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

Biobased and Renewable Products Update

April 18, 2019


USDA APHIS Reopens Public Comment Period On The dEIS And PRA

On April 12, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced the reopening of the public review and comment period for the draft Environmental Impact Statement (dEIS) and the preliminary Pest Risk Assessment (PRA). These two documents have been prepared in response to a permit application from a company requesting the environmental release of genetically engineered (GE) Citrus tristeza virus (CTV). The reopening of comments is the result of a new research paper released after the initial comment period back in the summer of 2018. The research paper examines the movement of CTV, which could raise questions regarding the transmissibility of GE CTV. Updates to the dEIS and PRA have been made according to the new information obtained. While the dEIS evaluated the environmental impacts that could result from approving the permit application, the preliminary PRA analyzes the GE plant virus as a biological control measure and its potential to pose a risk to plant health. In its announcement, USDA APHIS clearly states that applying GE CTV does not mean that the trees are themselves GE. The permit application requests the approval for the use of GE CTV as a biological control agent that would help manage citrus greening disease. Instead, a gene from spinach is delivered to the tree’s circulatory system. Comments must be submitted on or prior to April 30, 2019.

DOE Announces Solar Decathlon Design Challenge Winners

On April 16, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced the winners of DOE’s Solar Decathlon® Design Challenge, which was held at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, CO, from April 12-14, 2019. The Challenge consisted of ten contests in which student teams designed highly efficient and innovative buildings powered by renewable energy.  The winners are teams that best blended architectural engineering excellence with innovation, market potential, smart energy production, and building efficiency.

Warren Writes Article Declaring Her Plan For Public Lands

On April 15, 2019, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) wrote an article for Medium Politics, titled “My plan for public lands.” In the article, Warren highlights the importance and value of U.S. public lands and the need to make them part of the climate solution rather than the issue. Emphasizing her position on corporate profits and how they should not be prioritized over local communities’ health and safety, Warren states that on her first day in office as President, she will “sign an executive order that says no more drilling—a total moratorium on all new fossil fuel leases, including for drilling offshore and on public lands.” Furthermore, she vows to set a goal of providing ten percent of the U.S.’s electricity generation from renewable sources offshore or on public lands.


B&C Webinar — FIFRA Hot Topics In Pesticide, Biocides, And Other Agricultural Chemicals Regulation And Litigation

On April 24, 2019, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. (EDT), Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) will be hosting a webinar on hot topics under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), in biocides, pesticides, and other agricultural chemicals regulation and litigation.

IBA Webinar — Sustainable Investment In Agriculture

On May 22, 2019, at 12:00 p.m. (EDT), the International Bar Association (IBA) Agricultural Law Section, supported by the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, Committee on Pesticides, Chemical Regulation, and Right-to-Know, the Environmental Law Institute (ELI), and the National Agricultural Law Center (NALC), will present a webinar titled “Sustainable Investment in Agriculture.” With a focus on emerging legal issues in the area of sustainable and responsible investment in agriculture, presenters will discuss emerging tools and legal models for ensuring sustainable investment in agriculture, focusing on the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT) initiative. Moderated by B&C’s Managing Partner, and Vice Chair of IBA, Agricultural Law Section, Lynn Bergeson, the webinar will also include discussions on due diligence for proposed investments, financial instruments, and where to go from here.

Other News


Reuters, “U.S. EPA Revives Provision That May Name Refiners Applying for Biofuel Waivers
Washington Examiner, “2020 Democrats Embrace Green New Deal at Their Peril in Iowa, Land of Ethanol
Reuters, “U.S. EPA May Grant Fewer Biofuel Waivers Due to Low Credit Prices: Wheeler
The Chemical Engineer, “BP Joins Effort to Make Paraxylene from Biological Sources
The Western Producer, “Canola-based Plastic May Hit Market Soon
The Hindu, “ICGEB’s Novel Yeast Strain Increases Ethanol Production
Forbes, “From Cooking Oil to Biofuel: Eni’s Project in the Venice Biorefinery
WVTM 13, “Grant Awarded to Auburn University for Biofuels Study
The Journal Gazette, “Ashley Getting Plastic-to-fuel Plant
CBC, “AquaBounty Considers Labelling Genetically Modified Salmon
Biomass Magazine, “MTI Funds Project by Biofine to Produce Biobased Levulinic Acid
Verdict Foodservice, “McDonald’s UK to Turn Waste Grease into Biofuel and Prevent Fatbergs
Plastics Today, “Bio-based Innovation Award Finalists Announced
Plastics Technology, “Eastman Launches Chemical Recycling Innovation for Complex Plastic Waste
Euractiv, “Eastern Europe Backs Locally Produced Biofuels to Save Climate and Farmers
Ethanol Producer Magazine, “When Will the EU ‘Get Real’ on Biofuels?”, “Boaters Urged to Tell EPA to Stop the Summertime Sale of E15 Fuel
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