USDA Designates 20 Biobased Items For Federal Procurement
Two rules under the Federal Biobased Products Preferred Procurement Program designate 20 items that must receive special consideration by all federal agencies when making purchases have been proposed by U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns.
“The designation of these 20 biobased items is a major step in advancing the federal preferred procurement program for biobased products,” said Johanns. “When finalized, 1,500 biobased products will be given procurement preference by federal agencies, generating new economic opportunities for biobased product producers and U.S. farmers and ranchers, while providing new choices for U.S. consumers.”
The Federal Biobased Products Preferred Procurement Program is authorized under Section 9002 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002. USDA published the first final rule designating six items for preferred procurement in March 2006. Federal agencies must give preference to designated biobased products in government purchases within one year of publication of the final designation rule.
The two proposed rules, published in the Aug. 17, 2006 Federal Register, designate 20 items, which are generic groupings of biobased products. The new items include: adhesive and mastic removers, insulating foam for wall construction, hand cleaners and sanitizers, composite panels, fluid-filled transformers, biodegradable containers, fertilizers, metalworking fluids, sorbents, graffiti and grease removers, two-cycle engine oils, lipcare products, biodegradable films, stationary equipment hydraulic fluids, biodegradable cutlery, glass cleaners, greases, dust suppressants, carpets, and carpet and upholstery cleaners.
Technical information to support each proposed rule is available at the web site for the Federal Biobased Products Preferred Procurement Program at www.biobased.oce.usda.gov. USDA encourages interested parties to submit comments on the proposed rules during the 60-day public comment period following their publication. The web site also contains a catalog listing the qualifying biobased products that manufacturers have posted under each designated grouping of products.
The two proposed rules are part of a series of rules that will be issued designating biobased items. USDA has identified about 170 items for which it is collecting test data needed for the additional designations of items that will extend preferred procurement status to include all qualifying biobased products.
USDA has previously issued final guidelines for the biobased procurement program and developed a model procurement program of training and education to help Federal procurement officials and users of biobased products identify and purchase qualifying biobased products.
Information on the guidelines and the model program are available at www.usda.gov/biobased.