Biobased and Renewable Products News: EPA

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 >
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