Biobased and Renewable Products Update

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Biobased and Renewable Products Update

March 22, 2018

USDA

USDA Seeks Public Comment On Collection Of Biobased Procurement Data

On March 12, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued in the Federal Register a notice announcing the submission of an information collection request (ICR) on the guidelines for designating biobased products for federal procurement to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Pursuant to Section 9002 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act (FSRIA) of 2002, as amended by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act (FCEA) of 2008, and the Agricultural Act of 2014, federal agencies are required to purchase biobased products under the preferred procurement program.  Product categories for preferred procurement are established by rulemaking based on the availability of biobased products, the economic and technological feasibility of using such products, and the costs of using such products.  Additionally, federal agencies are provided with information on the availability, price, performance, and environmental and public health benefits of such product categories, and, where appropriate, the recommended level of biobased material to be contained in the procured product.  Such information is gathered under the ICR from biobased product manufacturers and vendors by the Office of Procurement and Property Management (OPPM) and its contractors.  USDA is seeking comments on:

 

Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of USDA, including whether the information will have practical utility;
The accuracy of USDA’s estimate of burden, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and
Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

 

Comments are due by April 11, 2018.

 

USDA Solicits REAP Applicants For Fiscal Year 2018

On March 13, 2018, the USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service issued in the Federal Register a notice of solicitation of applications for the  Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for fiscal year (FY) 2018.  The solicitation is being issued prior to the passage of a final appropriations act to allow time for the submission and review of applications within the current FY.  Information on the amount of funding received in any continuing resolution or the final appropriations act will be published on the Rural Business-Cooperative Service website.  The solicitation applies to two types of REAP funding assistance.  The Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Assistance provides grants and guaranteed loans to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems, such as renewable biomass (including anaerobic digesters), wind, solar, small hydro-electric, ocean, geothermal, or hydrogen derived from these renewable resources.  The Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants supports the establishment of a program designed to assist agricultural producers and rural small businesses with evaluating the energy efficiency and the potential to incorporate renewable energy technologies into their operations.

To be considered for funding in FY 2018, submissions must be received as outlined below:

ApplicationApplication window
opening dates
Application window closing dates
Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Grants ($20,000 or less grant only request or a combination grant and guaranteed loan where the grant request is $20,000 or less competing for up to approximately 50 percent of the set aside funds)April 1, 2017October 31, 2017
Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Grants ($20,000 or less grant only request or a combination grant and guaranteed loan where the grant request is $20,000 or less competing for the remaining set aside funds)November 1, 2017April 30, 2018
Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Grants (Unrestricted grants, including combination grant and guaranteed loan where the grant request is greater than $20,000,)April 1, 2017April 30, 2018
Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Guaranteed LoansContinuous application cycleContinuous application cycle
Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance GrantsFebruary 1, 2017January 31, 2018

Given that applications are accepted on an ongoing basis, applications received after the specified deadlines will be considered with other applications received in the next application window.

Industry

BIO Accepting Nominations For Annual Rosalind Franklin Award

On March 13, 2018, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), a member of the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®), announced that nominations for the fifth annual Rosalind Franklin Award for Leadership in Industrial Biotechnology are being accepted.  Each year, the award recognizes an outstanding woman in the industrial biotechnology sector who has made significant contributions to the advancement of the biobased economy and biotechnology innovation.  The recipient will be presented with the award at the 2018 World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Past recipients of the award include Dr. Debbie Yaver, Director of Expression Technology, Genomics and Bioinformatics at Novozymes; Dr. Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech; Anna Rath, President and CEO of NexSteppe; and Vonnie Estes, Independent Consultant.  Nominations will be accepted until March 28, 2018.

Valtra Delivers New Tractors Filled With 100 Percent Renewable Fuel

On March 12, 2018, Valtra, a leading tractor manufacturer in the Nordic countries, announced that Neste MY Renewable Diesel would be used as the start-up fuel for all new tractors.  All new Valtra tractors will be delivered to customers with fuel that is produced from 100 percent renewable waste and residues and produces up to 90 percent less greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil diesel fuel.  Furthermore, Neste MY will be used to fuel the forklifts operated within the factory.  The renewable fuel can be used in both the tractors and forklifts without additives or modifications to the engine.  According to Mika Hyötyläinen, Vice President of Marketing at Neste, a BRAG member, “Neste MY can be used confidently all around the world and throughout the year, as it can withstand temperatures down to -34°C. Its storage properties in the tank are also excellent.”

Other News

 

Renewable Fuels Association, “Ethanol Industry Workers, Veterans Ask Trump To Support RFS
Reuters, “U.S. Biofuels Sector Blasts EPA Settlement With Bankrupt Philadelphia Refinery
Chemical & Engineering News, “Why Efforts To Use Green Fuels Sometimes Run Afoul
Great Lakes Bioenery, “It Pays To Study The Solvent: Better Biomass Conversion For Biofuels And Bioproducts
■ North Queensland Register, “Cloncurry Treated Sewage Water Trial

 

ABOUT THE FIRM
The Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) helps members develop and bring to market their innovative biobased chemical products through insightful policy and regulatory advocacy. BRAG is managed by B&C® Consortia Management, L.L.C., an affiliate of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.
Biobased and Renewable
Products Advocacy Group
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