|Biobased and Renewable Products Update|
|May 14, 2020|
Mayors Submit Letter To EPA Administrator On RFS Uphold And Proposed Waivers
On May 11, 2020, a total of 70 Mayors from various cities in the United States submitted a letter to Andrew Wheeler, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, criticizing the decision not to uphold the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and not to reject proposed waivers under Section 211(o)(7) of the Clean Air Act. The Mayors state that this decision on waivers is already causing damage to the economy and will continue to devastate farmers, workers, and families who depend on the biofuels industry. The letter emphasizes:
The request for these waivers is unjustified under the law. Such waivers from RFS requirements may only be granted if there is a demonstration that the RFS causes severe economic harm to the economy as a whole. In reality, refiner market conditions are a result of plummeting demand for gasoline across the country, not compliance with the RFS. Further, the RFS already considers demand reduction by adjusting annual blending volumes to reflect actual motor fuel demand.
Furthermore, the signatory Mayors oppose the claim that higher Renewable Identification Numbers (RIN) prices damage biofuel refineries. Referencing an EPA market analysis, the Mayors argue that higher RIN prices are recovered in the sale of the product rather than disadvantaging merchant refiners. The letter concludes by requesting that EPA reject unjustifiable RFS waiver requests.
Renewable Fuel Reimbursement Program Included In HEROES Act
On May 12, 2020, a bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, which would make emergency supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending on September 30, 2020. Titled the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act (HEROES Act), this bill addresses various issues, many of which have been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of these issues include provisions of revenue, health, retirement, government operations, and support for processed commodities, among others.
Of particular interest to the biofuels industry is the bill’s introduction of a Renewable Fuel Reimbursement Program, which would make payments to eligible entities that experienced market losses due to the pandemic between January 1, 2020, and May 1, 2020. Eligible entities will consist of any facility that produced renewable fuel or advanced biofuel in calendar year 2019. The amount of payment to an eligible entity will be the sum of $0.45 multiplied by the number of gallons of qualified fuel produced in that period. Should a determination be made that an entity was unable to produce qualified fuel for one or more months during the applicable period due to the pandemic, $0.45 multiplied by 50 percent of the number of gallons produced in the corresponding month in 2019 will be paid.
Purple Book Database Of Biological Products Updated By FDA
On May 12, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the release of an update to its Purple Book: Database of FDA-Licensed Biological Products (Purple Book). The update adds all FDA-licensed biological products, including products approved in the new drug applications (NDAs) that were deemed to be licenses (transition biological products). This update also includes a new feature allowing users to download reports. Historical reports now include highlighted sections reflecting changes made in the previous month. This is the second phase of FDA’s Purple Book planned improvements.
As reported in B&C’s biobased products blog on February 28, 2020, FDA is working to expand the Purple Book by transitioning from its current table list format to a searchable online database for all approved biosimilar products and their reference products. The first phase of the upgrade included information about a product’s proprietary and proper names, the full product label, dosage form, route of administration, strength, and marketing status, among other information. Subsequent phases will include the expansion of the number of FDA-licensed biological products included in the Purple Book online database until the final release, which will include information about all FDA-licensed biological products.
New Reporting Procedure For Co-Manufacturers Under TSCA CDR Rule May Catch Certain Manufacturers Off Guard
One of several changes to the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule, issued in final on April 9, 2020, is that in the 2020 cycle, EPA has changed the way that toll manufacturing must be reported. In this cycle, EPA will not accept reporting from only the contracting manufacturer in situations where a company contracts with another company (i.e., a toll manufacturer) for the production of chemicals. As in years’ past, EPA states in its final rule that if no report is filed, both the contracting and producing companies will be held liable if no reporting occurs. Under past CDR cycles, EPA would accept reporting from either the contracting manufacturer or the producing (formerly referred to as “toll”) manufacturer. In 2020, EPA has stated in multiple fora that for the 2020 reporting period, EPA will only accept manufacturing details from the actual producers, even if manufacturing was contracted by another company. This change may come as a surprise, especially to producing companies that heretofore may not have reported under the CDR rule and instead relied on the contracting company to do so.
EPA stated in the preamble to the final CDR rule that it chose to include two different reporting methodologies for a co-manufacturing situation, indicating that the methodologies are based on a desire to reduce reporting burden and maintain flexibility for both the contracting and producing company. EPA noted that the companies must work together to select between the methodologies for preparing their CDR methodologies. The two methodologies for reporting, codified at 40 C.F.R. Section 711.22(c), are:
(1) The contracting company initiates the required report for that site [defined by EPA at 40 C.F.R. §711.3 as the location where the chemical substance is physically manufactured for chemical substances co-manufactured] as the primary submitter. The contracting company must indicate on the report that this is a co-manufacturing situation, notify the producing company, and record the production volume domestically co-manufactured as set forth in §711.15(b)(3) and processing and use information set forth in §711.15(b)(4). Upon notification by the contracting company, the producing company must also record the production volume domestically co-manufactured and complete the rest of the report as prompted by e-CDRweb.
(2) Upon written agreement between the contracting company and the producing company, the producing company completes the full report for the co-manufactured chemical. The contracting company supplies the information not otherwise known to or reasonably ascertainable by the producing company.
In both cases, the producing company (toll manufacturer) must provide the manufacturing details. There is no mechanism for the contracting company to submit the entire Form U.
More information on the final CDR rule is available in our March 19, 2020, memorandum, “EPA Releases Final Amendments to CDR Rule, Extends Reporting Period.”
EPA’s Updated Small Manufacturer Definition Will Apply To CDR Reporting Period Beginning June 1
On May 12, 2020, EPA released the signed final rule updating the definition of small manufacturers, including a new definition of what is considered a small government, used to determine reporting and recordkeeping requirements under TSCA. According to EPA, the updated definitions will reduce reporting burdens on chemical manufacturers and small governments while maintaining the Agency’s ability to receive the information it needs to understand exposure to chemical substances manufactured in the United States. The final rule makes a technical correction to the small manufacturer reference at 40 C.F.R. Section 704.104 for hexafluoropropylene oxide, which only includes a rule-specific small processor definition and not a small manufacturer definition. When reviewing the small manufacturer size standards, EPA found this to be an “inadvertent error.” The final rule also updates the current small manufacturer definition in the Preliminary Assessment Information Rule (PAIR) at 40 C.F.R. Section 712.25 to align it with the updated small manufacturer definition at 40 C.F.R. Section 704.3.
EPA notes that the updated definitions will apply to the CDR rule reporting period beginning June 1, 2020, and will impact certain reporting and recordkeeping requirements for TSCA Section 8(a) rules. EPA states that the final rule is based on 2018 dollars to ensure that the definition is as up to date as possible at the time of promulgation. The final rule will be effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. EPA has posted the pre-publication version of the final rule on its website.
More information on CDR reporting is available in our May 13, 2020, blog item, “New Reporting Procedure for Co-Manufacturers under TSCA CDR Rule May Catch Certain Manufacturers Off Guard,” and our March 19, 2020, memorandum, “EPA Releases Final Amendments to CDR Rule, Extends Reporting Period.”
EPA Will Hold Webinar On CDR Requirements On May 19
EPA will host a webinar on May 19, 2020, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (EDT) to provide an overview of the 2020 CDR requirements. The webinar will include information about the revised reporting requirements, including:
- New requirements for making confidential business information (CBI) claims;
- Reporting refinements related to byproducts, including exemptions;
- Phasing in certain processing and use data codes; and
- Process improvements for reporting co-manufacturing.
The webinar will also introduce the updated e-CDRweb reporting tool. EPA notes that the presentation will be similar to the webinars EPA hosted on March 31, and April 9, 2020.
EPA states that although registration is not required, it is preferred. Details on how to access the webinar and slides will be sent to participants after registering. Participants should follow along with the webinar slides and use the following call-in number to access the audio: (866) 609-6049; Conference ID: 2499985. EPA will provide webinar materials, including transcripts and recordings, on its CDR website following the webinar.
|■||ScienceDaily, “Photosynthesis in a Droplet: Researchers Develop an Artificial Chloroplast”|
|■||oceanographic, “Researchers Convert Washed-Up Seaweed into Biofuels and Fertiliser”|
|■||Successful Farming, “U.S. Lawmakers Include Biofuels Aid in Latest Proposed Relief Bill”|
|■||Olive Oil Times, “Researchers Develop Compostable Plastic Packaging from Olive Waste”|
Biobased and Renewable
Products Advocacy Group
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