April 9, 2024

Informational Webinar on 2023 Billion-Ton Report Will be Held April 16, 2024

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) will hold an informational webinar on April 16, 2024, on the recently released 2023 Billion-Ton Report (BT23), an assessment of renewable carbon resources potentially available in the United States. BETO notes that BT23 shows that the United States could sustainably triple its production of biomass to more than one billion tons per year and highlights the importance of diversifying...
April 4, 2024

AMS Requests Information to Update List of Bioengineered Foods

On March 28, 2024, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) requested information about potential additions to or subtractions from the List of Bioengineered Foods (List) as it pertains to the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (Standard). 89 Fed. Reg. 21484. Under 7 C.F.R. Section 66.1, a bioengineered food is a food that — subject to certain factors, conditions, and limitations — contains detectable genetic material that has...
April 3, 2024

EPA Reschedules Webinar on Biogas Regulatory Reform Rule Provisions of RFS Program to April 12, 2024

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on April 3, 2024, that it has rescheduled its public webinar to discuss the implementation of the Biogas Regulatory Reform Rule (BRRR) provisions promulgated as part of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) final rule for 2023-2025 (the Set Rule) to April 12, 2024. 89 Fed. Reg. 23013. During the webinar, EPA intends to discuss various aspects of the BRRR program, including: All attendees must pre-register for the webinar...
April 2, 2024

DOE Report Outlines How the United States Can Sustainably Produce More than One Billion Tons of Biomass Per Year

On March 15, 2024, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the release of the Bioenergy Technologies Office’s (BETO) 2023 Billion-Ton Report (BT23), the fourth in a series of assessments of potential biomass resources available in the United States. BT23 provides estimates of biomass resource potential in response to market demand scenarios. According to DOE, BT23 finds that one billion tons of biomass could satisfy more than 100 percent of the projected demand for airplane...
April 1, 2024

APHIS Seeks Comment on Draft EIS for Deregulation of Maize Developed Using Genetic Engineering

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced on March 22, 2024, that it has prepared a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) and draft plant pest risk assessment (PPRA) evaluating the potential environmental impacts and plant pest risk that may result from the approval of a petition for nonregulated status for maize developed using genetic engineering for dicamba, glufosinate, quizalofop, and 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid...
March 29, 2024

CRS Publishes Report on Regulation of Gene-Edited Plants and Issues for Congress

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) published a report on March 22, 2024, on “Gene-Edited Plants: Regulation and Issues for Congress.” Gene-edited plants are regulated under the U.S. Coordinated Framework for Regulation of Biotechnology, which coordinates how the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulate biotechnology products to ensure their safety. Over time, the agencies have been...
March 28, 2024

EC Publishes Communication on Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing, Announces Targeted Actions

The European Commission (EC) announced on March 20, 2024, that it has proposed a series of targeted actions to boost biotechnology and biomanufacturing in the European Union (EU). The EC states that its March 20, 2024, Communication on Building the future with nature: Boosting Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing in the EU “identifies the challenges and barriers and proposes to tackle them, in line with the Communication on the long-term competitiveness of the EU.” According to the...
March 26, 2024

White House Launches National Bioeconomy Board

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) announced on March 22, 2024, the launch of the National Bioeconomy Board, co-chaired by OSTP, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the U.S. Department of Defense. The Board also includes representatives from nine additional federal departments and agencies: the U.S. Department of State, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the National Aeronautics...
March 25, 2024

EPA Will Hold Webinar on Biogas Regulatory Reform Rule Provisions of RFS Program on April 4, 2024

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will host a public webinar on April 4, 2024, to discuss the implementation of the Biogas Regulatory Reform Rule (BRRR) provisions promulgated as part of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) final rule for 2023-2025 (the “Set Rule”). 89 Fed. Reg. 15988. EPA states that these regulatory provisions include registration and reporting and updated regulatory provisions for the production, distribution, and use of biogas as a renewable fuel. During the...
March 15, 2024

USDA Releases Plan to Strengthen the Bioeconomy through a More Resilient Biomass Supply Chain

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released on March 14, 2024, a report entitled Building a Resilient Biomass Supply: A Plan to Enable the Bioeconomy in America, “a plan that will boost biomass supply chain resiliency for domestic biobased product manufacturing, while also advancing environmental sustainability and market opportunities for small and mid-sized producers.” According to USDA, the plan is one of the key USDA deliverables of President Biden’s 2022 Executive Order on...
March 11, 2024

USDA Releases Reports on Economic Impact Analysis of the U.S. Biobased Products Industry and on Hemp Research and Innovation

On March 8, 2024, the U.S. Department of Agriculture honored the second annual National Biobased Products Day, “a celebration to raise public awareness of biobased products, their benefits and their contributions to the U.S. economy and rural communities.” USDA states that as part of its activities to honor National Biobased Products Day, it released two reports: Economic Impact Analysis of the U.S. Biobased Products Industry USDA states that its commissioned report “An Economic Impact...
March 6, 2024

DOE Will Host Virtual Clean Fuels & Products ShotTM Summit April 8-9, 2024

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will host the Clean Fuels & Products Shot™ Summit on April 8, 2024, from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. (EDT), and April 9, 2024, from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (EDT). The virtual event will gather stakeholders across government, industry, academia, and non-profit organizations to engage on the objectives, progress, priorities, and future plans for the seventh DOE Energy Earthshot™. According to DOE, the Clean Fuels & Products Shot...
March 5, 2024

DOE Intends to Issue Funding to Support Mixed Algae and Wet Waste Feedstocks R&D for Biofuels and Bioproducts

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) announced on February 13, 2024, their intent to issue funding to support research and development (R&D) projects for converting algae and other wet waste feedstocks to low-carbon fuels, chemicals, and agricultural products. DOE states that the intended Mixed Algae Conversion Research Opportunity (MACRO) funding would address gaps in the use of carbon dioxide...
March 4, 2024

USDA Seeks Comments on Petition to Deregulate Corn Developed Using Genetic Engineering

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced on March 4, 2024, that it received a petition from Bayer U.S.-Crop Science seeking a determination of nonregulated status for maize (corn) event MON 95379 that has been developed using genetic engineering to produce two insecticidal proteins to protect against feeding damage caused by target lepidopteran pests. 89 Fed. Reg. 15542. APHIS is making the petition available for review and...
March 1, 2024

European Industries Call for “Bold and Impactful” Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Initiative

EuropaBio, the European Association for Bioindustries, announced on February 21, 2024, the release of a position paper calling for “bold ambition, and five core principles to ensure impactful industrial growth.” According to the position paper, “EC Initiative on Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing: Principles for an impactful Europe,” the European Commission’s (EC) forthcoming Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Initiative “is a unique opportunity for the [European Union (EU)] to build...
February 29, 2024

FDA Issues Guidance for Industry on Foods Derived from Plants Produced Using Genome Editing

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has posted a February 2024 guidance entitled “Foods Derived from Plants Produced Using Genome Editing: Guidance for Industry.” According to FDA, one purpose of the guidance is to clarify how its 1992 policy statement “Statement of Policy: Foods Derived from New Plant Varieties” (NPV policy) (57 Fed. Reg. 22984) applies to foods derived from NPVs produced using genome editing. The NPV policy provides scientific and regulatory guidance on...
February 28, 2024

Library of Congress Publishes Article on South Korea’s Act on Promoting the Green Bio Industry

On February 7, 2024, the Library of Congress posted an article entitled “South Korea: Act to Promote Green Bio Industry Published.” According to the article, South Korea published the Act on Promoting the Green Bio Industry (Green Bio Act) on January 2, 2024. The Green Bio Act, which will enter into force on January 3, 2025, “aims to promote the application of biotechnology to agricultural bioresources and increase the added value of agriculture, develop the...
February 23, 2024

EPA and DOE Announce Funding to Spur Development of Advanced Biofuels

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced on February 22, 2024, the release of a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), “Inflation Reduction Act Funding for Advanced Biofuels,” for up to $9.4 million for the development of advanced biofuels. According to EPA, the funding will support “high-impact biofuel technology projects to improve the performance and reduce the cost of biofuel production technologies, scale up production systems...
February 15, 2024

USDA Proposes Streamlined Regulation for Biobased Markets (BioPreferred) Program

The Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBCS), an agency of the Rural Development mission area within U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), issued a proposed rule on January 24, 2024, that would adopt changes from the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill). 89 Fed. Reg. 4770. The changes include merging the Guidelines for Designating Biobased Products for Federal Procurement (7 C.F.R. Part 3201) and the Voluntary Labeling Program for Biobased Products (7 C.F.R. Part 3202) into...
February 2, 2024

EPA Enhances Online Search Tool for Ecolabel Recommendations in Federal Purchasing

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched enhancements to an online search tool for its Recommendations of Specifications, Standards, and Ecolabels for Federal Purchasing on January 30, 2024. According to EPA, the search tool makes it easier to view and sort standards and ecolabels that EPA recommends U.S. federal government purchasers use to meet sustainable acquisition goals and mandates. The search tool allows users to identify the types of products or services covered by an...