USDA DESIGNATES FIRST BIOBASED ITEMS FOR FEDERAL PROCUREMENT
WASHINGTON, July 5, 2005- Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today announced the first items to be designated for procurement by all federal agencies under the Federal Biobased Products Preferred Procurement Program, created by the 2002 Farm Bill.
"This program breaks new ground for biobased products and will generate additional revenue and new economic opportunities for America's farmers and ranchers," said Johanns. "This is an important step toward increasing the acceptance and use of biobased products, leading to larger production runs, lower prices and a broader array of biobased products in the market."
The Federal Biobased Products Preferred Procurement Program is authorized under Section 9002 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002. USDA earlier published a final rule providing the operational guidelines for the preferred procurement program.
The proposed rule published in the July 5, 2005 Federal Register designates six items. The items are: 1) mobile equipment hydraulic fluids, 2) urethane roof coatings, 3) water tank coatings, 4) diesel fuel additives, 5) penetrating lubricants and 6) bedding, bed linens, and towels. When published as a final rule, all qualifying biobased products that fall within these six items must be given preference in procurement by Federal agencies.
The proposed rule announced today is the first of a series of rules that will be issued designating biobased items or generic groupings of biobased products, until all items are designated and all qualifying biobased products are granted preferred procurement status. USDA has identified over 110 items for which it will be collecting test data needed for designation.
Manufacturers of qualifying biobased products that fall within the designated items, when a final rule is issued, will be invited to post product and contact information on the web site for the Federal Biobased Products Preferred Procurement Program at http://www.biobased.oce.usda.gov. This will enable federal agencies to have easy access to biobased product information.
USDA has developed a model procurement program of training and education to help federal procurement officials and federal users of biobased products identify and purchase qualifying biobased products within items that have been designated. Information on this program is available at http://www.biobased.oce.usda.gov.
USDA will consider all comments received by Sept. 6, 2005. Comments may be submitted by mail to: Marvin Duncan, USDA, Office of the Chief Economist, Office of Energy Policy and New Uses, Room 4059, South Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., MS-3815, Washington, DC 20250-3815 by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or via the web through the federal eRulemaking portal: http://www.regulations.gov/ or at http://www.biobased.oce.usda.gov.