USDA Amends Guidelines For Designating Biobased Products
On July 10, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Office of Procurement and Property Management announced it was amending the Guidelines for Designating Biobased Products for Federal Procurement to add 12 sections that designate product categories within which biobased products will be afforded federal procurement preference by federal agencies and their contractors via a final rule. 83 Fed. Reg. 31841. The Federal Register publication states that this final rule “designates the proposed product categories within which biobased products will be afforded Federal procurement preference” and that “USDA has determined that each of the product categories being designated under this rulemaking meets the necessary statutory requirements; that they are being produced with biobased products; and that their procurement will carry out the following objectives of section 9002: to improve demand for biobased products; to spur development of the industrial base through value-added agricultural processing and manufacturing in rural communities; and to enhance the Nation’s energy security by substituting biobased products for products derived from imported oil and natural gas.”
The final rule revises the definition of the following categories in an effort to clarify or add examples of intermediates that can be included in each of these categories:
- Intermediates — plastic resins (revised to include the term “polymers”);
- Intermediates — chemicals (revised to list additional materials such as viscosity reducers, rheology modifiers, adhesion agents, polyols, and polymers);
- Intermediates — paint and coating components (revised to add additional examples of paint and coating components, such as humectants, open time additives, and polymers); and
- Intermediates — binders (revised to expand on the types of chemicals that typically make up binders, to include examples of materials that binders can be used to formulate, and to include the phrase “binders are generally polymers or polymer precursors (such as epoxies) and include the polymeric materials used to formulate coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers”).