Biobased and Renewable Products News: Regulation & Policy

June 29, 2018
FDA Withdraws Draft Guidance On Evaluation Of Analytical Similarity Between A Proposed Biosimilar Product And A Reference Product
On June 21, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it was withdrawing the draft guidance, “Statistical Approaches to Evaluate Analytical Similarity,” issued in September 2017.  The announcement states that the draft guidance, if issued in final as written, “was intended to provide advice for sponsors developing biosimilar products regarding the evaluation of analytical similarity between a proposed biosimilar product and the reference product.”  Further, comments submitted to the docket “addressed a range of issues that could impact ... read more >
May 4, 2018
Minnesota Implements 20 Percent Biodiesel Blend Requirement
On May 1, 2018, a new biodiesel requirement went into effect in Minnesota, requiring all diesel fuel sold in the state to contain five percent biodiesel from October to March and 20 percent biodiesel from April to September. This is the last stage of the Biodiesel Content Mandate that has been steadily increasing the minimum content requirement of biodiesel in diesel sold in Minnesota since September 29, 2005, when a two percent blend requirement was introduced. Since then the requirement has increased to five percent on May 1, 2009, and stayed at five percent for the winter months while the ... read more >
January 12, 2018
New York City Council Passes Bill To Study Implementation Of Renewable Fuels
On December 28, 2017, New York City Council Member Costa Constantinides announced that the New York City Council unanimously passed a bill on the use of alternative fuels and alternative fuel technologies in the city ferry fleet (INT. 54).  The legislation would require a two-year study on the feasibility of using alternative fuel, including biodiesel, and fuel technologies, including hybrid electric or fuel-cell electric, in city ferries.  The study would include consideration of availability, storage, ferry compatibility, possible barriers, regulatory requirements, and other ... read more >
December 15, 2017
DOC Postpones LTFV Final Determinations Related To Biodiesel From Argentina And Indonesia
On December 8, 2017, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) issued in the Federal Register a notice on the postponement of final determinations of sales in less than fair value (LTFV) investigations into biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia and the extension of provisional measures.  As reported in the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) blog post “DOC Initiates Biodiesel Antidumping, Countervailing Investigation,” DOC initiated LTFV investigations of imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia on April 12, 2017.  DOC is postponing ... read more >
October 20, 2017
EPA Final Rule On Use Of TOFA Confirms Safety Of Unsaturated Fatty Acids
On October 10, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published in the Federal Register its final rule establishing exemptions for a tolerance limit to use tall oil fatty acids (TOFA) as an inert ingredient “[‌i]n pesticide formulations applied to growing crops and raw agricultural commodities after harvest; in pesticides applied in/on animals, and in antimicrobial formulations for food contact surfaces.”  Pursuant to Section 408(c)(2)(A)(i) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), EPA has the authority to establish exemptions from the ... read more >
September 22, 2017
New York Governor Signs Bill On Bioheating Fuel Requirements
The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) announced that on September 13, 2017, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that introduces bioheating fuel tax credits and bioheating fuel tax requirements to three New York counties.  The bill (S5422A) requires all home heating oil sold for use in Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties on or after July 1, 2018, to contain at least five percent biodiesel (B5).  Assemblyman Steve Englebright and Senator Phil Boyle sponsored the bill, which received broad support from a range of industry and environmental advocates.  New York ... read more >
September 1, 2017
DOC Publishes Preliminary AD/CVD Determination For Argentina And Indonesia
On August 28, 2017, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) announced in the Federal Register that a preliminary determination had been issued in the antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations on biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia.  DOC preliminarily determined that countervailable subsidies are being provided to producers and exporters of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia. The period of investigation for both countries is January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2016.    Pursuant to Section 703(e)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, DOC preliminarily ... read more >
August 18, 2017
DOC Postpones Biodiesel AD/CVD Investigation Preliminary Determinations
On August 15, 2017, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s (DOC) International Trade Administration (ITA) announced in the Federal Register that the preliminary determination in the antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations on biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia will be postponed.  A request to postpone the determinations was submitted by a petitioner on July 6, 2017, and, pursuant to Section 733(c)(1)(A) of the Tariff Act of 1930, ITA determined that there was no compelling reason to deny the request.  The preliminary determination will now be due by October ... read more >
August 11, 2017
Minnesota Doubles Summer Biofuel Mandate For Diesel
On August 3, 2017, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton announced that the state will implement a new biodiesel standard in May 2018 that will increase the biodiesel blend mandate from 10 percent (B10) to 20 percent (B20) between April and September each year.  Currently under the state’s biodiesel program, diesel fuel sold in Minnesota must contain at least 10 percent biodiesel during the summer months, with the blend lowering to 5 percent from October to March.  While the new mandate doubles the blend requirement during the summer months, the mandate will revert back to 5 percent ... read more >
August 4, 2017
NBB Announces New CARB Certified Biodiesel Additive
On July 25, 2017, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) announced that the California Air Resource Board (CARB) certified a biodiesel additive that will make California B20 blends the cleanest diesel fuel with the lowest emissions profile available in the U.S.  The additive known as Branded VESTA™1000 reduces every measurable regulated emission, including nitrogen oxides (NOx), when blended with CARB diesel fuel, California’s unique clean-burning biodiesel formulation.  A 20 percent blend of biodiesel with the additive reduced NOx by 1.9 percent and particulate matter by 18 ... read more >
June 30, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Platts, “Recent California LCFS Case Ruling Unlikely to Affect State's Market: Sources” UPM Biofuels, “Ecofys Study on Crude Tall Oil Markets and Availability: Sufficient Supply for Advanced Biofuels, Biomaterials and Energy Usage” University of Illinois, “Corn Better Used As Food Than Biofuel, Study Finds” Chemical & Engineering News, “Green Synthesized Biofuel Meets Auto ... read more >
May 25, 2017
IBB Praises Iowa Governor’s Commitment To Funding Biofuels Infrastructure
On May 12, 2017, the Iowa Biodiesel Board (IBB) praised Governor Terry Branstad for signing into law the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund bill (HF 643), which provides $3 million in funding for the Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program.  IBB stated that it, along with industry partners, worked closely with legislature to ensure the funding language was included in Iowa’s budget, and acknowledged Branstad for being a steadfast supporter of funding renewable fuels and the infrastructure program, which is designed to encourage fuel retailers to offer biofuels.  Grant Kimberley, ... read more >
May 19, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Platts, “White House Reviews US EPA's Proposed 2018-19 Biofuel Blending Volumes” U.S. Department of Energy, “Map Out Your Career in the Bioeconomy with BETO’s New Bioenergy Career Map!” Iowa Farm Bureau, “Perdue Pledges Support for Trade and Biofuels during Iowa Visit” Lancaster University, “New Breakthrough Makes it Easier to Turn Old Coffee Waste into Cleaner ... read more >
May 12, 2017
Maine Senate Approves Bill To Support Bioplastics
On May 2, 2017, the Maine Senate approved a bill to support Maine’s emerging biobased products industry.  An Act to Improve the Ability of Maine Companies to Manufacture and Market Bioplastics (LD 656) would provide the Maine Technology Institute with a $1.5 million grant to provide competitive grants for the development, production, and marketing of bioplastics.  The bill was introduced by Senator Jim Dill (D-Old Town) and endorsed by Senator Dana Dow (R-Waldoboro), Senator Tom Saviello (R-Wilton), and 17 Democratic Senators.  Following approval by the Senate, the ... read more >
April 28, 2017
IRFA Concerned By Bill To Cap Iowa Biofuel Tax Credits
On April 13, 2017, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) released a statement regarding the passage of a bill, HSB 187, by the Iowa House Appropriations Committee that would cut the value of the Iowa biofuels tax credits and complicate the mechanism for receiving the credit.  According to the bill, the value of the tax credits would be determined based on annual sales, and the amount of the credits would be capped on an annual, statewide basis.  The purpose of the biofuels tax credits was to incentivize consumers to purchase higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel, such as E15, ... read more >
April 21, 2017
IBB Announces Higher Blend Biofuels Dominate in Iowa
On April 4, 2017, the Iowa Biodiesel Board (IBB) announced that the Iowa Department of Revenue’s 2016 Retailers Fuel Gallons Annual Report demonstrated that more than half of Iowa’s fuel retailers carried biodiesel blends in 2016.  In 2016, 344.8 million gallons of on-road biodiesel blends were sold, which accounts for 54.7 percent of total on-road diesel fuel sales.  The report also showed that twice as many gallons of 11 - 20 percent biodiesel (B11-B20) were sold compared to lower blends.  IBB credits the growth in the use of higher biodiesel blends to ... read more >
April 13, 2017
Hawaii Senate Committee Passes Bill On Renewable Ground Transportation
On April 4, 2017, the Hawaii State Senate Committee on Ways and Means passed HB 1580, which sets a goal of having all ground transportation in Hawaii run on renewable fuel by 2045.  The bill, which does not contain an enforcement mechanism, provides a benchmark framework for achieving the ambitious target and establishes an intermediate target to reduce the sale of imported fuels by five percent in 2025.  The Senate Committee introduced amendments that clarify the bill does not create a mandate to move to 100 percent clean ground transportation, but it outlines a path to achieve ... read more >
April 7, 2017
California Approves 12 Biodiesel And Renewable Diesel Pathways
On March 23, 2017, the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Resources Board (ARB) announced the release of new carbon intensity pathways for fuels certified under the low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) using the CA-GREET 2.0 model.  Of the 18 pathways approved in March, eight are first generation biodiesel carbon intensity pathways and four are second generation renewable diesel carbon intensity pathways.  A pathway for biodiesel produced from used cooking oil has been provisionally certified, as well.  The approved pathways can be used for credit reporting ... read more >
April 7, 2017
California Announces Proposed Recipients Of $23 Million In Bioenergy Grants
On March 24, 2017, the California Energy Commission (CEC) published a notice on the proposed recipients of up to $23 million in Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) funding for applied research and development (AR&D) and technology demonstration and development (TD&D) activities focused on advancing bioenergy electricity generation.  The funding opportunity is focused on three main bioenergy applications, including:   ■  Efficient, Sustainable and Lower-Cost Bioenergy: Innovations to Improve Woody Biomass-to-Electricity Systems ... 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 >
February 17, 2017
Illinois State Senators Introduce Legislation To Boost Biobased Economy
On February 9, 2017, Illinois State Senators Andy Manar and Chapin Rose introduced legislation aimed at growing Illinois’ biobased economy by providing incentives under the Renewable Chemical Production Tax Credit Program Act.  The program would provide credit against taxes for eligible Illinois businesses that produce renewable chemicals within the state using biomass feedstock and other renewable sources.  The legislation defines a renewable chemical as a building block with a biobased content of at least 50 percent.  According to the legislation, eligible businesses ... read more >
January 26, 2017
Lynn L. Bergeson And Charles M. Auer Publish “An Analysis of TSCA Reform Provisions Pertinent to Industrial Biotechnology Stakeholders”
Lynn L. Bergeson, Managing Partner of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®), and Charles M. Auer, Senior Regulatory and Policy Advisor with B&C, have published “An Analysis of TSCA Reform Provisions Pertinent to Industrial Biotechnology Stakeholders,” in Industrial Biotechnology. This article discusses how the “New [Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)] fundamentally changes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) approach to evaluating and managing industrial chemicals, including genetically engineered microorganisms. The body of changes, the careful ... 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
Extension of New York’s Clean Heating Fuel Tax Credit
The New York State Clean Heating Fuel Tax Credit has been extended through 2020.  The personal income tax credit, which was initially authorized in 2006, is provided to eligible taxpayers for biodiesel purchases used for residential space and water heating.  For each percent of biodiesel blended with conventional home heating oil, a tax credit of $0.01/gallon is available up to a maximum of $0.20/gallon.  A partial credit will be calculated for buildings with a shared oil storage tank for residential and non-residential space that is based on the percentage of residential ... read more >
January 6, 2017
Extension Of Comment Period On SCP Draft Alternatives Analysis Guide
On December 22, 2016, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) announced that the public comment period for the draft Alternatives Analysis (AA) Guide for the Safer Consumer Products (SCP) program has been extended to February 3, 2017. The guide, which was released on December 19, 2016, aims to help relevant stakeholders navigate all phases of the SCP AA process and provide useful approaches, methods, resources, tools and examples of how to fulfill SCP's regulatory requirements. The draft AA Guide is available through the Safer Consumer Products Information Management ... read more >
December 28, 2016
Biobased Chemical, Fuel Makers Seek Parity For Their Products Under Trump
Lynn L. Bergeson was quoted in the December 28, 2016, Bloomberg BNA Daily Environment Report story "Biobased Chemical, Fuel Makers Seek Parity For Their Products Under Trump" (subscription required): Biobased chemical and fuel manufacturers want their products to be treated equally with their fossil fuel-based counterparts under the incoming administration's policies. [...]  Lynn Bergeson, managing partner of the Washington D.C.-based Bergeson & Campbell, P.C., which manages the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG), said Pruitt’s alignment with ... read more >
November 18, 2016
RSB Announces Revision Of Principles & Criteria
On November 8, 2016, the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) announced its members voted unanimously to publish revised Principles & Criteria that streamline the requirements and make them more user-friendly. The decision was announced at the Annual Assembly of Delegates meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam.   RSB stated the amendments will offer:   ■   A new user-friendly format, enabling easy understanding of how to apply the standard;    ■   Streamlined and clear impact assessment ... read more >
October 28, 2016
BIO Writes Open Letter To Congress Encouraging Multi-Year Extension Of Biofuel Incentives
On October 18, 2016, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) sent a letter to Congressional Leadership, the Senate Finance Committee Chairs, and the House Ways and Means Committee Chairs calling for the extension of expiring renewable energy tax credits.  The Second Generation Biofuel Producer Tax Credit, the Special Depreciation Allowance for Second Generation Biofuel Plant Property, the Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel Fuels Credit, and the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property are set to expire at the end of 2016, with BIO urging congress for multi-year extensions.  ... read more >
October 7, 2016
NYC Passes Legislation Increasing Allowed Biodiesel In Heating Oil Blend
On September 28, 2016, the City of New York passed a bill, 47 to three, increasing the amount of biodiesel in the city’s heating oil.  Heating oil in New York City currently contains two percent biodiesel, which will increase to five percent on October 1, 2017, ten percent in 2025, 15 percent in 2030, and 20 percent in 2034.  The first increase from a two to five percent biodiesel blend is expected to reduce an equivalent amount of emissions, taking 45,000 cars off the road, with the final target of a 20 percent reduction of emissions equivalent to removing over 250,000 ... 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 >
August 12, 2016
US Environmentalist And Organic Crop Farm Groups Want Overhaul Of Federal Biotechnology Strategy
On August 3, 2016, 24 farmer and public interest organizations wrote to the Obama Administration expressing their disappointment with the direction that the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has taken with the proposed modernization of the Coordinated Framework for Regulation of Biotechnology (Coordinated Framework). The letter argues that an overly permissive regulatory framework for genetically engineered (GE) products has resulted in negative consequences, and that GE products need broader and more cautious regulatory oversight. The letter also states that public ... read more >
July 15, 2016
Senate Passes GMO Bill Creating A National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard With Federal Preemption And Exclusion Information
On July 7, 2016, the Senate passed a bill, An Act to Reauthorize and Amend the National Sea Grant College Program Act, and for Other Purposes (S. 764), through agreement to the House's amendment to S. 764, with further amendment. While the bill is being referred to as a genetically modified organism (GMO) labeling bill, there is no actual requirement to print GMO ingredients on labels. Instead, companies would be required to print information on the packaging (through text, a symbol such as a QR code, or an electronic link) directing consumers to a website or phone line for more ... read more >
July 15, 2016
Hawaii Governor Signs Renewable Fuels Production Tax Credit
On July 6, 2016, Hawaii Governor David Ige signed SB 2652 Related to Taxation -- Locally Produced Renewable Energy. This bill establishes a five-year renewable fuels production tax credit. The tax credit will take effect in 2017 and will provide 20 cents per gallon of ethanol (or 76,000 British thermal units (Btu) of renewable fuel) with a cap of $3 million. The tax credit is open to companies producing at least 15 billion Btu of fuel from renewable feedstocks per year. Acceptable fuels include, but are not limited to, ethanol, hydrogen, biodiesel, biogas, renewable jet fuel, and other ... read more >
July 15, 2016
Missouri Governor Signs Bill Promoting Blender Pump Installation Throughout The State
On June 24, 2016, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed Senate Bill 657 modifying provisions related to motor vehicles. Under this new law, liability insurance carried by gas stations will expand coverage to include the release of blended fuels from incompatible storage tanks. The inclusion of blended fuels under the required insurance policy will remove one more barrier towards increasing the number of blender pumps within the state. The bill was originally introduced on January 6, 2016, and will become effective on August 28, ... read more >
June 24, 2016
California Department Of Toxic Substances Control Announces New Members Of Green Ribbon Science Panel
On June 15, 2016, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) announced three new members of the Green Ribbon Science Panel (GRSP). The new members are Jack Linard, Ph.D., Personal Care Regulatory Affairs Team for Unilever North America; Elaine Cohen Hubal, Ph.D., Deputy National Program Director for EPA's Chemical Safety for Sustainability (CSS) Research Program; and Mark Nicas, Ph.D., MPH, CIH, Associate Adjunct Professor Emeritus for the University of California, Berkeley. The new members will work with existing panel members to advise DTSC on Safer Consumer Products ... read more >
June 3, 2016
Iowa Extends Biodiesel Production And Retailer Tax Credit Through 2024
On May 24, 2016, Iowan Governor Terry Branstad signed Senate File 2309, an Act providing for tax credits and refunds relating to renewable fuels including their component biofuels and including effective date provisions. The bill extends a state biodiesel production tax credit providing 2 cents per gallon (cpg) on the first 25 million gallons of production per biodiesel plant. The bill also extends a credit for petroleum retailers of 4.5 cpg on blends of 5 percent biodiesel or more through the end of 2017, with the incentive changing to 3.5 cpg for 5-11 percent biodiesel blends and 5.5 cpg ... read more >
May 6, 2016
Iowa Legislature Unanimously Votes To Extend Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program
On April 27, 2016, the Iowa Senate voted 49-0 to extend the Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program (RFIP) through June 30, 2017. The legislation, House File 2464, was passed by the Iowa House 94-0 and provides funding for cost-share grants to upgrade fueling infrastructure. RFIP covers up to 70 percent of the installation cost of E15, E85, or biodiesel blend fuel pumps for Iowa retailers, up to $50,000 per project. "While we were hopeful for a long-term funding solution for the state's renewable fuels infrastructure program, we're very pleased today that the Iowa legislature was ... read more >
April 22, 2016
California Sues Mendota Bioenergy LLC Over $1.7 Million In Misspent Public Money
On April 8, 2016, the California State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission (Commission) sued Mendota Bioenergy LLC, claiming it improperly spent public money targeted for equipment purchases. The bioenergy company entered into an agreement with the Commission in March 2013 to construct and operate a 10,000 ton beet to ethanol demonstration plant. After amending the agreement, Mendota agreed to build a 2,400 ton demonstration plant with the Commission providing nearly $5 million in reimbursements, with Mendota providing the remaining $6.5 million. Mendota submitted an ... 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 8, 2016
Iowa Renewable Chemical Production Tax Credit Signed Into Law
On April 6, 2016, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad signed Senate File 2300, creating a five cent tax credit, per pound of renewable chemicals produced from biomass feedstock between 2017 and 2026. Spokesman for Governor, Ben Hammes, stated, "Gov. Branstad believes this biochemical tax program will go even further to continue spurring economic growth all over Iowa, creating more high-quality jobs and attracting investments in renewable chemical manufacturing and advanced bio-refining." The bill passed the Iowa Senate on March 16, 2016, with a vote of 46-3, and the Iowa House on March 28, ... 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
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
Iowa Senate Approves Renewable Chemical Production Tax Credit Legislation
On March 17, 2016, the Iowa State Senate voted 46-3 to approve Senate File 2300, a bill creating a production tax credit for renewable chemicals. The legislation was created to attract investment in renewable chemical manufacturing and biorefining to Iowa, and covers the production of higher value biochemicals from plant materials left over from biofuel production. The House Ways and Means Committee approved House File 2288, a companion bill, and sent the measure to the House floor. Senate File 2300 allows eligible businesses to claim a five cent tax credit per pound of renewable chemicals ... read more >
March 18, 2016
Richard E. Engler, Ph.D. Presents On Green Chemistry Issues At Chemical Watch Global Business Summit In Brussels
Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., Senior Chemist at Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) and The Acta Group (Acta®), made two presentations at the Chemical Watch Global Business Summit held in Brussels, Belgium from February 22-25, 2016. Dr. Engler presented during the "Green (Sustainable) Chemistry: The business and economic case for sustainable chemistry" seminar. His presentations are described below. For a full copy of either of these presentations, please contact Dr. Engler at rengler@lawbc.com. "Latest Developments in Green Chemistry in the US and possible ... read more >
March 11, 2016
OSHA Fines The Renewable Energy Group Over Hydrogen Gas Explosion
On March 3, 2016, The Advocate reported that the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fined a biodiesel plant run by The Renewable Energy Group (REG) $70,000 over a September 3, 2015, hydrogen gas explosion. The explosion injured four workers and resulted in three willful safety violations from OSHA. According to The Advocate, OSHA's citation stated that REG failed "to ensure a hazardous and flammable chemical was no longer in a plant pipeline that was under repair." A separate State Police investigation into the incident determined that the explosion ... read more >
March 4, 2016
More Information Available On Upcoming "Modernizing The Regulatory System For Biotechnology Products" Meetings
On February 1, 2016, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) announced the dates and locations for the final two public engagement sessions covering the July 2, 2015 memorandum "Modernizing the Regulatory System for Biotechnology Products." The memorandum, issued under the Executive Office of the President (EOP) and jointly by (OSTP), the Office of Management and Budget, the U.S. Trade Representative, and the Council on Environmental Quality, directs the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. ... read more >
February 5, 2016
Dates And Locations Of "Modernizing The Regulatory System For Biotechnology Products" Meetings Announced
On February 1, 2016, the dates and locations for the last two public engagement sessions discussing the "Modernizing the Regulatory System for Biotechnology Products" memorandum were announced. The first meeting occurred on October 30, 2015, and a record of the meeting is available on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website. The second of the three meetings will be held on March 9, 2016, at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Region 6 office in Dallas, Texas. The third meeting will be held on March 30, 2016, at the University of California's David ... read more >
January 22, 2016
Biobased Chemicals: The Iowa Opportunity Report Calls For State Support Of Biorenewables
On January 14, 2016, a report titled "Biobased Chemicals: The Iowa Opportunity" was released by Iowa's Cultivation Corridor and the Iowa Biotechnology Association at the Iowa Statehouse. This report is based on research by Iowa State University professors and outlines opportunities for Iowa to capitalize on bioprocessing developments in the United States. While Iowa has the advantage of a strong biofuel industry, there is still a need for the Iowa legislature to address the needs of the bio renewables industry beyond ethanol production to take full advantage of the $250 billion ... 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 >
January 13, 2016
EPA Denies SDA Nomenclature Petition, But Options for Adding Biobased Sources Remain Open
On January 12, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a Federal Register notice announcing the availability of EPA’s response to a petition it received from the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) under Section 21 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).  BRAG requested EPA to promulgate a rule pursuant to TSCA Section 8 that would establish a process to amend the list of natural sources of oil and fat in the “Soap and Detergent Association” (SDA) nomenclature system by considering the chemical equivalency of additional ... read more >
January 8, 2016
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
■ USDA, "USDA Shares 2015 Results: Building A Stronger Rural America Through Partnership, Progress And Promise" ■ Plastics Today, "Made Of Bioplastic: The Best Of 2015" ■ Environmental Leader, "Can Bio-Based Chemicals Improve Products' Performance and Sustainability?" ■ CORDIS, "Cost-Effective New Process Gets Chitin Out Of Its Shell" ■ Journal of the American Chemical Society, "Key Roles Of Lewis Acid–Base Pairs On Znxzryoz In Direct Ethanol/Acetone To ... read more >
December 22, 2015
Final Rule For Renewable Fuel Standard Program Published In Federal Register
On December 14, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Program: Standards for 2014, 2015, and 2016 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2017 in the Federal Register. The final rule will become effective on February 12, 2016, and establishes 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 the years 2014, 2015, and 2016 and biomass-based diesel for 2017. More information regarding the RFS final rule is ... read more >
December 4, 2015
EPA Releases Final Renewable Fuel Standard Rule
On November 30, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the final Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) rule. This RFS rule sets the volume requirements and percentage standards for cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel for 2014, 2015, and 2016, and for biomass-based diesel for 2017. This rule decreases the amount of required ethanol from the original RFS volume requirements set in 2007. The 2016 volume requirements will decrease from 15 billion gallons to 14.5 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol, and from 22.3 billion gallons to ... read more >
December 4, 2015
Advisory Committee On Biotechnology And 21st Century Agriculture To Meet
On November 19, 2015, USDA published a Notice of the Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture (AC21) Meeting in the Federal Register. The meeting will review the purpose, history, operational process, and member responsibilities of AC21; update committee members on relevant regulatory developments, initiatives, and USDA activities; and outline new tasks for the committee to address. There will also be an opportunity for members of the public to make oral statements, as long as they contact Dr. Michael Schechtman about presenting a statement at least three business days ... read more >
October 23, 2015
Public Meeting Announced To Discuss Modernizing the Regulatory System For Biotechnology Products Memorandum
On October 16, 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced in the Federal Register a public meeting Clarifying Current Roles and Responsibilities Described in the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology and Developing a Long-Term Strategy for the Regulation of the Products of Biotechnology. The meeting is intended to discuss FDA's role in responding to the July 2015 Executive Office of the President ... read more >
October 23, 2015
California Changes Tax Law To Allow For Biodiesel Tax Exemption
On October 4, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill No. 1032, an act to amend Sections 60501 and 60505.5 of the Revenue and Taxation code, relating to taxation, into law. The bill adds biodiesel to the list of fuels that are eligible for tax refunds when they are used for nontaxable purposes. Starting on January 1, 2016, the State Board of Equalization will provide refunds on the portion of nontaxable biodiesel removed from the terminal to those that can show that they have already paid the tax on the ... 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 16, 2015
WEBINAR - Bioproducts In The Federal Bioeconomy Portfolio, 10/26/15
On October 8, 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy announced the upcoming Bioproducts in the Federal Bioeconomy Portfolio Webinar. Bioenergy Technologies Office Technology Manager Nichole Fitzgerald, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) BioPreferred Deputy Program Manager Kate Lewis, and the Ohio State University Bioproducts Innovation Center's Director Dennis Hall will discuss how the federal government supports bioproducts research, commercialization, and market development as part of the expansion of the U.S. bioeconomy. ... read more >
October 16, 2015
California Enacts Law To Use 50 Percent Renewable Electricity By 2030
On October 7, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown signed S.B. 350, The Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015 (the Act). The law will require the percent of electricity produced from renewable sources to increase over stages until 2030 when 50 percent of electricity used in California will be produced using renewable sources. While the majority of renewable electricity is expected to come from solar and wind power, the Act encourages use of diverse energy sources, including biomass, geothermal, and transportation electrification. The original draft of the Act included a ... 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 9, 2015
California Issues Draft Alternatives Assessment Analysis Guide
The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has issued a draft of its Stage 1 Alternatives Analysis (AA) Guide. DTSC developed this guidance to help the regulated community conduct AA and regulatory requirements under the California Safer Consumer Products (SCP) program. Comments on the draft document can be submitted online at the SCP Information Management System (CalSafer) website and are due by October 23, 2015. DTSC is holding two webinars, the second of which occurs on October 21, 2015, for participants to learn about and discuss the draft AA Guide. Biobased and ... read more >
October 2, 2015
FTC Sends Warning To Businesses About Misleading Green Certification Marketing
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced in a September 14, 2015, press release, "FTC Sends Warning Letters about Green Certification Seals," that it sent warning letters to five providers of environmental certification seals and 32 businesses using those seals, "alerting them to the agency's concerns that the seals could be considered deceptive and may not comply with the FTC's environmental marketing guidelines." FTC states that environmental certification seals are intended to help consumers tell whether a product has the environmental attributes it claims. ... 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 >
October 2, 2015
Pennsylvania House Of Representatives Votes To Remove Ethanol Blend Requirement
On September 25, 2015, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted to amend the Biofuel Development and In-State Production Incentive Act by removing a ten percent ethanol blend requirement that occurs when Pennsylvania ethanol production exceeds 350 million gallons. The Act was originally passed in 2008. Since the incentive was put in place, Pennsylvania has not come close to reaching the 350 million gallon threshold. The bill has been referred to the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy ... read more >
September 25, 2015
American Energy Innovation Act Of 2015 Introduced By Senate Democrats
On September 22, 2015, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Democratic Leader Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) released The American Energy Innovation Act of 2015, a bill designed to improve economic growth in the energy sector, invest in clean energy, and support research and development while cutting carbon pollution. Senator Wyden stated the proposed legislation "... is built around the proposition that the law ought to reward clean energy with incentives that spark innovation in ... read more >
September 25, 2015
RFA Responds To Oregon’s Proposal To Use ILUC Emissions Under CFP
On September 15, 2015, Oregon's Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) proposed using hypothetical indirect land use change (ILUC) emissions while calculating the carbon intensity of biofuels under the Clean Fuels Program (CFP). DEQ proposed the rule to update the Oregon Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions and Energy Transportation model (OR-GREET) to clarify elements before the CFP's first compliance year starting on January 1, 2016. The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) released a statement expressing disappointment with the proposed rule, stating that the proposal creates ... 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 18, 2015
Multiple Algae-related Agency And Industry Events In Coming Weeks
Stakeholders working with algae to produce chemicals and fuels should take note of these upcoming opportunities: EPA's "Workshop for Public Input on Considerations for Risk Assessment of Genetically Engineered Algae," September 30, 2015. Registration closes on September 25, 2015;   The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Request for Information (RFI) from algae stakeholders regarding their views on the requirements necessary to develop reliable and sustainable supplies of algal biomass, algal intermediates, and metabolites closes September 30, 2015; and   The ... read more >
September 11, 2015
New Jersey Clarifies Definition Of Biofuels For Motor Fuel Tax Act Exemptions
On August 10, 2015, Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) signed into law S.B. 2599/A-4121, an act concerning the definition of certain fuels and amending P.L.2010, c.22. The legislation clarifies New Jersey's Motor Fuel Tax Act exemptions to include biofuels made from recycled grease, plants, and animal fats. In addition, biobased liquid fuel and biodiesel fuel are now defined as renewable biomass. The clarification of the biofuel tax exemption is intended to encourage biodiesel businesses to invest in New Jersey now that they can be certain that they qualify for tax exemptions. The bipartisan ... read more >
September 4, 2015
"Legal, Regulatory & Political Considerations In Commercializing Algal Products" Panel Presented At ABO, October 1, 2015
"Legal, Regulatory & Political Considerations In Commercializing Algal Products" Panel Presented At ABO, October 1, 2015 Hear BRAG's Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., and other panelists on Thursday, October 1, at the Algae Biomass Summit, which runs September 29 - October 2, 2015, in Washington, D.C. This is where leading producers of algae products go to network with industry suppliers and technology providers, where project developers converse with utility executives, and where researchers and technology developers rub elbows with venture capitalists. Bergeson & Campbell, ... 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 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 >
August 7, 2015
EPA Announces Beginning Of Public Dialog For Synbio Algae Development And Use
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced last week that it is developing a project intended to support public dialog concerning the development and use of synthetic biology (Synbio) algae. EPA has oversight responsibility for the production and use of intergeneric microorganisms, including cyanobacteria, eukaryotic microalgae (genetically modified (GM) algae), and their products by application of genetic engineering approaches, including those called Synbio. EPA's recently posted document, US Environmental Protection Agency GM/Synbio Algae Project, states that it is ... 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 2, 2015
New York Releases Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Plan
On June 25, 2015, the 2015 New York State Energy Plan was released, outlining a 40 percent reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) from 1990 to 2030 and an 80 percent reduction by 2050. The aggressive plan would achieve the reduction in GHG emissions through changes to power, transportation, buildings, and industry with the goal of at least half of the state's electricity coming from renewable sources, including biomass, wind, and solar, by 2030. Energy consumption in buildings will also be reduced by 23 percent from 2012 levels by 2030. This decrease in energy consumption of ... read more >
June 12, 2015
Sustainable Chemistry Research And Development Act Of 2015 Introduced To Senate
On May 21, 2015, Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the Sustainable Chemistry Research and Development Act of 2015 (S. 1447). The legislation is intended to help coordinate and expand the many different programs that have been enacted across the federal government to promote and assist the development of sustainable chemistry that reduces risks to human health and benefits the environment. The bill would create a federal Interagency Work Group (IWG), lead by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), that would work with a ... read more >
June 12, 2015
House Committee Holds Markup Hearing On TSCA Modernization Act Of 2015
On June 2 and 3, 2015, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce held a markup hearing for the TSCA Modernization Act of 2015 (H.R. 2576) after years of progress on Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Reform. The bill was praised for its bipartisan support as well as the removal of burdensome testing that has hindered the implementation of TSCA. The modernized TSCA will change how EPA regulates existing chemicals, with EPA first deciding if a chemical poses an unreasonable risk under its conditions of use, and then deciding how to manage the risk. A technical amendment was added to the Act ... read more >
June 12, 2015
California Passes Bill To Ban Biobased Microbeads
On May 22, 2015, the California State Assembly passed the Plastic Microbeads Nuisance Prevention Law, a bill designed to ban the use of microbeads in beauty products and prevent the environment harm that occurs when they inevitably end up in waterways. California is not the first state to restrict microbeads as Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, and Colorado have also done so and several other states are in the process of creating bans. The big difference with this legislation is that California is the first state to ban petroleum-based plastic microbeads as well as biodegradable biobased ... read more >
May 29, 2015
America COMPETES Reauthorization Act Of 2015 Includes Cuts To Clean Energy Research Funding
On May 20, 2015, the House voted to pass the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 1806) (COMPETES), a research funding bill that was originally enacted in 2007 to further U.S. scientific and technological advantages. The new version of COMPETES increases funding for nuclear energy and fossil fuel research programs, while cutting clean and renewable energy programs. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy will have funding reduced by 30 percent, or nearly $500 million, while the DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy will ... 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 >
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 >
May 1, 2015
Iowa Bill Creates Tax Credit For The Production Of Renewable Chemicals
Iowa Senate bill SF 350: the Renewable Chemical Production Tax Credit Program was introduced in March 2015, and is awaiting review in the Ways & Means Committee. If passed, the legislation will allow producers of renewable chemicals in Iowa to claim a five cent per pound tax credit, with a maximum credit of $1 million for businesses operating in Iowa for five years or less, and a maximum credit of $500,000 for businesses operating in Iowa for more than five years. Chemicals must have at least a 50 percent biobased content to qualify as renewable chemicals under the bill, and must also be ... read more >
April 16, 2015
Ohio Cuts Alternative Fuel Mandate In Transportation Budget
On April 1, 2015, the Governor of Ohio, John Kasich (R), signed the 2016-2017 Transportation Budget Bill (Sub. H.B. 53). The state transportation budget does not include a requirement on alternative fuel use in the state vehicle fleet, a requirement that had been in place since 2006. Ohio Department of Transportation's Matt Bruning stated that the requirement mandated the state increase the amount of alternative fuels each year with no cap in place, resulting in higher costs for the state, especially with the recent decrease in prices for traditional petroleum-based fuels. "It's ... read more >
April 10, 2015
California Air Resources Board Held A Workshop On The Low Carbon Fuel Standard
On April 3, 2015, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) held a Public Workshop to discuss updates to the California-Modified Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Transportation (CA-GREET) Model, version 2.0, under the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). The update includes improved formulas to calculate Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC), and an updated model for calculating lifecycle Carbon Intensity (CI) values that is based on Argonne National Laboratory's GREET model. California is also proposing a two-tiered CI system for certifications and registrations, with ... 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 >
March 20, 2015
Biofuel Legislation In Minnesota Criticized For Focus On Corn
The Bioeconomy Coalition of Minnesota is advocating strongly for two bills in the state that if passed would result in a two-year, $5 million production incentive for producers, and a capital loan equipment program. The bills, HF 536 and SF 517, would benefit companies that develop biochemicals, advanced biofuels, and anaerobic digestion projects. There is concern, however, that the legislation would increase the production of corn rather than encourage the production of crops that do not require the same heavy use of fertilizer as corn. Citing concerns about fertilizer runoffs in the river, ... read more >
March 6, 2015
Low Carbon Fuel Bill Passed In Oregon Senate
On February 26, 2015, the Oregon State Senate passed Senate Bill 324 (SB 324), a measure that would require fuel producers to reduce the amount of carbon in car and truck fuels. If passed by the Oregon House of Representatives, SB 324 will implement a low-carbon standard in the state of Oregon. The measure is modeled on California's fuel standard, and would require fuel importers to cut the carbon in fuels by 10 percent from 2016 to 2025. This would result in a three percent reduction of the total emissions in Oregon. The fuel standard could be met through increasing the percentage ... 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
West Virginia Repeals The Alternative And Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard
On February 3, 2015, West Virginia repealed the Alternative and Renewable Energy Portfolio Act that was originally passed and adopted in 2009. This Act (the Standard) required utilities serving 30,000 residential customers or more to generate at least 25 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025. To be in compliance with the Standard, utilities could use coal (e.g., advanced coal technologies and waste coal), natural gas, and fuel generated from burning tires as alternative energy sources. This broad definition of what constituted renewable and alternative energy made ... read more >
February 12, 2015
Clean Jobs Coalition Calls For Updated Renewable Energy Laws In Illinois
On February 4, 2015, the newly formed Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel called for an update of the renewable portfolio standard (RPS) that was put into place in 2007. The Coalition proposed a plan to create as many as 32,000 jobs annually by improving Illinois' energy economy. These improvements would be made through: (1) changes to the RPS to increase the use of renewable sources to create 35 percent of power by 2030; (2) improved energy efficiency standards so that overall electricity use declines by 20 percent by 2025; and (3) by encouraging market-based ... 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 >
February 6, 2015
Sustainable Oils Receives Pathway for California LCFS
Sustainable Oils Inc. issued a press release announcing the issuance of a feedstock-only pathway for the production of Camelina-based fuels under the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). According to the release, this action by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) results in Camelina being the only scalable, non-food based crop that meets both California and federal fuel standards requirements. ... 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 >
January 15, 2015
California Governor Proposes Big Increases In Renewable Fuel Use
 During his Inaugural Address on January 5, 2015, California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. discussed the future of California’s commitment to renewable energy.  Already on track to meet the 2020 goal of at least one-third of electricity coming from renewable sources, the Governor proposed increasing the threshold to 50 percent of electricity coming from renewable sources by 2030.  Governor Brown also proposed that in the next 15 years, California would reduce the use of petroleum in cars and trucks by up to 50 percent and double the efficiency of existing buildings while ... read more >
January 15, 2015
Oregon Clean Fuels Program Moving Forward
On January 7, 2015, the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission voted to approve rules to advance the next phase of the State’s Clean Fuels Program. As the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) explains on its website, the program “seeks to cut greenhouse gases by lowering the carbon content in Oregon transportation fuels.” The program is currently scheduled to sunset on December 31, 2015, although the Oregon state legislature could remove the sunset by that date. The rules approved on January 7, 2015, will take effect on February 1, 2015, and will do the following, ... read more >
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