substances that are partially exempt from additional reporting requirements under the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule. The rule applies to six biodiesel chemicals that are very similar to petroleum based biodiesel chemicals that are already on the exempt list. EPA determined that CDR processing and use information for these chemical substances ... read more >
March 25, 2016
Sign Up For The Third And Final Public Meeting On Modernizing The Regulatory System For Biotechnology Products
On July 2, 2015, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the U.S. Trade Representative, and the Council on Environmental Quality jointly issued Modernizing the Regulatory System for Biotechnology Products, a memorandum directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to update the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology (Coordinated Framework), develop a long-term strategy to ensure that the federal biotechnology ... read more >
March 25, 2016
EPA Signs Final Rule Granting Partial CDR Exemptions For Biodiesel Products
On March 23, 2016, Bloomberg BNA Daily Environment Report announced that EPA signed a final rule exempting manufacturers of six biodiesel chemicals from reporting processing and use information under the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule under Section 8(a) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). In 2014, BRAG filed a regulatory petition to exempt the chemicals, requesting the same exemption that EPA currently provides to manufactures of petroleum-based versions of the chemicals. The rule was originally issued as a direct final rule in February 2015 before being withdrawn due to a single ... read more >
March 25, 2016
EPA Presents Funding Opportunity Through The P2 Grant Program
On March 22, 2016, EPA announced the availability of $7.94 million in federal grants to support pollution prevention (P2) projects during Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017. Projects should reduce or eliminate the use of hazardous materials, water, and energy and will support the P2 Program National Emphasis Areas of: Climate Change Mitigation/Prevention of Greenhouse Gas Emissions;   More Sustainable Food Manufacturing and Processing; or   State or Community Approaches to Hazardous Materials Source Reduction. The grants are available to state agencies, colleges, and universities ... read more >
March 18, 2016
EPA Announces Update Of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Guidance Documents For Biofuels
On March 7, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the update of three greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory guidance documents. The documents have new emission factors and guidance on data estimation methods, with specific sections on waste and biomass derived fuels. The updated guidance documents are needed by organizations that must report GHG emissions to EPA and cover direct emissions from stationary combustion sources, direct emissions from mobile combustion sources, and indirect emissions from purchased ... read more >
March 11, 2016
EPA Small Business Innovation Research Program Provides Eight $300,000 Contracts
On February 29, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced eight small business contracts through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program. The eight Phase II contracts provide the companies with $300,000 each to develop and commercialize innovative products that address environmental and public health issues. Phase II funding is typically made available to companies that have already been granted Phase I funding through the SBIR Program. This round of funding included two biobased businesses, Environmental Fuel Research, LLC, a company that is developing a ... read more >
March 4, 2016
Kathleen M. Roberts Presents "Achieving Critical Policy Changes Through Consortia" At ABLC2016
On February 19, 2016, Kathleen M. Roberts, Executive Director of BRAG, presented "Achieving Critical Policy Changes through Consortia" at the 2016 Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Conference (ABLC2016). Ms. Roberts presented as part of The Bioeconomy R&D Consortia Summit and discussed the work being done by BRAG to level the regulatory playing field for biobased chemicals. BRAG has successfully petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to make Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) partial reporting exemptions that are already granted to petroleum products available to ... read more >
January 15, 2016
EPA Proposes To Establish Minor New Source Review Requirements And To Disapprove Severable Portions Of SIPs
On January 11, 2016, EPA published a Proposed Rule in the Federal Register proposing to establish Minor New Source Review permitting requirements for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to disapprove severable portions of the State Implementation Plans (SIP) for Arkansas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.  The Minor New Source Review permitting requirements for GHG emissions will include Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permitting provisions for sources that are classified as major, and, thus, required to obtain a PSD permit, based solely on their potential GHG emissions.  EPA ... read more >
December 1, 2015
December 31st Deadline: 2016 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award Nominations
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has called for nominations for the 2016 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards (PGCCA), and companies engaging in green chemistry innovations will want to act quickly as the deadline for nominations is December 31, 2015. Winning, or even just being nominated for a PGCCA, confers concrete benefits, including increased brand awareness, public relations opportunity, and validation of your product or process by green chemistry stakeholders. To be eligible for an award, a technology must: Be a green chemistry technology with a significant ... read more >
November 13, 2015
EPA Calls For Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award Nominations
On November 4, 2015, EPA announced a request for nominations for the 21st Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award (PGCCA). The PGCCA is sponsored by EPA and the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute®. Over the 21 years of the challenge, EPA has recognized 104 new technologies that have saved water, reduced carbon dioxide emissions, and reduced the use of many hazardous chemicals and solvents. There are seven award areas covering greener synthetic pathways, greener reaction conditions, greener chemical products, the design of greener chemicals, small business, academic, ... read more >
October 16, 2015
EPA Safer Choice Partner And Stakeholder Summit Announced
On October 7, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the first ever Safer Choice Partner and Stakeholder Summit. The summit will be the first of several meetings intended to explore topics of importance to stakeholders and the Safer Choice Program. The Safer Choice label was created to help consumers identify products with safer chemical ingredients, previously known as the Design for the Environment (DfE) label. Over 2,000 products are qualified to carry the Safer Choice label. The summit will occur on November 12-13, 2015, in Washington, D.C., with the time and venue ... read more >
October 9, 2015
NST Council Requests Clarification Of Coordinated Framework Responsibilities
On October 6, 2015, the National Science and Technology Council, Science and Technology Policy Office published a notice of request for information (RFI) on "Clarifying Current Roles and Responsibilities Described in the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology (CF) and Developing a Long-Term Strategy for the Regulation of the Products of Biotechnology" in the Federal Register. The purpose of the RFI is to obtain relevant data that will be used to update the CF to reflect the roles and responsibilities of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Food ... read more >
October 2, 2015
EPA Holds Workshop For Input On Risk Assessment Of Genetically Engineered Algae
On September 30, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held a workshop on genetically engineered (GE) algae to give stakeholders an opportunity to hear about EPA's plans for improving its risk assessments of GE algae under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Dr. Jeff Morris, Deputy Director of Programs for the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT), welcomed participants and laid out the scope of the meeting: to assist EPA in understanding the questions it needs to ask and answer when it receives a Microbial Commercial Activity Notice (MCAN) for GE algae. Dr. ... read more >
October 2, 2015
Sustainable Federal Procurement Recommendations Published In Federal Register
On September 25, 2015, EPA published Recommendations for Specifications, Environmental Performance Standards, and Ecolabels for Federal Procurement. The notice describes EPA's recommendations for federal agencies that are purchasing environmentally-friendly products. Section 3(i) of Executive Order 13693, Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade, directs federal agencies to adhere to certain environmental performance and sustainability standards when practicable. The new EPA recommendations list acceptable environmentally sustainable product brands and service providers that ... read more >
September 18, 2015
EPA Inspector General Releases Report On Need For Better Data For PGCCA
On September 15, 2015, the EPA Inspector General (IG) released a report criticizing EPA's use of unverified pollution prevention data for the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award (PGCCA). The report, "EPA's Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards Program Lacks Adequate Support and Transparency and Should Be Assessed for Continuation," states that EPA does not verify the validity of the self-reported pollution prevention results of award applicants or differentiate between domestic and international pollution prevention. The IG states that self-reported data ... read more >
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