Biobased and Renewable Products News: EPA

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 >
September 18, 2015
Gina McCarthy Speaks About The Future Of The RFS
On September 15, 2015, the head of the EPA, Gina McCarthy, spoke at the Growth Energy Advocacy Conference about the need of the upcoming RFS rule to encourage long-term investment in advanced biofuels to successfully grow capacity. McCarthy went on to say that the November 30, 2015, deadline is a priority for her to have the RFS rule finished to improve investment conditions for biofuels. She considers the RFS to be one of the best tools that the Administration has in the long-term fight against climate change. EPA is currently looking at approximately 650,000 comments from the proposed rule ... read more >
September 4, 2015
EPA To Hold Public Workshop on Biotechnology Algae
On August 25, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a notice in the Federal Register announcing a Public Meeting and Opportunity for Public Comment on Considerations for Risk Assessment of Genetically Engineered Algae. The public meeting, entitled "Workshop for Public Input on Considerations for Risk Assessment of Genetically Engineered Algae," is intended to receive public input and comments on the data needs of EPA to support risk assessments of biotechnology products using genetically engineered algae and cyanobacteria under the Toxic Substances Control ... read more >
August 21, 2015
Expert Workshop On Biotech Algae Considerations Document Approaching
The Expert Workshop focusing on technical questions for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) development of a biotechnology algae considerations document is drawing near. The workshop will be open to the public and is scheduled for September 30, 2015, from 8:00 a.m. to noon. More details, including instructions on how to register for the workshop, will be made available in a Federal Register notice. More information regarding the biotechnology algae project is available in Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.'s (B&C®) memorandum EPA Posts Information on Biotechnology ... read more >
August 14, 2015
EPA Announces Three Webinars Covering PMN Submission Systems And Inviting Discussion Of Biotechnology Algae Project
On August 12, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced three webinars to review the new features of the updated online Premanufacture Notifications (PMN) Submission System. The new web-based submission system for the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Section 5 submissions is replacing the ePMN reporting software that is currently in use. The first webinar is on August 26, 2015, from 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m., and will cover the process of registering with the Central Data Exchange (CDX) and user roles. The second webinar is on September 16, 2015, from 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 ... read more >
July 24, 2015
EPA Issues Direct Final Rule To Mandate Updated Electronic Reporting
The July 20, 2015, Federal Register includes a notice for direct final action to amend the electronic reporting regulations for Section 5 under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) action goes into effect on January 19, 2016, unless adverse comments are received by August 19, 2015. The rule requires the use of new electronic premanufacture notice (e-PMN) software that is reportedly easier to use. The rule also adds the requirement that "bona fide intents to manufacture" submissions be made electronically, and changes the ... read more >
July 24, 2015
Proposed Rule Exempts Six Biobased Chemicals From Additional CDR Requirements
On July 22, 2015, EPA announced a proposed rule for the Partial Exemption of Certain Chemical Substances from Reporting Additional Chemical Data. If enacted, this rule will exempt the following six biobased chemicals from reporting additional information under the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule: Fatty acids, C14-18 and C16-18 unsaturated, methyl esters (Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number (CASRN) 67762-26-9); Fatty acids, C16-18 and C-18 unsaturated, methyl esters (CASRN 67762-38-3); Fatty acids, canola oil, methyl esters (CASRN 129828-16-6); Fatty acids, corn oil, methyl esters ... read more >
July 10, 2015
White House And Agencies Release Coordinated Biotechnology Regulatory Framework
With little fanfare or advanced notice to the general public, on July 2, 2015, the White House 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 issued 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. Last updated in 1992 and first rolled out in 1986, the Coordinated Framework outlines a ... read more >
July 10, 2015
Senators Sign Letter Of Support For Consistent Federal Biomass Policy
On June 30, 2015, 46 U.S. Senators sent a letter to the EPA, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and USDA stating that "[f]ederal policies across all departments and agencies must remove any uncertainties and contradictions through a clear, unambiguous message that forest bioenergy is part of the nation's energy future." Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) headed the letter and pointed to the recognized carbon neutrality of forest biomass as a renewable resource and asked that the federal government consistently recognize the energy source when making ... read more >
July 10, 2015
PGCCA Winners Of Yore: Where Are They Now?
With the 20th Annual Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards (PGCCA) ceremony drawing near, the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group's (BRAG®) Biobased News and Policy Report decided to go back and revisit some early winners to see what has become of the award-winning product or technology. We will be running a new story each week as we approach this year's awards ceremony, occurring July 13, 2015, at 4:00 p.m. (EDT), at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. Read previous stories on BRAG's website. The 2005 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was won by ... read more >
June 25, 2015
PGCCA Winners Of Yore:  Where Are They Now?
With the 20th Annual Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards (PGCCA) ceremony drawing near, the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group's (BRAG®) Biobased News and Policy Report decided to go back and revisit some early winners to see what has become of the award-winning product or technology. We will be running a new story each week as we approach this year's awards ceremony, occurring July 13, 2015, at 4:00 p.m. (EDT), at the National Academies of Sciences in Washington, D.C. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Chemical Safety and ... read more >
June 12, 2015
EPA Announces Public Hearing For 2014, 2015, And 2016 RFS
On June 4, 2015, EPA published a notice in the Federal Register for a Public Hearing on the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Standards for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. As part of the hearing, EPA will consider amendments to the annual percentage standards for cellulosic biofuel, biodiesel, and advanced biofuels that are added to fuel produced in the U.S. or imported for 2014, 2015, and 2016, and will consider amendments to the proposed biodiesel volume for 2017. The hearing will be held on June 25, 2015, at 9:00 a.m., at the Jack Reardon Center, 520 Minnesota Avenue, Kansas City, Kansas ... read more >
June 12, 2015
EPA Methodology For Small Refinery Exemption Upheld
On June 2, 2015, federal appellate judges decided that EPA's methodology for evaluating small refineries (those with crude oil throughput averaging 75,000 barrels or less per day) for exemptions from the RFS program was fair. Hermes Consol. LLC v. EPA, No. 14-1016 (D.C. Cir. June 2, 2015). Under the Clean Air Act (CAA), EPA is allowed to exempt small refiners from the annual blending requirements if compliance would cause ''disproportionate economic hardship." There was a blanket exemption available for all small refineries in 2011 that expired in 2013. The case was brought ... read more >
June 12, 2015
EPA And ACS GCI To Announce 2015 Winners Of The Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge
B&C has no involvement in or knowledge of the award selection process. This year's Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge winners will be announced at the 20th Annual Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards Ceremony, July 13, 2015, at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. The Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge, administered through a partnership between EPA and the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute® (ACS GCI), promotes the environmental and economic benefits of developing and using novel green chemistry, and has significantly reduced ... read more >
May 15, 2015
EPA Issues SNURs For Several Biobased Chemicals
On May 8, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a direct final rule for 25 chemical substances that were the subject of premanufacture notices (PMN), including several biobased chemical substances. The rulemaking under Section 5, known as a significant new use rule or SNUR, requires persons who intend to manufacture (including import) or process any of these 25 chemical substances for an activity that is designated in the SNUR as a significant new use to notify EPA at least 90 days before commencing that activity. The required notification provides EPA with the ... read more >
May 8, 2015
BIO Assesses Impact Of EPA Delays On RFS Investment
On May 4, 2015, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) released a new white paper on "Estimating Chilled Investment for Advanced Biofuels Due to RFS Uncertainty," along with an accompanying press release. BIO examined the impact of EPA's recent inability in administering the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) on investment in advanced and cellulosic biofuels. It has found that EPA's delay in issuing the final 2013 and 2014 RFS rules, among other delays in RFS administration, is responsible for most of the "$13.7 billion shortfall in necessary investments for ... read more >
April 23, 2015
Oil Price Information Network Features Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., in "TSCA Nomenclature May Be Barrier For Advanced Biofuels"
The Oil Price Information Network (OPIS) spoke with BRAG's Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., Senior Policy Advisor with B&C, regarding the application of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to oils made from algae feedstocks and other non-traditional bio-materials. The resulting article, "TSCA Nomenclature May Be Barrier for Advanced Biofuels," from the OPIS Ethanol & Biodiesel Newsletter is excerpted below, and reprinted in full at the link with permission from OPIS. TSCA Nomenclature May Be Barrier for Advanced Biofuels Any number of complications could trip up the ... read more >
April 3, 2015
NBB Petitions EPA For Reconsideration And Stay Of CARBIO Approval
On March 30, 2015, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) submitted a petition to EPA seeking reconsideration and a request for stay of EPA's approval of the Argentinian Camara Argentina de Biocombustibles (CARBIO) Alternative Biomass Tracking Program. According to the NBB press release, EPA failed to provide an opportunity for public comment on the EPA decision and a lack of transparency as to how the Argentinian biodiesel producers will demonstrate compliance with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). NBB notes that EPA's delay in establishing RFS volumes has destabilized the U.S. biodiesel ... read more >
March 27, 2015
EPA Requests Information On Cellulosic Biofuels And E15
EPA is accepting public comments through May 26, 2015, on two proposed information collection requests (ICR) published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, March 24, 2015. The proposed ICRs concern projected cellulosic biofuels volumes and gasoline containing greater than 10 volume percent ethanol up to 15 volume percent ethanol (E15). Comments received will assist EPA as the agency prepares to submit the final ICRs to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for its official approval and dissemination. In the first proposed ICR on "Cellulosic Production Volume Projections and Efficient ... read more >
March 13, 2015
EPA Unveils Safer Choice Label
Last week, EPA unveiled the new Safer Choice label. According to the EPA website, a product with the Safer Choice label means that EPA scientists have reviewed every ingredient in that product to ensure they meet the rigorous health and environmental criteria included in the Safer Choice Standard. Companies wishing to learn how to qualify for the Safer Choice label should visit EPA's Resources for Safer Choice Product ... read more >
February 26, 2015
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
■ Reuters, "EU Lawmakers Back New Limit for Food-based Biofuel"  ■ Industrial Biotechnology, "Toxicity of Cellulose Nanocrystals: A Review" ■ Ethanol Producer Magazine, "Successes, Challenges Outlined at Annual RFA Ethanol Conference" ■ Reuters, "Update 2 -- U.S. EPA to Propose Biofuels Standards this Spring – Official" ■ Ghent Bio-Economy Valley, "Mars Presents Biobased Wrapper" ■ Trade Only Today, "Miami 2015: BRP Debuts New Biofuel Alternative" ■ The Hill, "Repeal ... read more >
January 29, 2015
B&C’s Dr. Richard E. Engler Looks To The Future Of Green Chemistry In 2015
On January 20, 2015, the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute’s (ACS GCI) Nexus Blog published “What does 2015 Hold for Green Chemistry?” by Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) Senior Policy Advisor Dr. Richard E. Engler. In the blog, Dr. Engler explored upcoming changes within the green chemistry industry, particularly news involving the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and ACS.  The Memorandum of Understanding between EPA and ACS was renewed in 2014 and the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge award ceremony will again take place during the Green ... read more >
January 22, 2015
EPA Grants BRAG Petition Requesting Partial CDR Exemptions for Biodiesel Products
On January 16, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted a petition from the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) to add "biodiesel" as a chemical category for partial reporting exemption at 40 C.F.R. Section 711.6(b)(2)(iv) under the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule and will be proceeding with a direct final rule to be published later in January. The approved biodiesel category on the partial reporting exemption list will include the following chemicals: Fatty acids, C14-18 and Cl6-18-unsatd., Me esters (Chemical Abstract Services Registry ... read more >
January 22, 2015
EPA Approves Algenol Fuel As An Advanced Biofuel For The RFS
 On January 13, 2015, Algenol announced that EPA approved fuels for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) that are made by Algenol using only algae, carbon dioxide (CO2), saltwater, and the sun.  It was determined that the ethanol produced by Algenol had a 69 percent reduction in greenhouse gases (GHG) compared to traditional gasoline, fulfilling the GHG reduction requirements under the RFS and resulting in Algenol’s fuels’ eligibility for Renewable Identification Numbers (RIN).  While the RINs provide value to Algenol’s fuels, the Founder and CEO of Algenol, Paul Woods, ... read more >
January 15, 2015
EPA Delays Carbon Dioxide Rule
 On January 7, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that the carbon dioxide rule for new power plants under the Clean Air Act (CAA) would be delayed until mid-summer 2015.  This decision was made so that the rules for new power plants could be coordinated with the new rules for existing and modified power plants that have completion deadlines for the summer of 2015.  The rules would cut emissions of carbon dioxide from power plants with individual states responsible for how to implement the rules.  If states choose not to submit plans for how to ... read more >
December 11, 2014
Congress Grills EPA On 2014 RFS Rule Delay
On Wednesday, December 10, 2014, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Health Care and Entitlements held a hearing on “Examining EPA’s Management of the Renewable Fuel Standard Program.” The sole witness was Janet McCabe, Acting Administrator for Air and Radiation at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  A copy of Ms. McCabe’s written testimony is available online at http://oversight.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/McCabe-EPA.pdf.  Subcommittee Members on both sides of the aisle sharply criticized EPA on ... read more >
December 11, 2014
EPA Plans To Expand DfE SCIL
 EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) plans to expand its Design for the Environment (DfE) Safer Chemical Ingredients List (SCIL), and invites chemical manufacturers to provide information on their safer chemicals to EPA for review and listing on the SCIL.  EPA plans to expand the categories and functional classes of the SCIL.  Interested companies can review EPA’s “Steps to SCIL Listing” to learn more about the process.  ... read more >
December 11, 2014
EPA Announces Safer Product Labeling Program Partner Of The Year Awards
EPA’s OCSPP is announcing the first Safer Product Labeling Program (SPLP) Partner of the Year Awards. The Awards will recognize the leadership contributions of stakeholders in making safer chemicals and safer products available to consumers and purchasers. The application period for the 2015 Awards is now open, and applications are due to EPA by January 30, 2015. Those interested in applying may choose to submit under one or more of the following categories: product manufacturers; purchasers and distributors; retailers; supporters; and innovators. The awardees will be honored at a ... read more >
December 4, 2014
EPA Delays 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard
On November 21, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that a final Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for 2014 will not be issued by the end of the year.  The compliance deadline for the 2013 RFS will be renewed until the new rule is issued, sometime in 2015.  The 2014 RFS was due to be finalized by November 30, 2013.  When the rule is released in 2015, it will set standards through 2016 with the intention of making up for long delays in the RFS rulemaking.  Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) member, the Biotechnology Industry ... read more >
November 21, 2014
Nominations Open For Presidential Green Chemistry Award
Nominations for the 2015 Presidential Green Chemistry Awards are now being accepted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Nominations for the awards are due December 31, 2014, and the final awardees are expected to be announced in July 2015. The Awards cover six categories: academic; small business; greener synthetic pathways; greener reaction conditions; designing greener chemicals; and climate change. EPA allows companies to re-submit past nomination packets as long as the technology milestone was within the last five years. EPA reassures submitters that it is ... read more >
November 14, 2014
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy Announces Small Business Awards
On November 12, 2014, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy held a press conference to announce the recipients of the Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards. In her comments, Administrator McCarthy stated that "a strong, world-leading economy requires a clean environment," and noted that under the Obama Administration the production of wind energy has tripled, and solar energy has increased ten-fold. Joining Ms. McCarthy at the press conference were representatives from two of the nine companies receiving funding awards, Thomas Brooks of National Recovery ... read more >
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