Biobased Products News and Policy Report – Update from Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

Biobased and Renewable Products Update
October 24, 2019



House Committee Approves Sustainable Chemistry Research And Development Act

On October 17, 2019, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology unanimously approved the Sustainable Chemistry Research and Development Act (H.R. 2051), a companion bill to legislation introduced in the Senate by Senators Chris Coons (D-DE), Susan Collins (R-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV). Representative Dan Lipinski (D-IL) introduced the House bill on April 3, 2019. It is co-sponsored by Representative John Moolenaar (R-MI). The bill is intended to improve coordination of federal activities, including research and development of more sustainable chemicals, processes, and systems, by establishing a coordinating entity under the National Science and Technology Council within the Office of Science and Technology Policy. The legislation would allow the agencies involved in this entity to work, in consultation with qualified stakeholders, to assess the state of sustainable chemistry in the United States and encourage the validation of tools for assessment of sustainable chemistry processes or products. The agencies would include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Defense, the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and other related federal agencies, as appropriate. The bill also supports improved education and training in sustainable chemistry.

House Committee Announces Legislative Hearing On EPA’s Mismanagement Of RFS Program

On October 22, 2019, Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee Chair, and Paul Tonko (D-NY), Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee (ECCS), announced that a legislative hearing will be held on October 29, 2019, at 10:30 a.m. (EDT) on Capitol Hill. Titled “Protecting the RFS: The Trump Administration’s Abuse of Secret Waivers,” the hearing will focus on the EPA’s mismanagement of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Program under the Trump Administration. The Subcommittee has not yet released the witness list for the legislative hearing; it has, however, stated that the purpose of the meeting is to examine H.R. 3006, the RFS Integrity Act of 2019, introduced by Representative Collin Peterson (D-MN). Further information for the hearing, including the Committee Memorandum, legislation, witness list, testimony, and a live webcast will be posted online as soon as it becomes available.


University Of Surrey Announces New Study On Microbial Organisms To Digest Plastic Waste

On October 16, 2019, the University of Surrey, United Kingdom, announced that its researchers have partnered with colleagues from France, Germany, and Spain to start working on a new technique to tackle plastic waste. According to the university’s article, this novel technique may revolutionize the recycling industry. The plan is to create engineered microbial communities that will digest two types of plastic polymers — polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polyurethane (PU) — and transform them into molecules that can be used to develop a more environmentally friendly material called Bio-PU. This more environmentally friendly material is often used as a construction and insulation material.

According to the University of Surrey, current physical or chemical methods to degrade PET and PU are inefficient. Impurities in PET polymers and high energy costs associated with the high temperatures required to break down the material make its degradation very difficult. Similarly, degradation of PU is limited due to the difficulty in breaking down urethane bonds in the material. Given these challenges, University of Surrey Senior Lecturer in synthetic biology Dr. Jose Jimenez highlights that “[m]oving away from the reliance on single use plastics is a positive step; however, the problem of how we deal with current plastic waste still needs to be addressed.” Hence, the project will investigate the ability of microorganisms to digest plastic waste and turn it into a more environmentally friendly material that can be recycled.


Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) Webinar — Value Chain Communications Required Under TSCA Consent Orders And SNURs: How To Formulate Them And Optimize Their Value, November 13, 2019, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. (EST)

The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (Lautenberg Act) revised the new chemicals review process and existing chemicals risk evaluation scheme, resulting in increased requirements for chemical substance risk communication. Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) is pleased to present the complimentary webinar “Value Chain Communications Required under TSCA Consent Orders and SNURs: How to Formulate Them and Optimize Their Value.” This webinar will outline the categories of legally required risk communications to value chain participants required under TSCA Consent Orders and significant new use rules (SNUR) and will provide practical tips on how best to frame these risk communications to make them a valuable component of a company’s TSCA compliance and product stewardship program. Register online.

The European Biopolymer Summit — February 12 – 13, 2020

Hosted by Active Communications International (ACI), the European Biopolymer Summit 2020 will bring together executives and experts from biopolymer chemical companies, major associations, manufacturers, and technology companies in Zaragoza, Spain, to discuss the latest changes, challenges, and developments within the industry.

Other News

University of Manchester News, “Biofuels Could Be Made from Bacteria That Grow in Seawater Rather Than from Crude Oil
CNN, “Trump Announces He Will Nominate Deputy Energy Secretary to Replace Rick Perry in Top Post
Industry Global News 24, “Making Industrial Chemicals Green
gasworld, “Air Liquide and ArcelorMittal Reveal Pilot Project to Capture and Recycle Carbon
The New York Times, “Perry to Resign as Energy Secretary
Plastics Today, “Clariant Additives Enable Recyclability of Plastic Waste without Sacrificing Material’s Valuable Properties

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