Biobased Products News and Policy Report – Update from Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.
The Biobased and Renewable Products Update Will Not Be Published on July 4, 2019. It Will Resume Regular Publication on July 11, 2019.
EO Requires Federal Agencies To Terminate At Least One-Third Of Their FACA Committees
An Executive Order (EO) issued by President Trump on June 14, 2019, would require all federal agencies and departments to evaluate the need for their current advisory committees established under Section 9(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).
Entitled “Executive Order on Evaluating and Improving the Utility of Federal Advisory Committees,” the EO also would require each federal agency to terminate at least one-third of its current committees by September 30, 2019. The EO targets committees:
- That have accomplished their
- Where the subject matter or
work of the committee has become obsolete;
- Where the primary functions of
the committee have been assumed by another entity; or
- Where the agency determines that the cost of the operation of the committee is excessive in relation to the benefits to the federal government.
The EO allows agencies to count committees
terminated since January 20, 2017, toward the one-third goal.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has 22 FACA committees and thus must terminate at least seven of them under the terms of the EO. EPA’s FACA committees (and associated EPA offices) are:
- Children’s Health Protection
Advisory Committee (Office of the Administrator/Office of Children’s
- Clean Air Act Advisory
Committee (Office of Air and Radiation);
- Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (Office of
the Administrator/Office of Science Advisory Board);
- Environmental Financial
Advisory Board (Office of Water);
- Environmental Laboratory
Advisory Board (Office of Research and Development);
- Board of Scientific Counselors
(Office of Research and Development);
- Science Advisory Board (Office
of the Administrator/Office of the Science Advisor);
- Farm, Ranch, and Rural
Communities Advisory Committee (Office of the Administrator);
- Federal Insecticide, Fungicide,
and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (Office of Chemical Safety
and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP));
- Good Neighbor Environmental
Board (Office of Administration and Resources Management);
- Governmental Advisory Committee
to the United States Representative to the North American Commission for
Environmental Cooperation (Office of Administration and Resources Management);
- Great Lakes Advisory Board
(Office of the Regional Administrator, Region 5);
- Hazardous Waste Electronic
Manifest System Advisory Board (Office of Land and Emergency Management);
- Human Studies Review Board
(Office of Research and Development/Office of the Science Advisory);
- Local Government Advisory
Committee (Office of the Administrator/Office of Congressional and
- National Advisory Committee to
the United States Representative to the North American Commission for
Environmental Cooperation (Office of Administration and Resources
- National Advisory Council for
Environmental Policy and Technology (Office of Administration and
- National Drinking Water
Advisory Council (Office of Water);
- National Environmental
Education Advisory Council (Office of the Administrator/Office of External
Affairs and Environmental Education);
- National Environmental Justice
Advisory Council (Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance);
- Pesticide Program Dialogue
Committee (OCSPP); and
- Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (OCSPP).
Taxpayer Certainty And Disaster Tax Relief Act Of 2019 Introduced To House Ways And Means Subcommittee
On June 18, 2019, Representative Mike Thompson, (D-CA), Chair of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures, introduced the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2019. The bill includes:
- An extension of the
$1-per-gallon tax credit for biodiesel and biodiesel mixtures;
- An extension of the small
argi-biodiesel producer credit of 10 cents per gallon through 2020;
- An extension of the second
generation biofuel producer credit through 2020;
- A $1.01-per-gallon
nonrefundable income tax credit for second generation biofuel sold at
retail into the fuel tank of a buyer’s vehicle, or second generation
biofuel mixed with gasoline or a special fuel and sold or used as fuel
(previously known as the cellulosic biofuel producer credit);
- An extension of the alternative
fuel refueling property credit through 2020;
- A credit for the installation
of alternative fuel vehicle refueling property, which includes property
that dispenses alternative fuels, including ethanol, biodiesel, natural
gas, hydrogen, and electricity;
- An extension of the special
allowance for second generation biofuel plant property through 2020 and an
additional first-year 50 percent bonus depreciation for cellulosic biofuel
- The Section 45 tax credit for renewable energy would be extended through 2020, or one year in the case of wind facilities.
By extending a number of provisions that expired in 2017 and 2018, and preemptively extending provisions set to expire in 2019, Representative Thompson aims to reverse the trend of allowing important tax provisions to expire before being renewed, and rather consistently extend them on a forward-looking basis to provide greater certainty for taxpayers.
Cabinet To Review RFS Small Refinery Waiver Programs
On June 20, 2019, Reuters reported that President Trump directed members of his Cabinet to review EPA’s expanded use of waivers exempting small refineries from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). This decision came after Trump traveled to the Midwest to promote the Administration’s decision to lift a ban on summer sales of E15 and farmers warned that increases in smaller refinery exemptions functionally negated the expected benefits of E15 sales. RFS has become increasingly controversial as environmental activists argue that the government should phase out incentives for first generation biofuels derived from food biomass like corn ethanol in favor of second and third generation biofuels that use non-food waste and algae to produce biofuels. For now, EPA has delayed action on 39 pending small refinery waivers from 2018, and has said in a statement that the “EPA will continue to work with the White House, USDA, members of Congress and other stakeholders to ensure the Renewable Fuel Standard’s continued stability.”
California DTSC Hosts Public Workshop On 1,4-Dioxane
On June 28, 2019, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) will host the first public workshop on 1,4-Dioxane in Personal Care and Cleaning Products. 1,4-Dioxane, a solvent and stabilizer for chlorinated solvents, which is produced from both petroleum sources and from biobased ethylene oxide, has been identified by DTSC as a likely human carcinogen and an emerging contaminant found in beauty, personal care, hygiene, and cleaning products. DTSC is requesting additional information from stakeholders about potential adverse impacts from 1,4-dioxane in consumer products; its presence in personal care and cleaning products; and the feasibility of removing it from these products. To view the background document and submit comments, please visit DTSC’s CalSAFER portal. The comment period closes on August 21, 2019.
LyondellBasell And Neste Produce Food Packaging Bioplastics At Global Scale
On June 18, 2019, Neste, a Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) member, and LyondellBassell announced the first commercial scale parallel production of biobased polypropylene and biobased low-density polyethylene. This project used Neste’s renewable hydrocarbons, derived from sustainable biobased raw materials, such as waste and residue oils, to produce food packaging bioplastics marked as Circulen and Circulen Plus by LyondellBasell. “We are excited to enable the plastics industry to introduce more bio-based material into its offering. It is very satisfying to see Neste’s renewable hydrocarbons performing perfectly in a commercial scale production of bio-based polymers, providing a drop-in replacement option to fossil materials,” stated Neste’s President and CEO Peter Vanacker.
“TSCA: Three Years Later” Conference Recording And Materials Now Available
Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) would like to thank all of the participants that made “TSCA: Three Years Later” such a success. Speakers, including Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, Assistant Administrator, OCSPP, EPA, and Lynn R. Goldman, M.D., M.S., M.P.H., Michael and Lori Milken Dean and Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health at Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University, provided timely insights into EPA’s implementation of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) now and what should be expected going forward. If you missed the conference on Monday, it is not too late to catch up! A full recording and copies of all presentations are available now on the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) website.
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Products Advocacy Group
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Washington, D.C. 20037