Biobased and Renewable Products News: Federal

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 >
May 1, 2015
EPA Requests Comment On Analysis Of Carinata Oil Feedstock
On April 24, 2015, EPA released a Federal Register notice inviting comment on analysis of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions produced during the production and transport of Brassica carinata (carinata) oil feedstock for use in the production of biofuels. The plant is not used for food in the U.S., and has high concentrations of erucic acid, making it attractive for use in biolubricants and biopolymers, as well as biofuels. EPA anticipates that biofuels produced using carinata oil will qualify as advanced biofuels, and the analysis will be used to determine if the biofuels will meet necessary ... read more >
April 3, 2015
EPA Withdraws Direct Final Rule Exempting Six Biobased Chemicals From CDR
On March 30, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) withdrew a Direct Final Rule for Partial Exemption of Certain Chemical Substances from Reporting Additional Chemical Data. The direct final rule, issued in January 2015, would have exempted manufacturers of six biobased diesel chemicals from reporting processing and use information for the compounds under the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule. It resulted from a regulatory petition filed by the Biobased and Renewable Advocacy Group (BRAG®). The EPA decision to withdraw the rule was in response to a single comment posted ... read more >
March 27, 2015
President Obama Signs Executive Order Reducing Federal GHG Emissions
On March 19, 2015, the White House published an Executive Order signed by President Obama that would further a preference for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) BioPreferred products. Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade sets new greenhouse gas (GHG) emission targets for federal agencies to reach by 2025 and increases renewable energy use and building efficiency, while reducing fleet emissions in the federal government. The new targets would reduce total GHG emissions by 26 million metric tons, and will be met in part by increasing the share of electricity from renewable ... read more >
February 12, 2015
Senators Urge EPA To Set And Increase Biodiesel RFS Volumes
On February 9, 2015, a bi-partisan group of 32 Senators led by Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) sent a letter to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy regarding 2014 and future biodiesel volume requirements under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). In their letter, the Senators urge EPA to get the biodiesel renewable volume requirements (RVOs) under the RFS back on schedule. To this end, the Senators request that EPA set the 2014 biodiesel RVOs at actual production volumes and ... read more >
February 12, 2015
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
■ Domestic Fuel, "New President for Poet-DSM Joint Venture" ■ Packaging Europe, "The Future of Corrosion Protection with Nature's Best" ■ Biobased Industries Consortium, "Newly-formed Bioeconomy Alliance Calls for EU Action" ■ eLife Sciences, "Expanding Xylose Metabolism in Yeast for Plant Cell Wall Conversion to Biofuels" ■ ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, "A New Class of Bio-Based Paper Dry Strength Agents: Synthesis and Characterization of Soy-Based Polymers" ■ Business Standard, ... read more >
January 22, 2015
Proposed Amendment To The Keystone Bill Would Remove Corn Ethanol from RFS
On January 16, 2015, Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) proposed an amendment to the Keystone XL pipeline bill to eliminate corn ethanol from the RFS called the “Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act of 2015.”  Senator Feinstein stated that the “bill is a simple and smart modification of the Renewable Fuel Standard program. Once we remove the corn ethanol mandate, the RFS program can finally serve its intended purpose: to support the development of advanced, environmentally friendly biofuels like biodiesel, cellulosic ethanol and other revolutionary fuels.” ... read more >
December 18, 2014
National Defense Authorization Act For 2015 Moves Forward In Senate
On December 12, 2014, the Senate passed a House amendment to the Carl Levin and Howard P. “Buck” McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 (NDAA FY15).  The final version of the NDAA FY15 places restrictions on how the military is able to acquire biofuels by prohibiting funding from being used for bulk purchase of drop-in biofuels where the fully burdened cost of the biofuels is not cost competitive with the fully burdened cost of available traditional fuels.  The bill defines a fully burdened cost as “the commodity price of the fuel plus the total cost of ... read more >
December 18, 2014
Senate Passes Tax Extender Legislation
On December 16, 2014, the Senate followed the House of Representatives and passed tax extender legislation that is expected to be signed by the President.  The final package that passed would retroactively extend incentives that expired on December 31, 2013, through the end of 2014.  It does not extend the incentives through the end of 2015, as Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) and other leaders would have liked.  The final tax extender package includes important incentives for the biofuels industry, including the dollar-per-gallon biodiesel tax credit, as well ... read more >
November 7, 2014
Agencies Request Public Comment On Collection Of Biobased Procurement Product Types And Value Data
In the October 30, 2014, Federal Register, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), the General Services Administration (GSA), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) issued a notice of request for public comments regarding an extension of a previously approved information collection requirement regarding Biobased Procurements. The original notice was published in the Federal Register on August 20, 2014, and no comments were received. Comments are now due on December 1, 2014. As summarized by the notice, the "Federal Acquisition Regulation clause 52.223-2, ... read more >
November 7, 2014
Article Explores TSCA Application To Synthetic Biology
The October 2014 issue of Industrial Biotechnology features the article Creative Adaptation: Enhancing Oversight of Synthetic Biology Under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), written by Lynn L. Bergeson, Of Counsel with the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®), Charles M. Auer, former Director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT), and Oscar Hernandez, former Director of the Risk Assessment Division (RAD) of EPA OPPT. Synthetic Biology is delivering on its promise as an emerging scientific ... read more >
October 31, 2014
USDA Proposes Amended Guidelines For Biobased Products For Federal Procurement
On October 27, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed to amend the regulations for the Voluntary Labeling Program for Biobased Products under USDA's BioPreferred Program. As explained in the Federal Register notice, the proposed amendments are needed to address certain legislative requirements in the 2014 Farm Bill that cannot be implemented without further guidance. Specifically, the proposed amendments allow for USDA promotion of biobased products regardless of date of entry into the marketplace, which overrides previous provisions that excluded mature market ... read more >
October 31, 2014
President Obama Announces $300 Million Investment In Emerging Manufacturing Technologies
On October 27, 2014, President Obama announced new plans to strengthen the manufacturing sector. One of the listed plans involved the Departments of Defense, Energy, and Agriculture, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) coming together to invest in advanced materials, advanced sensors, and digital manufacturing. These three areas were determined to be critical to U.S. competitiveness and include biobased materials in the advanced materials category. Over $300 million is going to be invested across the three categories and the research investments by the federal ... read more >
October 27, 2014
BRAG® Petitions EPA for Biodiesel Products CDR Exemptions Already Granted to Petroleum Products
On October 21, 2014, the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) submitted petitions to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requesting that biodiesel fuel manufacturers be granted the same Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) exemptions that petroleum-based diesel manufacturers already receive. BRAG made its petitions through two mechanisms allowed under Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) rules. BRAG's petitioning of EPA was reported in the Bloomberg BNA Daily Environment Report story "Biobased Diesel Companies Petition EPA For Rules Comparable To Traditional ... read more >
October 24, 2014
BRAG Petitions EPA for Biodiesel Products Exemptions Already Granted to Petroleum Products
On October 21, 2014, the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) submitted two petitions to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requesting that biodiesel fuel manufacturers be granted the same Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) exemptions that petroleum-based diesel manufacturers already receive. The Bloomberg BNA Daily Environment Report covered the petitions in an October 22, 2014, feature story that stated "[t]he Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG) filed the petitions in an attempt to be exempted through either of two mechanisms allowed under ... read more >
October 24, 2014
DOE Announces Funding For Landscape Design For Sustainable Bioenergy Systems
The Bioenergy Technologies Office within the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), "Landscape Design for Sustainable Bioenergy Systems." DOE is looking for interdisciplinary projects that integrate landscape design approaches with cellulosic feedstock production within existing agricultural and forestry systems. Projects must maintain, or preferably enhance, environmental and socio-economic sustainability. The FOA includes funding up to $14 million. This funding will help take the next steps for previous DOE-funded projects ... read more >
October 24, 2014
Green Chemistry Market Roundtable And Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards
October 16, 2014, was a banner day for green chemistry in the nation's capital with the 2014 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge awards ceremony, and the Green Chemistry Market Roundtable preceding it. The roundtable included representatives from industry, including the 2014 award winners; EPA and other federal agency officials; and others involved with green chemistry and biobased chemicals and products. BRAG Executive Director, Kathleen Roberts, and Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.'s (B&C®) Lynn Bergeson were invited guests and participated in the roundtable discussion on ... read more >
October 3, 2014
Bridge To A Clean Energy Future Act Of 2014 Introduced In The U.S. House Of Representatives
On September 19, 2014, Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Dave Loebsack (D-IA) introduced the Bridge to a Clean Energy Future Act of 2014 (H.R. 5559), which was referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means. The bill would extend clean energy tax incentives, including those benefiting the biofuel and bioenergy industries. Among the tax credits being extended are the second generation biofuel producer credit, the $1.00 per gallon tax credit for biodiesel and renewable diesel, and the Section 45 renewable energy production tax credit. More information is available ... read more >
August 1, 2014
Energy And Commerce Chair Working On RFS Reform
Reportedly, U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Fred Upton (R-MI) plans to introduce a bill to modify the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The bill is expected to be introduced soon after EPA releases its final rule setting the final 2014 RFS volume requirements for obligated parties under the law. Just this week the Administration has made public statements to suggest that the final 2014 rule will increase volume requirements from the proposed version published last fall. Generally, the oil and gas industry supports reducing annual RFS volume requirements, while biofuels ... read more >
July 11, 2014
Department Of Energy Makes Available $4 Billion In Loan Guarantees For Renewable Energy
On July 3, 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it is making an additional $4 billion available in loan guarantees for innovative renewable energy and energy efficiency projects located in the U.S. that avoid, reduce, or sequester greenhouse gases. Part one of the solicitation is due October 1, 2014. Copies of the solicitation and fact sheet about the solicitation are available online. According to DOE's press release on the announcement, "the Department has identified five key technology areas of interest: advanced grid integration and storage; drop-in ... read more >
June 6, 2014
New Reports Released On Synthetic Biology
On May 28, 2014, policy researchers from the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), the University of Virginia, and EMBO released a report on challenges faced by regulators with the increased use of more sophisticated synthetic biology technologies to engineer plants and microbes. According to the press release on the report, "[t]he authors conclude that while the United States governmental agencies tasked with oversight of products derived through synthetic biology have adequate legal jurisdiction to address most, but not all, environmental, health and safety concerns, several key issues ... read more >
May 30, 2014
USDA Signals Action On BioPreferred Program In Semi-Annual Regulatory Agenda
On Friday, May 23, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its semi-annual regulatory agenda (Agenda) indicating its intended actions and priorities for the remainder of the year. A copy of USDA's Agenda is available online. According to the Agenda, USDA intends to issue its final rule addressing how its BioPreferred® Program will designate complex products and intermediate materials and feedstocks in July 2014. USDA published its proposed rule on this matter in the Federal Register on May 1, 2012, and accepted public comment until July 2, 2012. A copy of the ... read more >
May 30, 2014
House And Senate Pass FY 2015 NDAA Legislation With Conflicting Biofuels Provisions
Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services passed versions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 that included starkly different provisions on biofuels. The House version would severely limit U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) authority to promote the procurement of biofuels. For instance, it included a provision that would allow DOD to procure biofuels only if their costs were "equivalent to" conventional fuels. In addition, it included provisions preventing DOD from supporting the planning and ... read more >
May 23, 2014
House Agriculture Appropriations Bill Would Make Significant Cuts To Mandatory Funding For Farm Bill
On May 20, 2014, the House Committee on Appropriations' Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies (House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee) and the Senate Committee on Appropriations' Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies (Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee) marked up and passed their separate versions of a Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 spending bill for USDA. A copy of the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee's draft bill is available online. ... read more >
May 16, 2014
RFS Advocacy Continues As Final 2014 Rule Expected Soon
Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) advocacy is continuing at a steady pace in anticipation of the expected imminent release of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) 2014 final RFS rule. Some biofuels advocates believe that they are making an impact with their stepped-up advocacy, as they believe the Administration will adjust the total renewable and advanced biofuel targets upwards from its proposed reductions to those categories of renewable fuels. The final rule is expected to be issued in June 2014. On May 8, 2014, nine members of the pro-biofuels Fuels America coalition ... read more >
May 16, 2014
B&C
Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) and BRAG presented an informative session on Tuesday, May 13, 2014, at the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) World Congress in Philadelphia. The session, "Commercializing Renewable Chemicals and Biobased Products: The Importance of Successfully and Efficiently Navigating the Regulatory Process" brought together high-level EPA staff and industry leaders to inform, equip, and assist the renewable chemical community in finding the path of least resistance on the road to commercialization. Speakers included David Widawsky, ... read more >
May 9, 2014
Appeals Court Rules For EPA In Challenge To Its 2013 RFS Rule
On May 6, 2014, in what is largely seen as a win for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the biofuels industry, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected the challenge to EPA's final 2013 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) rule by Monroe Energy, LLC (Monroe Energy), a refinery and subsidiary of Delta Airlines. In Monroe Energy, LLC v. EPA, the court held that EPA properly utilized its authority under the federal RFS to set the 2013 RFS volume requirements. The court disagreed with Monroe Energy that EPA did not sufficiently consider factors in ... read more >
May 2, 2014
House Energy And Commerce Subcommittee Holds Hearing On Revised Chemicals In Commerce Act
On April 29, 2014, the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce's Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy held a hearing on the revised version of the Chemicals in Commerce Act (CICA2). Details of the hearing provided by the Subcommittee, including its background memorandum, are available online. Subcommittee Chair John Shimkus (R-IL) issued the original version of CICA in March 2014. CICA2 was released on April 22, 2014. Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.'s (B&C®) detailed summary and analysis of CICA2 is available online. B&C also issued a detailed summary and ... read more >
May 2, 2014
ACS Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference, June 17-19, 2014, North Bethesda, Maryland
BRAG will present "Regulatory Landscape & Implications for Innovation," Thursday, June 19, 2014, at the 18th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference hosted by the American Chemical Society's Green Chemistry Institute. Speakers and topics include: Lynn L. Bergeson B&C "Moving California towards flame retardant-free furniture and baby products" Emily Tipaldo American Chemistry Council "State chemical management initiatives: Green chemistry? Or, something else?" Sookie Hong 3E Company Department of Regulatory ... read more >
April 25, 2014
Not Too Soon To Be Thinking Of 2015 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Submissions
EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards promote the environmental and economic benefits of developing and using novel green chemistry. These prestigious annual awards recognize chemical technologies that incorporate the principles of green chemistry into chemical design, manufacture, and use. Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG™) member Elevance Renewable Sciences was a Presidential Green Chemistry Award Winner in 2012. While applications for 2014 are due on April 30, 2014, it is not too soon to begin thinking and preparing for a 2015 submission. EPA's ... read more >
April 25, 2014
Industry And Policymakers To Hold Summit On California SCPR
With the March 2013 release of its first draft list of Priority Products (PP) (more information is available in the Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) memorandum), the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has opened the floodgates for scrutiny, controversy, and debate on their game-changing Safer Consumer Products Regulations (SCPR). EPA's Jim Jones, DTSC's Meredith Williams, industry leaders, and policy experts will gather at the 4th Safer Consumer Products Summit in Santa Clara, California, on May 6-8, 2014, to drill down on the rapidly evolving state ... read more >
April 11, 2014
House Ways And Means Hearing On Tax Extenders
On April 8, 2014, House Committee on Ways and Means Chair Dave Camp (R-MI) held a hearing on the "Benefits of Permanent Tax Policy for America's Job Creators." The hearing focused on the expiring business tax provisions that are made permanent or extended under Camp's recently released discussion draft of the "Tax Reform Act of 2014" (TRA). Unlike his Senate counterpart -- Senate Committee on Finance Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) -- Camp is not very supportive of passing a tax extender package to extend retroactively the approximately 50 incentives that expired at the ... read more >
April 11, 2014
Senate Agriculture Committee Holds Hearing On Advanced Biofuels
On April 8, 2014, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry held a hearing on "Advanced Biofuels: Creating Jobs and Lower Prices at the Pump." The following witnesses testified at the hearing: Mr. Richard Childress, CEO, Richard Childress Racing, LLC; Mr. Jan Koninckx, Global Business Director for Biorefineries, DuPont Industrial Biosciences; Mr. Brooke Coleman, Executive Director, Advanced Ethanol Council; Dr. Sumesh Arora, Vice President, Innovate Mississippi, Director of Strategic Biomass Solutions; and, Ms. Nancy Young, Vice President, Environmental Affairs, ... read more >
April 4, 2014
Senate EPW Committee Marks Up Chemical Safety Bill
On April 3, 2014, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW Committee) marked up S.1961, the "Chemical Safety and Drinking Water Protection Act." Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chair of the EPW Committee, and Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) introduced the bill following the January 9, 2014, chemical spill in West Virginia that left thousands without drinking water for days. The bill would amend the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) by adding "Part G -- Protection of Surface Water from Contamination by Chemical Storage Facilities." The bill is ... read more >
March 21, 2014
EPA Moves Forward On TSCA Rulemaking Related To Fracking Chemicals
On March 13, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sent a pre-rule notice to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on "Hydraulic Fracturing Chemicals and Mixtures." This action shows that EPA is moving forward on a rulemaking under TSCA Sections 8(a) and 8(d) to obtain data on chemical substances and mixtures used in hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing is a process used in oil and gas production. EPA explained in the Fall 2013 Unified Agenda that although the Agency "has granted the petitioners' request to initiate a rulemaking ... read more >
March 21, 2014
OCSPP Develops A Vision Plan
On March 12, 2014, Jim Jones, Assistant Administrator, Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP), shared with his colleagues a vision plan that was developed to guide OCSPP's work over the next several years. The document, entitled Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Envisioning Accomplishments in 2017, outlines several actions that will be taken by OCSPP regarding pesticide registration, existing chemicals, the EDSP, creating a whole new Design for the Environment (DfE), and employing green solutions. Actions that will be taken in implementing ... read more >
March 7, 2014
President Obama Releases FY 2015 Budget Proposal
On March 4, 2014, President Obama released his fiscal year (FY) 2015 Budget request, which includes aggressive proposed funding to carry out the Administration's Climate Action Plan designed to reduce harmful greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the impacts of climate change. The President's FY 2015 Budget includes funding for several programs and initiatives to help facilitate the continued development and production of biofuels and biobased products. Consistent with the newly enacted Farm Bill, the Budget for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) includes increased funding for ... read more >
February 14, 2014
House Transportation And Infrastructure Committee Field Hearing On Elk River Spill
On February 10, 2014, the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure convened a field hearing in Charleston, West Virginia, on "The Charleston, West Virginia Chemical Spill." On January 9, 2014, a coal processing chemical, 4-methylcyclohexane methanol (MCHM), stored in an aboveground tank owned by Freedom Industries leaked into the Elk River in West Virginia. The leak compromised the water supply to nine counties in the state affecting some 300,000 residents. Due to a lack of toxicological data on MCHM, health officials were delayed in identifying a safe use level ... read more >
February 7, 2014
President Obama Expected To Sign New Farm Bill Into Law This Week
President Obama is expected to sign H.R. 2642, the Agriculture Act of 2014 (the new five-year Farm Bill), into law on Friday at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. He is scheduled to speak there about the importance of the legislation. The Farm Bill is critically significant to the biofuels and renewable chemicals and products industries because the new Farm Bill continues and expands on the majority of the energy programs covered under the 2008 Farm Bill and provides $881 million in mandatory funding to carry them out. For instance, the new Farm Bill continues the ... read more >
January 31, 2014
Biofuels And Renewable Chemicals Win Under Farm Bill Agreement
On Monday, the 41 member bicameral Farm Bill Conference Committee announced that it had reached agreement on a compromise Farm Bill, the Agriculture Act of 2014. A copy of the legislation is available online. The Conference Committee was led by House Agriculture Committee Chair Frank Lucas (R-OK), Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN), Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-MS). A copy of the Senate Agriculture Committee press release on the compromise legislation is available online. The bill includes $881 ... read more >
January 31, 2014
Chemical Safety And Drinking Water Protection Act Introduced In The Senate
The January 9, 2014, chemical spill in which 7,500 gallons of a coal processing chemical, 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, stored in an above-ground tank owned by Freedom Industries leaked into the Elk River upstream from the local water utility's intake pipe serving Charleston, West Virginia, has prompted new calls for chemical safety and security legislation. For instance, concerns have been expressed about the adequacy of information regarding chemical safety and health risks, an issue that has been repeatedly raised with respect to chemicals "grandfathered" under the Toxic ... read more >
January 31, 2014
EPA Updates Safer Chemicals Ingredient List
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken two actions this month to update Design for the Environment's (DfE) Safer Chemical Ingredients List. On January 23, 2014, EPA announced that it is adding 50 chemicals to the list, "bringing the number of safer fragrance chemicals to 150 and the total number of safer chemicals to nearly 650." The list is available online. On January 29, 2014, EPA announced that it has issued final DfE alternatives assessments for Decabromodiphenyl ether (DecaBDE) and Bisphenol A (BPA). The 901 page report on alternatives for the flame ... read more >
January 10, 2014
Continuing Efforts On The RFS
There have been several efforts in the last few weeks to convince the Obama Administration to reconsider its proposal to reduce the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) statutory renewable volume obligations (RVO) for advanced and total renewable (corn ethanol) biofuels, and to maintain in 2014 and 2015 the status quo for biodiesel. Senators David Vitter (R-LA) and Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) are expected to introduce a bill in the coming weeks, which would amend the RFS and reduce its corn ethanol targets. On December 18, a group of 16 Senators met with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to urge ... read more >
December 13, 2013
Senators Introduce Bill Potentially Impacting Chemical Plant Regulation
This week, three Members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), Senators David Vitter (R-LA), Mike Crapo (R-ID), and James Inhofe (R-OK), introduced the General Duty Clarification Act of 2013. The bill would direct the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to clarify standards for the Clean Air Act's General Duty Clause. EPA has used the ambiguity contained in the clause to regulate chemical plants. A copy of the bill is available ... read more >
December 13, 2013
Navy Announces Funding For Military Biofuels
On December 11, 2013, the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Navy announced that as part of their joint "Farm-to-Fleet" initiative, the acquisition of biofuel blends will be included into regular Department of Defense domestic solicitations for jet engine and marine diesel fuels. The Navy will seek to purchase JP-5 and F-76 advanced drop-in biofuels blended from 10 to 50 percent with conventional fuels. Funds from USDA's Commodity Credit Corporation will assist the effort. The Navy and USDA plan to hold an "Industry Day" to explain the effort on January ... read more >
December 6, 2013
Administration Releases Biannual Regulatory Agenda
On November 26, 2013, the Obama Administration released its biannual regulatory agenda for all federal agencies. A copy of the agenda is available online. EPA listed several top regulatory priorities, including "taking actions on toxics and chemical safety." The Agency states that it intends to take actions to protect chemical facility safety and security and that it "plans to take a range of identified regulatory actions for certain chemicals and assess other chemicals to determine if risk reduction action is needed to address potential concerns." EPA also lists in the ... read more >
November 25, 2013
ABA Publishes Special “Green Chemistry” Issue of PCRRTK Newsletter
The ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources Pesticides, Chemical Regulation, and Right-to-Know (PCRRTK) Committee Newsletter for November 2013 is a special issue devoted to Green Chemistry.  Topics covered include the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) enforcement of the Green Guides, EPA’s Design for the Environment program, Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Reform, and the Green Chemistry Movement, and the role of public disclosure policies in the selection of greener chemistries. The newsletter is available ... read more >
November 8, 2013
Members Of Congress Send Letter To EPA Urging Reduction In 2014 RFS Targets
On October 30, 2013, Representatives Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Jim Costa (D-CA), Peter Welch (R-VT), and Steve Womack (R-AR) sent a letter signed by 169 Members of Congress to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy urging EPA to use its authority to reduce the 2014 statutory renewable volume obligations (RVO) for all types of biofuels, including conventional corn starch ethanol under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). A copy of the letter is available online. The arguments made in the letter echo those put forth by the oil and gas industry and assert ... read more >
November 8, 2013
Biofuels Groups Move To Intervene In RFS Lawsuit In Support Of EPA
On November 1, 2013, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), Growth Energy, and RFA filed a motion to intervene on behalf of EPA in the current lawsuit by Monroe Energy, the American Petroleum Institute (API), and the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) challenging EPA's final rule establishing the 2013 RVOs under the federal RFS. The filing was made in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, where the case is pending. Copies of press releases issued by BIO, Growth Energy, and RFA are available ... read more >
November 8, 2013
Letters Sent Urging Farm Bill Conferees To Support Energy Title
In the past week, three significant letters have been sent to conferees charged with preparing in final the next five-year Farm Bill urging them to include an Energy Title that supports biofuel and renewable chemical development and production. On November 1, 2013, 30 bi-partisan Members of Congress sent a letter to the leaders of the House Committee on Agriculture and the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry urging Farm Bill conferees to include and make necessary investments in an Energy Title. The letter stresses the importance of this support for renewable energy ... read more >
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