[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 159 (Thursday, August 17, 2006)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 47589-47612]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 06-6920]



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Part III





Department of Agriculture





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Office of Energy Policy and New Uses



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7 CFR Part 2902



Designation of Biobased Items for Federal Procurement; Proposed Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 159 / Thursday, August 17, 2006 / 
Proposed Rules

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Office of Energy Policy and New Uses

7 CFR Part 2902

RIN 0503-AA31


Designation of Biobased Items for Federal Procurement

AGENCY: Office of Energy Policy and New Uses, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is proposing to 
amend 7 CFR part 2902, Guidelines for Designating Biobased Products for 
Federal Procurement, to add 10 sections to designate the following 10 
items within which biobased products would be afforded Federal 
procurement preference, as provided for under section 9002 of the Farm 
Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002: 2-Cycle engine oils; lip 
care products; biodegradable films; stationary equipment hydraulic 
fluids; biodegradable cutlery; glass cleaners; greases; dust 
suppressants; carpets; and carpet and upholstery cleaners. USDA also is 
proposing minimum biobased content for each of these items. Once USDA 
designates an item, procuring agencies are required generally to 
purchase biobased products within these designated items where the 
purchase price of the procurement item exceeds $10,000 or where the 
quantity of such items or the functionally equivalent items purchased 
over the preceding fiscal year equaled $10,000 or more.

DATES: USDA will accept public comments on this proposed rule until 
October 16, 2006.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods. All 
submissions received must include the agency name and Regulatory 
Information Number (RIN). The RIN for this rulemaking is 0503-AA31. 
Also, please identify submittals as pertaining to the ``Proposed 
Designation of Items.''
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     E-mail: [email protected]. Include RIN number 0503-AA31 
and ``Proposed Designation of Items'' on the subject line. Please 
include your name and address in your message.
     Mail/commercial/hand delivery: Mail or deliver your 
comments 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.
     Persons with disabilities who require alternative means 
for communication for regulatory information (braille, large print, 
audiotape, etc.) should contact the USDA TARGET Center at (202) 720-
2600 (voice) and (202) 401-4133 (TDD).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 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; e-mail: [email protected]; phone (202) 401-0461. Information 
regarding the Federal Biobased Products Preferred Procurement Program 
is available on the Internet at http://www.biobased.oce.usda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The information presented in this preamble 
is organized as follows:

I. Authority
II. Background
III. Summary of Today's Proposed Rulemaking
IV. Designation of Items, Minimum Biobased Contents, and Time Frame
    A. Background
    B. Items Proposed for Designation
    C. Minimum Biobased Contents
    D. Effective Date for Procurement Preference and Incorporation 
into Specifications
V. Where Can Agencies Get More Information on These USDA-designated 
Items?
VI. Regulatory Information
    A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review
    B. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)
    C. Executive Order 12630: Governmental Actions and Interference 
with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights
    D. Executive Order 12988: Civil Justice Reform
    E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism
    F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995
    G. Executive Order 12372: Intergovernmental Review of Federal 
Programs
    H. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination with 
Indian Tribal Governments
    I. Paperwork Reduction Act
    J. Government Paperwork Elimination Act Compliance

I. Authority

    The designation of these items is proposed under the authority of 
section 9002 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 
(FSRIA), 7 U.S.C. 8102 (referred to in this document as ``section 
9002'').

II. Background

    Section 9002 of FSRIA, as amended by section 943 of the Energy 
Policy Act of 2005, Public Law 109-58 (Energy Policy Act), provides for 
the preferred procurement of biobased products by procuring agencies. 
Section 943 of the Energy Policy Act amended the definitions section of 
FSRIA, 7 U.S.C. 8101, by adding a definition of ``procuring agency'' 
that includes both Federal agencies and ``any person contracting with 
any Federal agency with respect to work performed under that 
contract.'' The amendment also made Federal contractors, as well as 
Federal agencies, expressly subject to the procurement preference 
provisions of section 9002 of FSRIA. However, because this program 
requires agencies to incorporate the preference for biobased products 
into procurement specifications, the statutory amendment makes no 
substantive change to the program. USDA amended the Guidelines to 
incorporate the new definition of ``procuring agency'' through an 
interim final rule.
    Procuring agencies must procure biobased products within each 
designated item unless they determine that products within a designated 
item are not reasonably available within a reasonable period of time, 
fail to meet the reasonable performance standards of the procuring 
agencies, or are available only at an unreasonable price. As stated in 
the Guidelines, biobased products that are merely incidental to Federal 
funding are excluded from the preferred procurement program. In 
implementing the preferred procurement program for biobased products, 
procuring agencies should follow their procurement rules and Office of 
Federal Procurement Policy guidance on buying non-biobased products 
when biobased products exist and should document exceptions taken for 
price, performance, and availability.
    USDA recognizes that the performance needs for a given application 
are important criteria in making procurement decisions. USDA is not 
requiring procuring agencies to limit their choices to biobased 
products that fall under the items for designation in this proposed 
rule. Rather, the effect of the designation of the items is to require 
procuring agencies to determine their performance needs, determine 
whether there are qualified biobased products that fall under the 
designated items that meet the reasonable performance standards for 
those needs, and purchase such qualified biobased products to the 
maximum extent practicable as required by section 9002.
    Section 9002 also requires USDA to provide information to procuring 
agencies on the availability, relative price, performance, and 
environmental and public health benefits of such items

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and, under section 9002(e)(1)(C), to recommend where appropriate the 
minimum level of biobased content to be contained in the procured 
products.
    Overlap with EPA Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines program for 
recovered content products. Some of the biobased items designated for 
preferred procurement may overlap with products designated under the 
Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Comprehensive Procurement 
Guidelines program for recovered content products. Where that occurs, 
an EPA-designated recovered content product (also known as ``recycled 
content products'' or ``EPA-designated products'') has priority in 
Federal procurement over the qualifying biobased product. In situations 
where USDA believes there may be an overlap, it plans to ask 
manufacturers of qualifying biobased products to provide additional 
product and performance information including the various suggested 
uses of their product and the performance standards against which a 
particular product has been tested. In addition, depending on the type 
of biobased product, manufacturers may also be asked to provide other 
types of information, such as whether the product contains petroleum-, 
coal-, or natural gas-based components and whether the product contains 
recovered materials. Federal agencies may also ask manufacturers for 
information on a product's biobased content and its profile against 
environmental and human health measures and life cycle costs (the 
Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability (BEES) analysis 
or ASTM International (ASTM) Standard D7075 for evaluating and 
reporting on environmental performance of biobased products). Such 
information will assist Federal agencies in determining whether the 
biobased products in question are, or are not, the same products for 
the same uses as the recovered content products and will be available 
on USDA's Web site with its catalog of qualifying biobased products.
    Where a biobased item is used for the same purposes and to meet the 
same requirements as an EPA-designated recovered content product, the 
Federal agency must purchase the recovered content product. For 
example, if a biobased hydraulic fluid is to be used as a fluid in 
hydraulic systems and ``lubricating oils containing re-refined oil'' 
has already been designated by EPA for that purpose, then the Federal 
agency must purchase the EPA-designated recovered content product, 
``lubricating oils containing re-refined oil.'' If, on the other hand, 
that biobased hydraulic fluid is to be used to address certain 
environmental or health requirements that the EPA-designated recovered 
content product would not meet, then the biobased product should be 
given preference, subject to cost, availability, and performance.
    Federal Government Purchase of ``Green'' Products. Three components 
of the Federal government's green purchasing program are the Biobased 
Products Preferred Purchasing Program, the Environmental Protection 
Agency's Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines for products containing 
recovered materials, and the Environmentally Preferable Products 
Program. The Office of the Federal Environmental Executive (OFEE) and 
the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) encourage agencies to 
implement these components comprehensively when purchasing products and 
services.
    In the case of cleaning products, procuring agencies should note 
that not all biobased products are ``environmentally preferable.'' 
Unless the cleaning products contain no or reduced levels of metals and 
toxic and hazardous constituents, they can be harmful to aquatic life, 
the environment, or workers. When purchasing environmentally preferable 
cleaning products, many Federal agencies specify that products must 
meet Green Seal standards for institutional cleaning products or that 
products have been reformulated in accordance with recommendations from 
the U.S. EPA's Design for the Environment (DfE) program. Both the Green 
Seal standards and the DfE program identify chemicals of concern in 
cleaning products. These include zinc and other metals, formaldehyde, 
ammonia, alkylphenol ethoxylates, ethylene glycol, and volatile organic 
compounds. In addition, both require that cleaning products have 
neutral or less caustic pH.
    On the other hand, some biobased products may be better for the 
environment than some products that meet Green Seal standards for 
institutional cleaning products or that have been reformulated in 
accordance with the EPA's DfE program. To fully compare products, one 
must look at the ``cradle-to-grave'' impacts of the manufacture, use, 
and disposal of products. Biobased products that will be available for 
preferred procurement under this program have been assessed as to their 
``cradle-to-grave'' impacts.
    One consideration of a product's impact on the environment is 
whether (and to what degree) it introduces new fossil carbon into the 
atmosphere. Qualifying biobased products offer the user the opportunity 
to manage the carbon cycle and limit the introduction of new fossil 
carbon into the atmosphere, whereas non-biobased products derived from 
fossil fuels add new fossil carbon to the atmosphere.
    Manufacturers of qualifying biobased products under the Federal 
Biobased Products Preferred Procurement Program (FB4P) will be able to 
provide, at the request of Federal agencies, factual information on 
environmental and human health effects of their products, including the 
results of the BEES analysis, which examines 11 different environmental 
parameters, including human health, or the comparable ASTM D7505. 
Therefore, USDA encourages Federal procurement agencies to examine all 
available information on the environmental and human health effects of 
cleaning products when making their purchasing decisions.
    Green Building Council. More than a dozen Federal agencies use the 
U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental 
Design (LEED) Green Building Rating Systems for new construction, 
building renovation, and building operation and maintenance. The 
systems provide criteria for implementing sustainable design principles 
in building design, construction, operation, and maintenance. Points 
are assigned to each criterion, and building projects can be certified 
as ``certified,'' ``silver,'' ``gold,'' or ``platinum,'' depending on 
the number of points for which the project qualifies. LEED for New 
Construction and Major Renovations (LEED-NC) includes a ``Materials & 
Resources'' criterion, with one point allocated for the use of rapidly 
renewable materials. Thus, the use of biobased construction products 
can help agencies obtain LEED certification for their building 
construction projects.
    Interagency Council. USDA has created, and is chairing, an 
``interagency council,'' with membership selected from among Federal 
stakeholders to the FB4P. To augment its own research, USDA consults 
with this council in identifying the order of item designation, 
manufacturers producing and marketing products that fall within an item 
proposed for designation, performance standards used by Federal 
agencies evaluating products to be procured, and warranty information 
used by manufacturers of end user equipment and other products with 
regard to biobased products.

III. Summary of Today's Proposed Rulemaking

    Today, USDA is proposing to designate the following 10 items for

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preferred procurement: 2-Cycle engine oils; lip care products; 
biodegradable films; stationary equipment hydraulic fluids; 
biodegradable cutlery; glass cleaners; greases; dust suppressants; 
carpets; and carpet and upholstery cleaners. USDA is also proposing 
minimum biobased content for each of these items (see Section IV.C). 
Lastly, USDA is proposing a date by which Federal agencies must 
incorporate designated items into their procurement specifications (see 
Section IV.D).
    In today's proposed rulemaking, USDA is providing information on 
its findings as to the availability, economic and technical 
feasibility, environmental and public health benefits, and life cycle 
costs for each of the 10 designated items. Information on the 
availability, relative price, performance, and environmental and public 
health benefits of individual products within each of these 10 items is 
not presented in this notice. Further, USDA has reached an agreement 
with manufacturers not to publish their names in the Federal Register 
when designating items. This agreement was reached to encourage 
manufacturers to submit products for testing to support the designation 
of an item. Once an item has been designated, USDA will encourage the 
manufacturers of products within the designated item to voluntarily 
post their names and other contact information on the USDA FB4P Web 
site.
    Warranties. Some of the items being proposed for designation today 
may affect maintenance warranties. As time and resources allow, USDA 
will work with manufacturers on addressing any effect the use of 
biobased products may have on maintenance warranties. At this time, 
however, USDA does not have information available as to whether or not 
the manufacturers will state that the use of these products will void 
maintenance warranties. USDA encourages manufacturers of biobased 
products to work with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to ensure 
that biobased products will not void maintenance warranties when used. 
USDA is willing to assist manufacturers of the biobased products, if 
they find that existing performance standards for maintenance 
warranties are not relevant or appropriate for biobased products, in 
working with the appropriate OEMs to develop tests that are relevant 
and appropriate for the end uses in which biobased products are 
intended. If despite these efforts there is insufficient information 
regarding the use of a biobased product and its effect on maintenance 
warranties, USDA notes that the procurement agent would not be required 
to buy such a product. As information is available on warranties, USDA 
will make such information available on its FB4P Web site.
    Additional Information. USDA is working with manufacturers and 
vendors to post all relevant product and manufacturer contact 
information on the FB4P Web site before a procuring agency asks for it, 
in order to make the preferred program more efficient. Steps USDA has 
implemented, or will implement, include: Making direct contact with 
submitting companies through e-mail and phone conversations to 
encourage completion of product listing; coordinating outreach efforts 
with intermediate material producers to encourage participation of 
their customer base; conducting targeted outreach with industry and 
commodity groups to educate stakeholders on the importance of providing 
complete product information; participating in industry conferences and 
meetings to educate companies on program benefits and requirements; and 
communicating the potential for expanded markets beyond the Federal 
government, to include State and local governments, as well as the 
general public markets. Section V provides instructions to agencies on 
how to obtain this information on products within these items through 
the following Web site: http://www.biobased.oce.usda.gov.
    Comments. USDA invites comment on the proposed designation of these 
10 items, including the definition, proposed minimum biobased content, 
and any of the relevant analyses performed during the selection of 
these items. In addition, USDA invites comments and information in the 
following areas:
    1. Two of the items being proposed for designation (stationary 
equipment hydraulic fluids and carpets) may overlap with products 
designated under EPA's Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines for 
products containing recovered material. To help procuring agencies in 
making their purchasing decisions between biobased products within the 
proposed designated items that overlap with products containing 
recovered material, USDA is requesting from manufacturers and users 
product specific information on unique performance attributes, 
environmental and human health effects, disposal costs, and other 
attributes that would distinguish biobased products from products 
containing recovered material as well as non-biobased products. USDA 
will post this information on the FB4P Web site.
    2. Biobased carpet can be composed of a biobased face or a biobased 
backing or both (i.e., both the face and backing are biobased). USDA is 
proposing in today's notice that the minimum biobased content for 
carpet be based on the total product; that is, on both the carpet's 
face and backing. USDA is seeking comment on whether separate minimum 
biobased contents should be set for the face and for the backing. 
Please provide detailed rationale and information to support your 
comments.
    3. USDA is proposing to designate dust suppressants as an item for 
preferred procurement. The products intended to be covered are those 
designed for use in outdoor environments. However, the same products, 
or products with very similar formulations, may also be used in indoor 
environments, such as indoor arenas, that simulate outdoor conditions. 
For example, an indoor arena might provide parking on a dirt floor, 
such as would be found in outside parking. USDA is proposing that dust 
suppressant products used for similar situations that take place within 
an indoor environment be included in this item. USDA is interested in 
your comments on whether this item should be strictly limited to 
outdoor environments. Please be sure to provide your rationale for your 
comments.
    4. We have attempted to identify relevant and appropriate 
performance standards and other relevant measures of performance for 
each of the proposed items. If you know of other such standards or 
relevant measures of performance for the proposed items, USDA requests 
that you submit information identifying such standards and measures, 
including their name (and other identifying information as necessary), 
identifying who is using the standard/measure, and describing the 
circumstances under which the product is being used. For example, in 
today's proposed rulemaking, a Green Seal standard (GS-37) has been 
identified for glass cleaners. USDA is interested in learning if other 
equivalent standards for glass cleaners exist and where they are being 
used.
    5. As proposed, biodegradable films do not include films used for 
agricultural purposes (such as films that would be used to cover 
fields) and durable films. Durable films will be proposed as a separate 
item for preferred procurement. USDA, however, is interested in 
receiving comment on whether there should be any subcategories within 
biodegradable films (including any biodegradable films that might be 
considered agricultural films) and what they might be. Please be sure 
to provide rationale and supporting information with your comments.

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    6. Many biobased products within the items being proposed for 
designation will have positive environmental and human health 
attributes. USDA is seeking comments on such attributes in order to 
provide additional information on the FB4P Web site. This information 
will then be available to Federal procuring agencies and will assist 
them in making ``best value'' purchase decisions. When possible, please 
provide appropriate documentation to support the environmental and 
human health attributes you describe.
    To assist you in developing your comments, the background 
information used in proposing these items for designation can be found 
on the FB4P Web site. All comments should be submitted as directed in 
the ADDRESSES section above.

IV. Designation of Items, Minimum Biobased Contents, and Time Frame

A. Background

    In order to designate items (generic groupings of specific products 
such as crankcase oils or products that contain qualifying biobased 
fibers) for preferred procurement, section 9002 requires USDA to 
consider: (1) The availability of items; and (2) the economic and 
technological feasibility of using the items, including the life cycle 
costs of the items.
    In considering an item's availability, USDA uses several sources of 
information. USDA performs Internet searches, contacts trade 
associations (such as the Biobased Manufacturers Association) and 
commodity groups, searches the Thomas Register (a database, used as a 
resource for finding companies and products manufactured in North 
America, containing over 173,000 entries), and contacts individual 
manufacturers and vendors to identify those manufacturers and vendors 
with biobased products within items being considered for designation. 
USDA uses the results of these same searches to determine if an item is 
generally available.
    In considering an item's economic and technological feasibility, 
USDA examines evidence pointing to the general commercial use of an 
item and its cost and performance characteristics. This information is 
obtained from the sources used to assess an item's availability. 
Commercial use, in turn, is evidenced by any manufacturer and vendor 
information on the availability, relative prices, and performance of 
their products as well as by evidence of an item being purchased by a 
procuring agency or other entity, where available. In sum, USDA 
considers an item economically and technologically feasible for 
purposes of designation if products within that item are being offered 
and used in the marketplace.
    In considering the life cycle costs of items proposed for 
designation, USDA uses the BEES analytical tool to test individual 
products within each proposed item. (Detailed information on this 
analytical tool can be found on the Web site http://www.bfrl.nist.gov/oae/software/bees.html.) The BEES analytical tool measures the 
environmental performance and the economic performance of a product.
    Environmental performance is measured in the BEES analytical tool 
using the internationally-standardized and science-based life cycle 
assessment approach specified in the International Organization for 
Standardization (ISO) 14000 standards. The BEES environmental 
performance analysis includes human health as one of its components. 
All stages in the life of a product are analyzed: Raw material 
production; manufacture; transportation; installation; use; and 
recycling and waste management. The time period over which 
environmental performance is measured begins with raw material 
production and ends with disposal (waste management). The BEES 
environmental performance analysis also addresses products made from 
biobased feedstocks.
    Economic performance in the BEES analysis is measured using the 
ASTM standard life cycle cost method (ASTM E917), which covers the 
costs of initial investment, replacement, operation, maintenance and 
repair, and disposal. The time frame for economic performance extends 
from the purchase of the product to final disposal.
    USDA then utilizes the BEES results of individual products within a 
designated item in its consideration of the life cycle costs at the 
item level. There is a single unit of comparison associated with each 
designated item. The basis for the unit of comparison is the 
``functional unit,'' defined so that the products compared are true 
substitutes for one another. If significant differences have been 
identified in the useful lives of alternative products within a 
designated item (e.g., if one product lasts twice as long as another), 
the functional unit will include reference to a time dimension to 
account for the frequency of product replacement. The functional unit 
also will account for products used in different amounts for equivalent 
service. For example, one surface coating product may be 
environmentally and economically preferable to another on a pound-for-
pound basis, but may require twice the mass to cover one square foot of 
surface, and last half as long, as the other product. To account for 
these performance differences, the functional unit for the surface 
coating item could be ``one square foot of application for 20 years'' 
instead of ``one pound of surface coating product.'' The functional 
unit provides the critical reference point to which all BEES results 
for products within an item are scaled. Because functional units vary 
from item to item, performance comparisons are valid only among 
products within a designated item.
    The complete results of the BEES analysis, extrapolated to the item 
level, for each item proposed for designation in today's proposed 
rulemaking can be found at http://www.biobased.oce.usda.gov.
    As discussed above, the BEES analysis includes information on the 
environmental performance, human health impacts, and economic 
performance. In addition, ASTM D7505, which manufacturers may use in 
lieu of the BEES analytical tool, provides similar information. USDA is 
working with manufacturers and vendors to post this information on the 
FB4P Web site before a procuring agency asks for it, in order to make 
the preferred procurement program more efficient. As discussed earlier, 
USDA has also implemented, or will implement, several other steps 
intended to educate the manufacturers and other stakeholders on the 
benefits of this program and the need to post this information, 
including manufacturer contact information, on the FB4P Web site to 
make it available to procurement officials. Additional information on 
specific products within the items proposed for designation may also be 
obtained directly from the manufacturers of the products.
    USDA recognizes that information related to the functional 
performance of biobased products is a primary factor in making the 
decision to purchase these products. USDA is gathering from 
manufacturers of biobased products being considered for designation 
information on industry standard test methods that they are using to 
evaluate the functional performance of their products. Additional 
standards are also being identified during meetings of the Interagency 
Council and during the review process for each proposed rule. We have 
listed under the detailed discussion of each item proposed for 
designation (presented in Section IV.B) the functional performance test 
methods identified during the development of this Federal Register 
notice for these 10 items. While this process identifies

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many of the relevant standards, USDA recognizes that the performance 
test methods identified herein do not represent all of the methods that 
may be applicable for a designated item or for any individual product 
within the designated item. As noted earlier in this preamble, USDA is 
requesting identification of other relevant performance standards and 
measures of performance. As the program becomes fully implemented, 
these and other additional relevant performance standards will be 
available on the FB4P Web site.
    In gathering information relevant to the analyses discussed above, 
USDA has made extensive efforts to contact and request information and 
product samples from representatives of all known manufacturers of 
products within the items proposed for designation. However, because 
the submission of information is on a strictly voluntary basis, USDA 
was able to obtain information and samples only from those 
manufacturers who were willing voluntarily to invest the resources 
required to gather and submit the information and samples. USDA used 
the samples to test for biobased content and the information to conduct 
the BEES analyses. The data presented are all the data that were 
submitted in response to USDA requests for information from all known 
manufacturers of the products within the 10 items proposed for 
designation. While USDA would prefer to have complete data on the full 
range of products within each item, the data that were submitted are 
sufficient to support designation of the items in today's proposed 
rulemaking.
    To propose an item for designation, USDA must have sufficient 
information on a sufficient number of products within an item to be 
able to assess its availability and its economic and technological 
feasibility, including its life cycle costs. For some items, there may 
be numerous products available. For other items, there may be very few 
products currently available. Given the infancy of the market for some 
items, it is not unexpected that even single-product items will be 
identified. Further, given that the intent of section 9002 is largely 
to stimulate the production of new biobased products and to energize 
emerging markets for those products, USDA has determined that the 
identification of two or more biobased products within an item, or even 
a single product with two or more suppliers, is sufficient to consider 
the designation of that item. Similarly, the documented availability, 
benefits, and life cycle costs of even a very small percentage of all 
products that may exist within an item are also considered sufficient 
to support designation.

B. Items Proposed for Designation

    USDA uses a model (as summarized below) to identify and prioritize 
items for designation. Through this model, USDA has identified over 100 
items for potential designation under the preferred procurement 
program. A list of these items and information on the model can be 
accessed on the USDA biobased program Web site at http://www.biobased.oce.usda.gov.
    In general, items are developed and prioritized for designation by 
evaluating them against program criteria established by USDA and by 
gathering information from other government agencies, private industry 
groups, and independent manufacturers. These evaluations begin by 
asking the following questions about the products within an item:
     Are they cost competitive with non-biobased products?
     Do they meet industry performance standards?
     Are they readily available on the commercial market?
    In addition to these primary concerns, USDA then considers the 
following points:
     Are there manufacturers interested in providing the 
necessary test information on products within a particular item?
     Are there a number of manufacturers producing biobased 
products in this item?
     Are there products available in this item?
     What level of difficulty is expected when designating this 
item?
     Is there Federal demand for the product?
     Are Federal procurement personnel looking for biobased 
products?
     Will an item create a high demand for biobased feed stock?
     Does manufacturing of products within this item increase 
potential for rural development?
    After completing this evaluation, USDA prioritizes the list of 
items for designation. USDA then gathers information on products within 
the highest priority items and, as sufficient information becomes 
available for groups of approximately 10 items, a new rulemaking 
package will be developed to designate the items within that group. The 
list of items may change, with items being added or dropped, and the 
order in which items are proposed for designation is likely to change 
because the information necessary to designate an item may take more 
time to obtain than an item lower on the list.
    In today's proposed rulemaking, USDA is proposing to designate 10 
items for the preferred procurement program: 2-Cycle engine oils; lip 
care products; biodegradable films; stationary equipment hydraulic 
fluids; biodegradable cutlery; glass cleaners; greases; dust 
suppressants; carpets; and carpet and upholstery cleaners. USDA has 
determined that each of these 10 items meets the necessary statutory 
requirements--namely, that they are being produced with biobased 
products and that their procurement by procuring agencies will carry 
out the following objectives of section 9002:
     To increase demand for biobased products, which would in 
turn increase demand for agricultural commodities that can serve as 
feedstocks for the production of 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.
    Further, USDA has sufficient information on these 10 items to 
determine their availability and to conduct the requisite analyses to 
determine their biobased content and their economic and technological 
feasibility, including life cycle costs.
    Mature Markets. Section 2902.5(c)(2) of the final guidelines states 
that USDA will not designate items for preferred procurement that are 
determined to have mature markets. Mature markets are described as 
items that had significant national market penetration in 1972. USDA 
contacted manufacturers, manufacturing associations, and industry 
researchers to determine if, in 1972, biobased products had a 
significant market share within any of the items proposed for 
designation today. USDA found that biobased products within none of the 
10 items proposed for designation today had a significant market share 
in 1972 and that, generally, the companies that produce biobased 
products within these proposed designated items have been in business 
for only 10 to 20 years.
    Overlap with EPA-Designated Recovered Content Products.  In today's 
proposed rule, two of the 10 items may overlap with EPA-designated 
recovered content products. These two items are: stationary equipment 
hydraulic fluid and carpets. For these two items, USDA is requesting 
that certain information on the qualifying biobased products be made 
available by their manufacturers to assist Federal agencies in 
determining

[[Page 47595]]

if an overlap exists between the qualifying biobased product and the 
applicable EPA-designated recovered content product. As noted earlier 
in this preamble, USDA is requesting information on overlap situations 
to further help procuring agencies make informed decisions when faced 
with purchasing a recovered content material product or a biobased 
product. As this information is developed, USDA will make it available 
on the FB4P Web site.
    Exemptions. When proposing items for preferred procurement under 
the FB4P, USDA will identify, on an item-by-item basis, items that 
would be exempt from preferred procurement on the basis of their use in 
products and systems designed or procured for combat or combat-related 
missions. USDA believes it is inappropriate to apply the biobased 
purchasing requirement to tactical equipment unless the Department of 
Defense has documented that these products can meet the performance 
requirements for such equipment and are available in sufficient supply 
to meet domestic and overseas deployment needs. After evaluating these 
situations for each of the 10 items being proposed for designation, 
USDA is proposing to exempt 2-cycle engine oils, stationary hydraulic 
fluids, greases, and dust suppressants from preferred procurement under 
the FB4P when used in combat or combat-related missions.
    USDA is proposing an exemption for all designated items when used 
in spacecraft systems and launch support equipment, because failure of 
such items could lead to catastrophic consequences. Many, if not all, 
items that USDA is or is planning to designate for preferred 
procurement are or will be used in space applications. Frequently, such 
applications used these items in ways that are different from their 
more ``conventional'' use on Earth. It is difficult, if not impossible, 
to forecast what situations may occur when these items are used in 
space and how they will perform. Therefore, USDA believes is it 
reasonable to limit the preferred procurement program to items used in 
more conventional applications and is proposing to exempt all 
designated items used in space applications from the FB4P.
    For each item being proposed for exemption, the exemption does not 
extend to contractors performing work for DoD or NASA. For example, if 
a contractor is producing a part for use on the space shuttle, the 
metalworking fluid the contractor uses to produce the part should be 
biobased (provided it meets the specifications for metalworking). The 
exemption does apply, however, if the product being purchased by the 
contractor is for use in combat or combat-related missions or for use 
in space applications. For example, if the part being produced by the 
contractor would actually be part of the space shuttle, then the 
exemption applies.
    Each of the 10 proposed designated items are discussed in the 
following sections.
1. 2-Cycle Engine Oils
    2-Cycle engine oils are lubricant products formulated to provide 
clean-burning lubrication, decreased spark plug fouling, reduced 
deposit formation, and reduced engine wear in 2-cycle gasoline engines 
(commonly found in lawn and garden equipment, small marine craft, and 
personal recreational vehicles such as motorcycles and snowmobiles). 
Biobased 2-cycle engine oils are typically formulated from natural soy, 
canola, or other seed-based oil feed stocks.
    For the reasons cited earlier in this notice, USDA is proposing to 
exempt this item from preferred procurement under the FB4P when used in 
products and systems designed or procured for combat or combat-related 
missions and in spacecraft systems and launch support equipment.
    For biobased 2-cycle engine oils, USDA identified 11 different 
manufacturers producing 17 individual biobased products. These 11 
manufacturers do not necessarily include all manufacturers of biobased 
2-cycle engine oils, merely those identified during USDA information 
gathering activities. Information supplied by these manufacturers 
indicates that many of these products have been tested against multiple 
industry performance standards and are being used commercially. While 
other applicable performance standards may exist, applicable industry 
performance standards against which these products have been typically 
tested, as identified by manufacturers of products within this item, 
include:
     ASTM D445-04e2, Standard Test Method for Kinematic 
Viscosity of Transparent and Opaque Liquids (and the Calculation of 
Dynamic Viscosity);
     ASTM D93-02a, Standard Test Methods for Flash-Point by 
Pensky-Martens Closed Cup Tester;
     ASTM D2896-05 Standard Test Method for Base Number of 
Petroleum Products by Potentiometric Perchloric Acid Titration;
     ASTM D97-05, Standard Test Method for Pour Point of 
Petroleum Products;
     ASTM D2500-02e1, Standard Test Method for Cloud Point of 
Petroleum Products;
     ASTM D4682-87 (2002), Standard Specification for 
Miscibility with Gasoline and Fluidity of Two-Stroke-Cycle Gasoline 
Engine Lubricants;
     CEC-L-33-T82 is comparable to ASTM 5864 and tests for 
biodegradability;
     ASTM D2619, Standard Test Method for Hydrolytic Stability 
of Hydraulic Fluids (Beverage Bottle Method);
     ASTM D892, Standard Test Method for Foaming 
Characteristics of Lubricating Oils;
     ASTM D665, Standard Test Method for Rust-Preventing 
Characteristics of Inhibited Mineral Oil in the Presence of Water;
     ASTM D2270, Standard Practice for Calculating Viscosity 
Index From Kinematic Viscosity at 40 and 100 [deg]C; and
     International Organization for Standardization 
ISO GD Surface chemical analysis--Glow discharge optical 
emission spectrometry (GD-OES).
    USDA contacted procurement officials with various procuring 
agencies including the General Services Administration, several offices 
within the Defense Logistics Agency, the OFEE, USDA Departmental 
Administration, the National Park Service, EPA, Oak Ridge National 
Laboratory, and OMB in an effort to gather information on the purchases 
of 2-cycle engine oils and products within the other nine items 
proposed for designation today. Communications with these officials 
lead to the conclusion that obtaining credible current usage statistics 
and specific potential markets within the Federal government for 
biobased products within the 10 proposed designated items is not 
possible at this time. Most of the contacted officials reported that 
procurement data are reported in higher level groupings of materials 
and supplies than the proposed designated items. Also, the purchasing 
of such materials as part of contracted services and with individual 
purchase cards used to purchase products locally further obscures 
credible data on purchases of specific products.
    USDA also investigated the Web site http://www.fedbizopps.gov, a 
site which lists Federal contract purchase opportunities greater than 
$25,000. The information provided on this Web site, however, is for 
broad categories of products rather than the specific types of products 
that are included in today's rulemaking. Therefore, USDA has been

[[Page 47596]]

unable to obtain data on the amount of 2-cycle engine oils purchased by 
procuring agencies. However, Federal agencies routinely perform, or 
procure contract services such as lawn maintenance services, that 
utilize small gas powered devices. Thus, they have a need for 2-cycle 
engine oils and for services that require the use of 2-cycle engine 
oils. Designation of 2-cycle engine oils will promote the use of 
biobased products, furthering the objectives of this program.
    An analysis of the environmental and human health benefits and the 
life cycle costs of biobased 2-cycle engine oils was performed for 
three of the products using the BEES analytical tool. Table 1 
summarizes the BEES results for the three 2-cycle engine oils. As seen 
in Table 1, the environmental performance score, which includes human 
health, ranges from 0.0474 to 0.0661 points per gallon (mixed with fuel 
and ready to use). The environmental performance score indicates the 
share of annual per capita U.S. environmental impacts that is 
attributable to one gallon (mixed with fuel and ready to use) of the 
product, expressed in 100ths of 1 percent. For example, the total 
amount of criteria air pollutants emitted in the U.S. in one year was 
divided by the total U.S. population to derive a ``criteria air 
pollutants per person value.'' The production and use of one gallon 
(mixed with fuel and ready to use) of 2-cycle engine oil sample A was 
estimated to contribute 0.000002 percent of this value.

        Table 1.--Summary of BEES Results for 2-Cycle Engine Oils
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           2-Cycle engine oils
          Parameters           -----------------------------------------
                                  Sample A      Sample B      Sample C
------------------------------------------------------------------------
BEES Environmental                    0.0474        0.0485        0.0661
 Performance--Total Score \1\.
Acidification (5%)............        0.0000        0.0000        0.0000
Criteria Air Pollutants (6%)..        0.0002        0.0002        0.0008
Ecological Toxicity (11%).....        0.0036        0.0036        0.0092
Eutrophication (5%)...........        0.0017        0.0018        0.0035
Fossil Fuel Depletion (5%)....        0.0200        0.0204        0.0215
Global Warming (16%)..........        0.0060        0.0061        0.0080
Habitat Alteration (16%)......        0.0000        0.0000        0.0000
Human Health (11%)............        0.0080        0.0085        0.0103
Indoor Air (11%)..............        0.0000        0.0000        0.0000
Ozone Depletion (5%)..........        0.0000        0.0000        0.0000
Smog (6%).....................        0.0079        0.0078        0.0122
Water Intake (3%).............        0.0000        0.0001        0.0006
Economic Performance (Life            2.70          2.95          4.84
 Cycle Costs ($)) \2\.........
First Cost....................        2.70          2.95          4.84
Future Cost (3.9%)............    (\3\)         (\3\)         (\3\)
Functional Unit...............   1 gallon (mixed with fuel and ready to
                                                  use)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Numbers in parentheses indicate weighting factor.
\2\ Costs are per functional unit.
\3\ For this item, no significant/quantifiable performance or durability
  differences were identified among competing alternative products.
  Therefore, future costs were not calculated.

    When evaluating the information presented in Table 1, as well as in 
the subsequent tables presented in this preamble, it should be noted 
that comparisons of the environmental performance scores are valid only 
among products within a designated item. Thus, comparisons of the 
scores presented in Table 1 and the scores presented in tables for 
other proposed designated items are not meaningful.
    The numbers in parentheses following each of the 12 environmental 
impacts listed in the tables in this preamble indicate weighting 
factors. The weighting factors represent the relative importance of the 
12 environmental impacts, including human health impacts, that 
contribute to the BEES Environmental Score. They are derived from lists 
of the relative importance of these impacts developed by the EPA 
Science Advisory Board for the purpose of advising EPA as to how best 
to allocate its limited resources among environmental impact areas. 
Note that a lower Environmental Performance score is better than a 
higher score.
    Life cycle costs presented in the tables in this preamble are per 
the appropriate functional unit for the proposed designated item. 
Future costs are discounted to present value using the OMB discount 
rate of 3.9 percent.
    The life cycle costs of the submitted 2-cycle engine oils range 
from $2.70 to $4.84 (present value dollars) per gallon (mixed with fuel 
and ready to use). Present value dollars presented in this preamble 
represent the sum of all costs associated with a product over a fixed 
period of time, including any applicable costs for purchase, 
installation, replacement, operation, maintenance and repair, and 
disposal. Present value dollars presented in this preamble reflect 2005 
dollars. Dollars are expressed in present value terms to adjust for the 
effects of inflation. The complete results of the BEES analysis, 
extrapolated to the item level, for each item proposed for designation 
in today's proposed rulemaking can be found at http://www.biobased.oce.usda.gov.
2. Lip Care Products
    Lip care products are personal care products formulated to 
replenish the moisture and/or prevent drying, thereby promoting better 
skin health of the lips. Biobased lip care products are typically 
formulated from natural soy or other seed-based oil feed stocks.
    For the reasons cited earlier in this notice, USDA is proposing to 
exempt this item from preferred procurement under the FB4P when used in 
spacecraft systems and launch support equipment.
    For biobased lip care products, USDA identified 10 different 
manufacturers producing 28 individual biobased products. These 10 
manufacturers do not necessarily include all manufacturers of biobased 
lip care products, merely those identified during USDA information 
gathering activities. Information supplied by these manufacturers 
indicates that these products are typically tested against an

[[Page 47597]]

industry standard and are being used commercially. While other 
applicable performance standards may exist, applicable industry 
performance standards against which these products have been typically 
tested, as identified by manufacturers of products within this item, 
include:
     United States Pharmacopeia (USP) Stability Test.
    USDA attempted to gather data on the potential market for biobased 
products within the Federal government as discussed in the section on 
2-cycle engine oils. These attempts were largely unsuccessful. However, 
various Federal agencies procure personal care products for use by 
their employees. Thus, they have a need for lip care products. 
Designation of lip care products will promote the use of biobased 
products, furthering the objectives of this program.
    An analysis of the environmental and human health benefits and the 
life cycle costs of biobased lip care products was performed for two of 
the products using the BEES analytical tool. Table 2 summarizes the 
BEES results for the two lip care products. As seen in Table 2, the 
environmental performance score, which includes human health, ranges 
from 0.1484 to 0.1778 points per case of lip balm (i.e., 2,380 tubes). 
The environmental performance score indicates the share of annual per 
capita U.S. environmental impacts that is attributable to one case of 
the product, expressed in 100ths of 1 percent.

         Table 2.--Summary of BEES Results for Lip Care Products
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                    Lip care products
                  Parameters                   -------------------------
                                                  Sample A     Sample B
------------------------------------------------------------------------
BEES Environmental Performance--Total Score          0.1484       0.1778
 \1\..........................................
Acidification (5%)............................       0.0000       0.0000
Criteria Air Pollutants (6%)..................       0.0007       0.0010
Ecological Toxicity (11%).....................       0.0409       0.0447
Eutrophication (5%)...........................       0.0157       0.0101
Fossil Fuel Depletion (5%)....................       0.0412       0.0533
Global Warming (16%)..........................       0.0136       0.0182
Habitat Alteration (16%)......................       0.0000       0.0000
Human Health (11%)............................       0.0128       0.0180
Indoor Air (11%)..............................       0.0000       0.0000
Ozone Depletion (5%)..........................       0.0000       0.0000
Smog (6%).....................................       0.0076       0.0105
Water Intake (3%).............................       0.0159       0.0220
Economic Performance (Life Cycle Costs($)) \2\        1,071        2,356
First Cost....................................        1,071        2,356
Future Cost (3.9%)............................        (\3\)        (\3\)
Functional Unit...............................   one case (2,380 tubes)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Numbers in parentheses indicate weighting factor.
\2\ Costs are per functional unit.
\3\ For this item, no significant/quantifiable performance or durability
  differences were identified among competing alternative products.
  Therefore, future costs were not calculated.

    The life cycle costs of the submitted lip care products range from 
$1,071 to $2,356 (present value dollars) per case of lip balm.
3. Biodegradable Films
    Biodegradable films are used in packaging, wrappings, linings, and 
other similar applications and are capable of meeting ASTM D6400 
standards for biodegradability. For the purpose of defining this 
designated item, biodegradable films do not include films used for 
agricultural purposes (such as films that would be used to cover 
fields) and durable films. Durable films will be proposed as a separate 
item for preferred procurement.
    For the reasons cited earlier in this notice, USDA is proposing to 
exempt this item from preferred procurement under the FB4P when used in 
spacecraft systems and launch support equipment.
    For biobased biodegradable films, USDA identified 15 different 
manufacturers producing 45 individual products. These 15 manufacturers 
do not necessarily include all manufacturers of biobased biodegradable 
films, merely those identified during USDA information gathering 
activities. Information supplied by these manufacturers indicates that 
these products are typically tested against one or more industry 
performance standards and are being used commercially. While other 
applicable performance standards may exist, applicable industry 
performance standards against which these products have been typically 
tested, as identified by manufacturers of products within this item, 
include:
     ASTM D6400, Standard Specification for Compostable 
Plastics; and
     Deutsches Institut fur Normung, the German Institute for 
Standardization DIN V 54900 Standard for testing the 
compostability of polymeric materials.
    USDA attempted to gather data on the potential market for biobased 
products within the Federal government as discussed in the section on 
2-cycle engine oils. These attempts were largely unsuccessful. However, 
Federal agencies routinely procure products, such as trash can liners, 
leaf collection bags, and packaging materials, that are made from 
biodegradable films. In addition, many Federal agencies contract for 
services involving the use of such products. Thus, they have a need for 
products made from biodegradable films and for services that use 
products made from biodegradable films. Designation of biodegradable 
films will promote the use of biobased products, furthering the 
objectives of this program.
    An analysis of the environmental and human health benefits and the 
life cycle costs of biobased biodegradable films was performed for two 
of the products using the BEES analytical tool. Table 3 summarizes the 
BEES results for the two biobased biodegradable films. As seen in Table 
3, the environmental performance score, which includes human health, 
ranges from 0.0150 to 0.5682 points per kilogram of biodegradable film. 
The environmental performance score indicates the share of annual per 
capita U.S. environmental

[[Page 47598]]

impacts that is attributable to one kilogram of the product, expressed 
in 100ths of 1 percent.

        Table 3.--Summary of BEES Results for Biodegradable Films
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Parameters                     Sample A      Sample B
------------------------------------------------------------------------
BEES Environmental Performance--Total Score         0.5682        0.0150
 \1\........................................
Acidification (5%)..........................        0.0001        0.0000
Criteria Air Pollutants (6%)................        0.0046        0.0001
Ecological Toxicity (11%)...................        0.0277        0.0006
Eutrophication (5%).........................        0.0330        0.0005
Fossil Fuel Depletion (5%)..................        0.2052        0.0084
Global Warming (16%)........................        0.0717        0.0020
Habitat Alteration (16%)....................        0.0000        0.0000
Human Health (11%)..........................        0.0893        0.0020
Indoor Air (11%)............................        0.0000        0.0000
Ozone Depletion (5%)........................        0.0000        0.0000
Smog (6%)...................................        0.1365        0.0012
Water Intake (3%)...........................        0.0001        0.0002
Economic Performance (Life Cycle Costs($))          6.60          8.17
 \2\........................................
First Cost..................................        6.60          8.17
Future Cost (3.9%)..........................    (\3\)         (\3\)
Functional Unit.............................         one kilogram
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Numbers in parentheses indicate weighting factor.
\2\ Costs are per functional unit.
\3\ For this item, no significant/quantifiable performance or durability
  differences were identified among competing alternative products.
  Therefore, future costs were not calculated.

    The life cycle cost of the submitted biodegradable films was $6.60 
to $8.17 (present value dollars) per kilogram of biodegradable film.
4. Stationary Equipment Hydraulic Fluids
    Stationary equipment hydraulic fluids are hydraulic fluid products 
formulated for use in the hydraulic systems of stationary equipment. 
Products in this item act as a mechanical power transmission medium to 
replace mineral oils and to provide wear, rust, and oxidation 
protection for machine tools and equipment. Biobased stationary 
hydraulic fluids are typically formulated from natural soy, canola, or 
other seed oil-based feed stocks.
    Qualifying products within this item may overlap with the EPA-
designated recovered content product: Re-refined lubricating oils.
    For the reasons cited earlier in this notice, USDA is proposing to 
exempt this item from preferred procurement under the FB4P when used in 
products and systems designed or procured for combat or combat-related 
missions and in spacecraft systems and launch support equipment.
    For biobased stationary equipment hydraulic fluids, USDA identified 
20 different manufacturers producing 66 individual biobased products. 
These 20 manufacturers do not necessarily include all manufacturers of 
biobased stationary equipment hydraulic fluids, merely those identified 
during USDA information gathering activities. Information supplied by 
these manufacturers indicates that many of these products have been 
tested against multiple industry performance standards and are being 
used commercially. While other applicable performance standards may 
exist, applicable industry performance standards against which these 
products have been typically tested, as identified by manufacturers of 
products within this item, include:
     ASTM D1122-97a(2002), Standard Test Method for Density or 
Relative Density of Engine Coolant Concentrates and Engine Coolants By 
The Hydrometer;
     ASTM D1298-99e2, Standard Test Method for Density, 
Relative Density (Specific Gravity), or API Gravity of Crude Petroleum 
and Liquid Petroleum Products by Hydrometer Method;
     ASTM D130-04, Standard Test Method for Corrosiveness to 
Copper from Petroleum Products by Copper Strip Test;
     ASTM D1401-02, Standard Test Method for Water Separability 
of Petroleum Oils and Synthetic Fluids;
     ASTM D1500-04a, Standard Test Method for ASTM Color of 
Petroleum Products (ASTM Color Scale);
     ASTM D2266-01, Standard Test Method for Wear Preventive 
Characteristics of Lubricating Grease (Four-Ball Method);
     ASTM D2270-04, Standard Practice for Calculating Viscosity 
Index From Kinematic Viscosity at 40 and 100 [deg]C;
     ASTM D2272-02, Standard Test Method for Oxidation 
Stability of Steam Turbine Oils by Rotating Pressure Vessel;
     ASTM D2532-03, Standard Test Method for Viscosity and 
Viscosity Change After Standing at Low Temperature of Aircraft Turbine 
Lubricants;
     ASTM D2619-95(2002)e1, Standard Test Method for Hydrolytic 
Stability of Hydraulic Fluids (Beverage Bottle Method);
     ASTM D287-92(2000)e1, Standard Test Method for API Gravity 
of Crude Petroleum and Petroleum Products (Hydrometer Method);
     ASTM D2983-04a, Standard Test Method for Low-Temperature 
Viscosity of Lubricants Measured by Brookfield Viscometer;
     ASTM D4052-96(2002)e1, Standard Test Method for Density 
and Relative Density of Liquids by Digital Density Meter;
     ASTM D4172-94(2004), Standard Test Method for Wear 
Preventive Characteristics of Lubricating Fluid (Four-Ball Method);
     ASTM D445-04e2, Standard Test Method for Kinematic 
Viscosity of Transparent and Opaque Liquids (and the Calculation of 
Dynamic Viscosity);
     ASTM D567-53(1955), Method for Calculating Viscosity Index 
(Withdrawn 1966);
     ASTM D5864-00, Standard Test Method for Determining 
Aerobic Aquatic Biodegradation of Lubricants or Their Components; and
     ASTM D665-03, Standard Test Method for Rust-Preventing

[[Page 47599]]

Characteristics of Inhibited Mineral Oil in the Presence of Water.
    USDA attempted to gather data on the potential market for biobased 
products within the Federal government as discussed in the section on 
2-cycle engine oils. These attempts were largely unsuccessful. However, 
Federal agencies routinely own and operate stationary equipment with 
hydraulic cylinders. In addition, many Federal agencies contract for 
services involving the use of such equipment. Thus, they have a need 
for stationary equipment hydraulic fluids and for services that require 
the use of stationary equipment hydraulic fluids. Designation of 
stationary equipment hydraulic fluids will promote the use of biobased 
products, furthering the objectives of this program.
    An analysis of the environmental and human health benefits and the 
life cycle costs of stationary equipment hydraulic fluids was performed 
for two of the products using the BEES analytical tool. Table 4 
summarizes the BEES results for the two stationary equipment hydraulic 
fluids. As seen in Table 4, the environmental performance score, which 
includes human health, ranges from 0.0042 to 0.0524 points per gallon 
of hydraulic fluid. The environmental performance score indicates the 
share of annual per capita U.S. environmental impacts that is 
attributable to one gallon of hydraulic fluid, expressed in 100ths of 1 
percent.

  Table 4.--Summary of BEES Results for Stationary Equipment Hydraulic
                                 Fluids
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Stationary equipment
                                                   hydraulic fluids
                 Parameters                  ---------------------------
                                                Sample A      Sample B
------------------------------------------------------------------------
BEES Environmental Performance--Total Score         0.0042        0.0524
 \1\........................................
Acidification (5%)..........................        0.0000        0.0000
Criteria Air Pollutants (6%)................        0.0000        0.0002
Ecological Toxicity (11%)...................        0.0012        0.0093
Eutrophication (5%).........................        0.0002        0.0181
Fossil Fuel Depletion (5%)..................        0.0012        0.0063
Global Warming (16%)........................        0.0008        0.0054
Habitat Alteration (16%)....................        0.0000        0.0000
Human Health (11%)..........................        0.0004        0.0012
Indoor Air (11%)............................        0.0000        0.0000
Ozone Depletion (5%)........................        0.0000        0.0000
Smog (6%)...................................        0.0002        0.0045
Water Intake (3%)...........................        0.0002        0.0074
Economic Performance (Life Cycle Costs ($))        10.45          8.75
 \2\........................................
First Cost..................................       10.45          8.75
Future Cost (3.9%)..........................    (\3\)         (\3\)
Functional Unit.............................          one gallon
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Numbers in parentheses indicate weighting factor.
\2\ Costs are per functional unit.
\3\ For this item, no significant/quantifiable performance or durability
  differences were identified among competing alternative products.
  Therefore, future costs were not calculated.

    The life cycle cost of the submitted stationary equipment hydraulic 
fluids range from $8.75 to $10.45 (present value dollars) per gallon of 
hydraulic fluid.
5. Biodegradable Cutlery
    Biodegradable cutlery is a group of products that is used as hand-
held, disposable utensils designed for one-time use in eating food and 
that is capable of meeting ASTM D5338 standard for biodegradability.
    For the reasons cited earlier in this notice, USDA is proposing to 
exempt this item from preferred procurement under the FB4P when used in 
spacecraft systems and launch support equipment.
    For biobased biodegradable cutlery, USDA identified 7 different 
manufacturers producing 15 individual biobased products. These 7 
manufacturers do not necessarily include all manufacturers of biobased 
biodegradable cutlery, merely those identified during USDA information 
gathering activities. Information supplied by these manufacturers 
indicates that these products are typically tested against one or more 
industry performance standards and are being used commercially. While 
other applicable performance standards may exist, applicable industry 
performance standards against which these products have been typically 
tested, as identified by manufacturers of products within this item, 
include:
     ASTM D5338, Standard Test Method for Determining Aerobic 
Biodegradation of Plastic Materials Under Controlled Composting 
Conditions;
     ASTM D6400, Standard Specification for Compostable 
Plastics;
     D5209-92, Standard Test Method for Determining the Aerobic 
Biodegradation of Plastic Materials in the Presence of Municipal Sewage 
Sludge (Discontinued 2001); and
     Deutsches Institut fur Normung, the German Institute for 
Standardization DIN CERTCO 54900 Standard for testing the 
compostability of polymeric materials.
    USDA attempted to gather data on the potential market for biobased 
products within the Federal government as discussed in the section on 
2-cycle engine oils. These attempts were largely unsuccessful. However, 
many Federal agencies routinely perform, or procure contract services 
to perform, food preparation and distribution activities that utilize 
disposable cutlery. Thus, they have a need for disposable cutlery and 
for services that require the use of disposable cutlery. Designation of 
biodegradable cutlery will promote the use of biobased products, 
furthering the objectives of this program.
    An analysis of the environmental and human health benefits and the 
life cycle costs of biobased biodegradable cutlery was performed for 
two of the products using the BEES analytical tool. Table 5 summarizes 
the BEES results for the two biodegradable cutlery products. As seen in 
Table 5, the environmental performance score, which includes human 
health, ranges from 0.0565 to 0.0690 points per 1000 pieces of cutlery.

[[Page 47600]]

The environmental performance score indicates the share of annual per 
capita U.S. environmental impacts that is attributable to 1,000 pieces 
of cutlery, expressed in 100ths of 1 percent.

       Table 5.--Summary of BEES Results for Biodegradable Cutlery
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Biodegradable cutlery
                 Parameters                  ---------------------------
                                                Sample A      Sample B
------------------------------------------------------------------------
BEES Environmental Performance--Total Score         0.0565        0.0690
 \1\........................................
Acidification (5%)..........................        0.0000        0.0000
Criteria Air Pollutants (6%)................        0.0002        0.0005
Ecological Toxicity (11%)...................        0.0113        0.0021
Eutrophication (5%).........................        0.0052        0.0014
Fossil Fuel Depletion (5%)..................        0.0236        0.0440
Global Warming (16%)........................        0.0056        0.0085
Habitat Alteration (16%)....................        0.0000        0.0000
Human Health (11%)..........................        0.0065        0.0079
Indoor Air (11%)............................        0.0000        0.0000
Ozone Depletion (5%)........................        0.0000        0.0000
Smog (6%)...................................        0.0024        0.0035
Water Intake (3%)...........................        0.0017        0.0011
Economic Performance (Life Cycle Costs ($))        32.00         32.00
 \2\........................................
First Cost..................................       32.00         32.00
Future Cost (3.9%)..........................    (\3\)         (\3\)
Functional Unit.............................   1,000 pieces of cutlery
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Numbers in parentheses indicate weighting factor.
\2\ Costs are per functional unit.
\3\ For this item, no significant/quantifiable performance or durability
  differences were identified among competing alternative products.
  Therefore, future costs were not calculated.

    The life cycle cost of the submitted biodegradable cutlery was $32 
present value dollars) per 1,000 pieces of cutlery.
6. Glass Cleaners
    Glass cleaners are products designed for use in cleaning glass 
surfaces such as mirrors, car windows, and computer monitors.
    For the reasons cited earlier in this notice, USDA is proposing to 
exempt this item from preferred procurement under the FB4P when used in 
spacecraft systems and launch support equipment.
    Procuring agencies should note that, as discussed in section II of 
this preamble, not all biobased cleaning products are ``environmentally 
preferable'' to non-biobased products. Unless cleaning products have 
been formulated to contain no (or reduced levels of) metals and toxic 
and hazardous constituents, they can be harmful to aquatic life, the 
environment, or workers. When purchasing environmentally preferable 
cleaning products, Federal agencies must compare the ``cradle-to-
grave'' impacts of the manufacture, use, and disposal of both biobased 
and non-biobased products.
    For biobased glass cleaners, USDA identified 16 different 
manufacturers producing 19 individual biobased products. These 16 
manufacturers do not necessarily include all manufacturers of biobased 
glass cleaners, merely those identified during USDA information 
gathering activities. Information supplied by these manufacturers 
indicates that these products are typically tested against one relevant 
measure of performance and are being used commercially. While 
applicable performance standards and other measures of performance may 
exist, applicable industry performance standards and relevant measures 
of performance against which these products have been typically tested, 
as identified by manufacturers of products within this item and by 
others, include:
     U.S. Navy, Navsea 6840 Surface Ship (Non-Submarine) 
Authorized Chemical Cleaning Products and Dispensing Systems.
     Green Seal, GS-37, Environmental Standard for General 
Purpose, Bathroom, Glass, and Carpet Cleaners used for Industrial and 
Institutional Purposes.
    USDA attempted to gather data on the potential market for biobased 
products within the Federal government as discussed in the section on 
2-cycle engine oils. These attempts were largely unsuccessful. However, 
Federal agencies routinely procure cleaning and maintenance services 
and materials, including glass cleaners. Thus, they have a need for 
glass cleaners and for services that require the use of glass cleaners. 
Designation of glass cleaners will promote the use of biobased 
products, furthering the objectives of this program.
    An analysis of the environmental and human health benefits and the 
life cycle costs of biobased glass cleaners was performed for two of 
the products using the BEES analytical tool. Table 6 summarizes the 
BEES results for the two glass cleaners. As seen in Table 6, the 
environmental performance score, which includes human health, ranges 
from 0.08787 to 0.9818 points per 1,000 gallons of biobased glass 
cleaner, diluted and ready to use. The environmental performance score 
indicates the share of annual per capita U.S. environmental impacts 
that is attributable to 1,000 gallons of glass cleaner, diluted and 
ready to use, expressed in 100ths of 1 percent.

[[Page 47601]]



          Table 6.--Summary of BEES Results for Glass Cleaners
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                    Glass cleaners
                 Parameters                  ---------------------------
                                                Sample A      Sample B
------------------------------------------------------------------------
BEES Environmental Performance--Total Score         0.0878        0.9818
 \1\........................................
Acidification (5%)..........................        0.0000        0.0001
Criteria Air Pollutants (6%)................        0.0008        0.0064
Ecological Toxicity (11%)...................        0.0092        0.0578
Eutrophication (5%).........................        0.0021        0.0124
Fossil Fuel Depletion (5%)..................        0.0310        0.3953
Global Warming (16%)........................        0.0078        0.1317
Habitat Alteration (16%)....................        0.0000        0.0000
Human Health (11%)..........................        0.0108        0.1840
Indoor Air (11%)............................        0.0000        0.0000
Ozone Depletion (5%)........................        0.0000        0.0000
Smog (6%)...................................        0.0042        0.0492
Water Intake (3%)...........................        0.0219        0.1449
Economic Performance (Life Cycle Costs ($))        89.06        983.00
 \2\........................................
First Cost..................................       89.06        983.00
Future Cost (3.9%)..........................    (\3\)         (\3\)
Functional Unit.............................  1,000 gallons, diluted and
                                                    ready to use.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Numbers in parentheses indicate weighting factor.
\2\ Costs are per functional unit.
\3\ For this item, no significant/quantifiable performance or durability
  differences were identified among competing alternative products.
  Therefore, future costs were not calculated.

    The life cycle cost of the submitted glass cleaners range from $89 
to $983 (present value dollars) per 1,000 gallons of glass cleaner, 
diluted and ready to use.
7. Greases
    Greases are lubricants composed of oils thickened with soaps or 
other thickeners to a semisolid or solid consistency. Grease 
composition (i.e., greases made with clay thickeners versus those made 
with metallic soap thickeners) must be considered carefully because of 
potential incompatibility when mixed. This can occur between two 
different biobased greases, between two different non-biobased 
(petroleum) greases, and between a biobased grease and a petroleum-
based grease. Machinery lubricated with one particular type of grease 
must be purged properly before lubrication with an incompatible grease.
    Greases are used in many different applications. Based on the 
information acquired, USDA is proposing to subcategorize this item into 
four specified-use subcategories and one ``not elsewhere specified'' 
subcategory as follows: Food grade greases, multipurpose greases, rail 
track greases, fifth wheel (coupling plate between the tractor trailer 
truck and the semi-trailer) greases, and greases that do not fit any of 
the other four subcategories. USDA believes this is reasonable because 
of the varying conditions that each of the four specified-use 
subcategories require of greases in order to perform satisfactorily and 
in accordance with any regulatory requirements (e.g., for food grade 
greases).
    For the reasons cited earlier in this notice, USDA is proposing to 
exempt this item from preferred procurement under the FB4P when used in 
products and systems designed or procured for combat or combat-related 
missions and in spacecraft systems and launch support equipment.
    For biobased greases, USDA identified 18 different manufacturers 
producing 67 individual biobased products. For the five subcategories 
of greases for which USDA is proposing designation, USDA identified at 
least two manufacturers of each type. The 18 manufacturers total, and 
those identified for each subcategory of grease, do not necessarily 
include all manufacturers of biobased greases, merely those identified 
during USDA information gathering activities.
    Information supplied by these manufacturers indicates that several 
of these products have been tested against multiple industry 
performance standards and are being used commercially. While other 
applicable performance standards may exist, applicable industry 
performance standards against which these products have been typically 
tested, as identified by manufacturers of products within this item, 
include:
     ASTM D1264-03e1, Standard Test Method for Determining the 
Water Washout Characteristics of Lubricating Greases;
     ASTM D127-05, Standard Test Method for Drop Melting Point 
of Petroleum Wax, Including Petrolatum;
     ASTM D130-04, Standard Test Method for Corrosiveness to 
Copper from Petroleum Products by Copper Strip Test;
     ASTM D1742-94 (2000)e1, Standard Test Method for Oil 
Separation from Lubricating Grease During Storage;
     ASTM D1743-05a, Standard Test Method for Determining 
Corrosion Preventive Properties of Lubricating Greases;
     ASTM D1748-02, Standard Test Method for Rust Protection by 
Metal Preservatives in the Humidity Cabinet;
     ASTM D1831-00e1, Standard Test Method for Roll Stability 
of Lubricating Grease;
     ASTM D217-02, Standard Test Methods for Cone Penetration 
of Lubricating Grease;
     ASTM D2265-00, Standard Test Method for Dropping Point of 
Lubricating Grease Over Wide Temperature Range;
     ASTM D2266-01, Standard Test Method for Wear Preventive 
Characteristics of Lubricating Grease (Four-Ball Method);
     ASTM D2270-04, Standard Practice for Calculating Viscosity 
Index From Kinematic Viscosity at 40 and 100 [deg]C;
     ASTM D2509-03, Standard Test Method for Measurement of 
Load-Carrying Capacity of Lubricating Grease (Timken Method);
     ASTM D2569-97 (2002), Standard Test Method for 
Distillation of Pitch;
     ASTM D2596-97 (2002)e1, Standard Test Method for 
Measurement of Extreme-Pressure Properties of Lubricating Grease (Four-
Ball Method);

[[Page 47602]]

     ASTM D445-04e2, Standard Test Method for Kinematic 
Viscosity of Transparent and Opaque Liquids (and the Calculation of 
Dynamic Viscosity);
     ASTM D566-02, Standard Test Method for Dropping Point of 
Lubricating Grease;
     ASTM D5864-00, Standard Test Method for Determining 
Aerobic Aquatic Biodegradation of Lubricants or Their Components;
     ASTM D6184-98, Standard Test Method for Oil Separation 
from Lubricating Grease (Conical Sieve Method);
     ASTM D92-05a, Standard Test Method for Flash and Fire 
Points by Cleveland Open Cup Tester;
     ASTM D942-02, Standard Test Method for Oxidation Stability 
of Lubricating Greases by the Oxygen Bomb Method;
     ASTM D97-05, Standard Test Method for Pour Point of 
Petroleum Products;
     Co-ordinating European Council CEC-L-33-A-93 Test 
to predict the potential biodegradation of mineral oil-based lubricants 
in soil; and
     National Lubricating Grease Institute NLGI 2 
Greases classified according to their consistency range as measured by 
the worked penetration at 25 [deg]C (77 [deg]C): 265 to 295.
    USDA attempted to gather data on the potential market for biobased 
products within the Federal government as discussed in the section on 
2-cycle engine oils. These attempts were largely unsuccessful. However, 
Federal agencies routinely operate, or procure contract services to 
operate, the types of machinery and equipment that require the use of 
greases. Thus, they have a need for greases and for services that 
require the use of greases. Designation of greases will promote the use 
of biobased products, furthering the objectives of this program.
    An analysis of the environmental and human health benefits and the 
life cycle costs of biobased greases was performed for two of the 
products using the BEES analytical tool. Table 7 summarizes the BEES 
results for the two greases. As seen in Table 7, the environmental 
performance score, which includes human health, ranges from 0.0281 to 
0.0451 points per gallon of grease. The environmental performance score 
indicates the share of annual per capita U.S. environmental impacts 
that is attributable to one gallon of grease, expressed in 100ths of 1 
percent.

              Table 7.--Summary of BEES Results for Greases
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        Greases
                 Parameters                  ---------------------------
                                                Sample A      Sample B
------------------------------------------------------------------------
BEES Environmental Performance--Total Score         0.0281        0.0451
 \1\........................................
Acidification (5%)..........................        0.0000        0.0000
Criteria Air Pollutants (6%)................        0.0002        0.0002
Ecological Toxicity (11%)...................        0.0036        0.0103
Eutrophication (5%).........................        0.0026        0.0126
Fossil Fuel Depletion (5%)..................        0.0105        0.0067
Global Warming (16%)........................        0.0042        0.0046
Habitat Alteration (16%)....................        0.0000        0.0000
Human Health (11%)..........................        0.0035        0.0022
Indoor Air (11%)............................        0.0000        0.0000
Ozone Depletion (5%)........................        0.0000        0.0000
Smog (6%)...................................        0.0022        0.0034
Water Intake (3%)...........................        0.0013        0.0051
Economic Performance (Life Cycle Costs ($))        14.84         52.03
 \2\........................................
First Cost..................................       14.84         52.03
Future Cost (3.9%)..........................    (\3\)         (\3\)
Functional Unit.............................          one gallon
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Numbers in parentheses indicate weighting factor.
\2\ Costs are per functional unit.
\3\ For this item, no significant/quantifiable performance or durability
  differences were identified among competing alternative products.
  Therefore, future costs were not calculated.

    The life cycle cost of the submitted greases range from $14.84 to 
$52.03 (present value dollars) per gallon of grease.
8. Dust Suppressants
    Dust suppressants are products formulated to reduce or eliminate 
the spread of dust associated with gravel roads, dirt parking lots, or 
similar sources of dust, and include products used in equivalent indoor 
applications (such as in indoor arenas where dirt parking lots may be 
found). This item does not cover products designed for indoor uses 
(such as the application of a dust suppressant to a dust mop), except 
as noted above.
    For the reasons cited earlier in this notice, USDA is proposing to 
exempt this item from preferred procurement under the FB4P when used in 
products and systems designed or procured for combat or combat-related 
missions and in spacecraft systems and launch support equipment.
    For biobased dust suppressants, USDA identified 12 different 
manufacturers producing 13 individual biobased products. These 12 
manufacturers do not necessarily include all manufacturers of biobased 
dust suppressants, merely those identified during USDA information 
gathering activities. Information supplied by these manufacturers 
indicates that these products are typically tested against one or more 
industry performance standards and are being used commercially. While 
other applicable performance standards may exist, applicable industry 
performance standards against which these products have been typically 
tested, as identified by manufacturers of products within this item, 
include:
     Missouri State Specifications; and
     Water runoff quality test (Minnesota DOT).
    USDA attempted to gather data on the potential market for biobased 
products within the Federal government as discussed in the section on 
2-cycle engine oils. These attempts were largely unsuccessful. However, 
Federal agencies routinely use, or procure contract services that use, 
dust suppressants in construction, forestry, transportation, and 
maintenance

[[Page 47603]]

activities. Thus, they have a need for dust suppressants and for 
services that require the use of dust suppressants. Designation of dust 
suppressants will promote the use of biobased products, furthering the 
objectives of this program.
    An analysis of the environmental and human health benefits and the 
life cycle costs of biobased dust suppressants was performed for two of 
the products using the BEES analytical tool. Table 8 summarizes the 
BEES results for the two dust suppressants. As seen in Table 8, the 
environmental performance score, which includes human health, ranges 
from 0.0335 to 0.7545 points per 1,000 square feet of application. The 
environmental performance score indicates the share of annual per 
capita U.S. environmental impacts that is attributable to 1,000 square 
feet of application, expressed in 100ths of 1 percent.

         Table 8.--Summary of BEES Results for Dust suppressants
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                   Dust suppressants
                 Parameters                  ---------------------------
                                                Sample A      Sample B
------------------------------------------------------------------------
BEES Environmental Performance--Total Score         0.0335        0.7545
 \1\........................................
Acidification (5%)..........................        0.0000        0.0000
Criteria Air Pollutants (6%)................        0.0002        0.0052
Ecological Toxicity (11%)...................        0.0194        0.1417
Eutrophication (5%).........................        0.0015        0.1238
Fossil Fuel Depletion (5%)..................        0.0048        0.2064
Global Warming (16%)........................        0.0024        0.0965
Habitat Alteration (16%)....................        0.0000        0.0000
Human Health (11%)..........................        0.0025        0.0737
Indoor Air (11%)............................        0.0000        0.0000
Ozone Depletion (5%)........................        0.0000        0.0000
Smog (6%)...................................        0.0010        0.0421
Water Intake (3%)...........................        0.0017        0.0651
Economic Performance (Life Cycle Costs ($))         7.20         47.00
 \2\........................................
First Cost..................................        7.20         47.00
Future Cost (3.9%)..........................    (\3\)         (\3\)
Functional Unit.............................     1,000 square feet of
                                                     application.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Numbers in parentheses indicate weighting factor.
\2\ Costs are per functional unit.
\3\ For this item, no significant/quantifiable performance or durability
  differences were identified among competing alternative products.
  Therefore, future costs were not calculated.

    The life cycle cost of the submitted dust suppressants range from 
$7.20 to $47 (present value dollars) per 1,000 square feet of 
application.
9. Carpets
    Carpets are floor coverings composed of woven fibers, with a 
backing.
    Qualifying products within this item may overlap with the EPA-
designated recovered content product: Carpet (polyester).
    For the reasons cited earlier in this notice, USDA is proposing to 
exempt this item from preferred procurement under the FB4P when used in 
spacecraft systems and launch support equipment.
    For biobased carpets, USDA identified 7 different manufacturers 
producing 19 individual biobased products. These 7 manufacturers do not 
necessarily include all manufacturers of biobased carpets, merely those 
identified during USDA information gathering activities. Information 
supplied by these manufacturers indicates that these products are 
typically tested against one or more industry performance standards and 
are being used commercially. While other applicable performance 
standards may exist, applicable industry performance standards against 
which these products have been typically tested, as identified by 
manufacturers of products within this item, include:
     Aachen Test, ISO/EN Dimensional Stability: Machine-made 
textile floor coverings--Determination of dimensional changes due to 
the effects of varied water and heat conditions;
     American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists 
Color Fastness AATCC 165 Crocking: Textile Floor Coverings--
AATCC Crockmeter Method;
     American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists 
Color Fastness AATCC 164 Oxides of Nitrogen in the Atmosphere 
under High Humidities;
     American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists 
Color Fastness AATCC 129 Ozone in the Atmosphere under High 
Humidities;
     American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists 
Color Fastness AATCC 138 Cleaning: Washing of Textile Floor 
Coverings;
     American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists 
Color Fastness AATCC 107 Water;
     ASTM D1335, Standard Test Method for Tuft Bind of Pile 
Yarn Floor Coverings; and
     ASTM D3936, Standard Test Method for Resistance to 
Delamination of the Secondary Backing of Pile Yarn Floor Covering.
    USDA attempted to gather data on the potential market for biobased 
products within the Federal government as discussed in the section on 
2-cycle engine oils. USDA found that in fiscal year 2005 approximately 
$34 million of carpet were purchased on GSA schedule, of which $5.2 
million met the recycled content as defined by Executive Order 13101. 
While it is unknown what percentage of total carpet purchased by the 
Federal government the $34 million represents, it is clear that Federal 
agencies purchase and install large volumes of carpets. Designation of 
carpets, therefore, will promote the use of biobased products, 
furthering the objectives of this program.
    An analysis of the environmental and human health benefits and the 
life cycle costs of biobased carpets was performed for two of the 
products using the BEES analytical tool. Table 9 summarizes the BEES 
results for the two carpets. As seen in Table 9, the environmental 
performance score, which includes

[[Page 47604]]

human health, was 0.2429 per 1 square yard of carpet over 50 years for 
both samples. The environmental performance score indicates the share 
of annual per capita U.S. environmental impacts that is attributable to 
one square yard of carpet over 50 years, expressed in 100ths of 1 
percent.

              Table 9.--Summary of BEES Results for Carpets
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          Carpets
                   Parameters                    -----------------------
                                                    Sample A  Sample B
------------------------------------------------------------------------
BEES Environmental Performance--Total Score \1\.                  0.2429
Acidification (5%)..............................                  0.0000
Criteria Air Pollutants (6%)....................                  0.0014
Ecological Toxicity (11%).......................                  0.0165
Eutrophication (5%).............................                  0.0112
Fossil Fuel Depletion (5%)......................                  0.1028
Global Warming (16%)............................                  0.0240
Habitat Alteration (16%)........................                  0.0000
Human Health (11%)..............................                  0.0278
Indoor Air (11%)................................                  0.0377
Ozone Depletion (5%)............................                  0.0000
Smog (6%).......................................                  0.0079
Water Intake (3%)...............................                  0.0136
Economic Performance (Life Cycle Costs ($)) \2\.                 39.22
First Cost......................................                 20.00
Future Cost (3.9%)..............................                 19.22
Functional Unit.................................   one square yard over
                                                         50 years
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Numbers in parentheses indicate weighting factor.
\2\ Costs are per functional unit.

    The life cycle cost of both submitted carpets was $39.22 per square 
yard of carpet over 50 years.
10. Carpet and Upholstery Cleaners
    Carpet and upholstery cleaners are products used to clean carpets 
and upholstery, through a dry or wet process, found in locations such 
as houses, cars, and workplaces. As proposed, this item does not 
include spot cleaners.
    For the reasons cited earlier in this notice, USDA is proposing to 
exempt this item from preferred procurement under the FB4P when used in 
spacecraft systems and launch support equipment.
    For biobased carpet and upholstery cleaners, USDA identified 13 
different manufacturers producing 17 individual biobased products. 
These 13 manufacturers do not necessarily include all manufacturers of 
biobased carpet and upholstery cleaners, merely those identified during 
USDA information gathering activities. Information supplied by these 
manufacturers indicates that these products are typically tested 
against one relevant measure of performance and are being used 
commercially. While other relevant measurements of performance may 
exist, applicable relevant measurements of performance against which 
these products have been typically tested, as identified by 
manufacturers of products within this item, include:
     U.S. Navy, Navsea 6840 Surface Ship (Non-Submarine) 
Authorized Chemical Cleaning Products and Dispensing Systems.
    USDA attempted to gather data on the potential market for biobased 
products within the Federal government as discussed in the section on 
2-cycle engine oils. These attempts were largely unsuccessful. However, 
Federal agencies routinely perform, and procure services that perform, 
the types of cleaning activities that utilize carpet and upholstery 
cleaners. Thus, they have a need for carpet and upholstery cleaners and 
for services that require the use of carpet and upholstery cleaners. 
Designation of carpet and upholstery cleaners will promote the use of 
biobased products, furthering the objectives of this program.
    An analysis of the environmental and human health benefits and the 
life cycle costs of biobased carpet and upholstery cleaners was 
performed for two of the products using the BEES analytical tool. Table 
10 summarizes the BEES results for the two carpet and upholstery 
cleaners. As seen in Table 10, the environmental performance score, 
which includes human health, ranges from 0.0898 to 0.1542 points per 
1,000 square feet of carpet cleaned. The environmental performance 
score indicates the share of annual per capita U.S. environmental 
impacts that is attributable to 1,000 square feet of carpet cleaned, 
expressed in 100ths of 1 percent.

  Table 10.--Summary of BEES Results for Carpet and Upholstery Cleaners
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Carpet and upholstery
                                                       cleaners
                 Parameters                  ---------------------------
                                                Sample A      Sample B
------------------------------------------------------------------------
BEES Environmental Performance--Total Score         0.0898        0.1542
 \1\........................................
Acidification (5%)..........................        0.0000        0.0000
Criteria Air Pollutants (6%)................        0.0007        0.0015
Ecological Toxicity (11%)...................        0.0069        0.0124
Eutrophication (5%).........................        0.0007        0.0016
Fossil Fuel Depletion (5%)..................        0.0330        0.0733

[[Page 47605]]

 
Global Warming (16%)........................        0.0101        0.0233
Habitat Alteration (16%)....................        0.0000        0.0000
Human Health (11%)..........................        0.0164        0.0370
Indoor Air (11%)............................        0.0196        0.0000
Ozone Depletion (5%)........................        0.0000        0.0000
Smog (6%)...................................        0.0024        0.0049
Water Intake (3%)...........................        0.0000        0.0002
Economic Performance (Life Cycle Costs($))         20.29          4.55
 \2\........................................
First Cost..................................       20.29          4.55
Future Cost (3.9%)..........................    (\3\)         (\3\)
Functional Unit.............................     1,000 square feet of
                                                   carpet cleaned.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Numbers in parentheses indicate weighting factor.
\2\ Costs are per functional unit.
\3\ For this item, no significant/quantifiable performance or durability
  differences were identified among competing alternative products.
  Therefore, future costs were not calculated.

    The life cycle cost of the submitted carpet and upholstery cleaners 
range from $4.55 to $20.29 (present value dollars) per 1,000 square 
feet of carpet cleaned. Based on information supplied by the 
manufacturers, USDA has confirmed that the qualifying biobased content 
in each of the samples tested is derived, in whole or in significant 
part, from renewable domestic agricultural or forestry material.

C. Minimum Biobased Contents

    Section 9002(e)(1)(C) directs USDA to recommend minimum biobased 
content levels where appropriate. In today's proposed rulemaking, USDA 
is proposing minimum biobased product content for each of the 10 items 
proposed for designation based on information currently available to 
USDA.
    As discussed in Section IV.A of this preamble, USDA relied entirely 
on manufacturers' voluntary submission of samples to support the 
proposed designation of these 10 items. The data presented in the 
following paragraphs are the test results from all of the product 
samples that were submitted for analysis. It is the responsibility of 
the manufacturers to ``self-certify'' that each product being offered 
as a biobased product for preferred procurement contains qualifying 
feedstock. As contained in the Guidelines, USDA will consider 
qualifying feedstocks for biobased products originating in ``designated 
countries'' (as that term is defined in the Federal Acquisition 
Regulation (FAR) Sec.  25.003)) as well as from the United States. USDA 
will develop a monitoring process for these self-certifications to 
ensure manufacturers are using qualifying feedstocks. If 
misrepresentations are found, USDA will remove the subject biobased 
product from the preferred procurement program and may take further 
actions as deemed appropriate.
    As a result of public comments received on the first designated 
items rulemaking proposal, USDA decided to account for the slight 
imprecision in the analytical method used to determine biobased content 
of products when establishing the minimum biobased content. Thus, 
rather than establishing the minimum biobased content for an item at 
the tested biobased content of the product selected as the basis for 
the minimum value, USDA is establishing the minimum biobased content at 
a level 3 percentage points less than the tested value. USDA believes 
that this adjustment is appropriate to account for the expected 
variations in analytical results.
    USDA has determined that setting a minimum biobased content for 
designated items is appropriate. Establishing a minimum biobased 
content will encourage competition among manufacturers to develop 
products with higher biobased contents and will prevent products with 
de minimus biobased content from being purchased as a means of 
satisfying the requirements of section 9002. USDA believes that it is 
in the best interest of the preferred procurement program for minimum 
biobased contents to be set at levels that will realistically allow 
products to possess the necessary performance attributes and allow them 
to compete with non-biobased products in performance and economics. 
Setting the minimum biobased content for an item at a level met by 
several of the tested products will provide more products from which 
procurement officials may choose, will encourage the most widespread 
usage of biobased products by procuring agencies, and is expected to 
accomplish the objectives of section 9002. Procuring agencies are 
encouraged to seek products with the highest biobased content that is 
practicable in all 10 of the proposed designated items.
    The following paragraphs summarize the information that USDA used 
to propose minimum biobased contents within each proposed designated 
item.
1. 2-Cycle Engine Oils
    Seven of the 17 biobased 2-cycle engine oils identified have been 
tested for biobased content using ASTM D6866.\1\ The biobased content 
of these 7 samples ranged from 6 percent to 77 percent.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ ASTM D6866 (Standard Test Methods for Determining the 
Biobased Content of Natural Range Materials Using Radiocarbon and 
Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry Analysis) is used to distinguish 
between carbon from fossil resources (non-biobased carbon) and 
carbon from renewable sources (biobased carbon). The biobased 
content is expressed as the percentage of total carbon that is 
biobased carbon.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    USDA is proposing to set the minimum biobased content for this item 
at 7 percent, based on the product with a tested biobased content of 10 
percent. USDA evaluated the manufacturer's performance claims for the 
product whose biobased content was tested at 6 percent. The available 
information for this product did not indicate any unique performance 
characteristics or features not found in products with a higher 
biobased content. Therefore, USDA dropped this product from 
consideration in setting the minimum biobased content for the item. 
USDA found that the product with 10 percent biobased content, the 
second-lowest tested value, was formulated to meet the

[[Page 47606]]

specifications of Japanese small engine manufacturers. None of the 
other products tested made this claim or indicated that they had been 
tested using the Japanese performance standards. Because of the 
predominance of Japanese engines in the marketplace, USDA believes that 
establishing a minimum biobased content for this item based on a 
product formulated to meet their performance specifications is 
reasonable. To account for possible variability in the results of ASTM 
D6866, as discussed earlier, the tested 10 percent value was then 
adjusted to 7 percent.
2. Lip Care Products
    Two of the 28 available biobased lip care products have been tested 
for biobased content using ASTM D6866. The biobased content of these 
two lip care products was 85 percent and 88 percent.
    USDA is proposing to set the minimum biobased content for this item 
at 82 percent, based on the product with a tested biobased content of 
85 percent. While no differences were found in the performance of the 
two products tested, USDA believes that the slight difference between 
the biobased content of two products tested is insignificant. Also, 
establishing the minimum biobased content for the item based on the 
lower tested value offers procurement agents more choice in selecting 
products to purchase.
3. Biodegradable Films
    Thirteen of the 45 biobased biodegradable films identified have 
been tested for biobased content using ASTM D6866. The biobased content 
of these 13 biodegradable films ranged from 1 percent to 96 percent. 
USDA will not establish the minimum biobased content for a designated 
item based on products with essentially no biobased content; that is, 
in this instance, on either the product with a tested biobased content 
of 1 percent or the product with a tested biobased content of 2 
percent. The biobased content of the remaining 11 products ranged from 
25 percent to 96 percent.
    USDA is proposing to set the minimum biobased content for this item 
at 22 percent, based on the product with a tested biobased content of 
25 percent. The manufacturer of the product with the biobased content 
of 25 percent also manufactures biodegradable films with 48 and 52 
percent biobased content. The product with 25 percent biobased content 
has a significantly longer shelf-life than the other products. Because 
Federal procuring agencies are likely to purchase biodegradable films 
in larger quantities than the average consumer, USDA believes that 
shelf-life is a key performance criteria for establishing the minimum 
biobased content of this item. Therefore, USDA is proposing to 
establish the minimum biobased content for this item based on this 
particular product. Furthermore, establishing the minimum biobased 
content level at this level will offer procuring agencies more choices 
in selecting products to purchase and will encourage the most 
widespread usage of biobased products by procuring agencies.
4. Stationary Equipment Hydraulic Fluids
    Twenty two of the 66 biobased stationary equipment hydraulic fluids 
identified have been tested for biobased content using ASTM D6866. The 
biobased content of these 22 biobased stationary equipment hydraulic 
fluids ranged from 49 percent to 100 percent.
    USDA is proposing to set the minimum biobased content for this item 
at 46 percent, based on the product with a tested biobased content of 
49. Stationary equipment hydraulic fluids can be formulated to meet a 
wide range of demands. Because of the resulting range in product 
characteristics, USDA is proposing to set the minimum biobased content 
at a level that will include all of the products sampled. USDA believes 
that it is in the best interest of the preferred procurement program 
for minimum biobased contents to be set at levels that will 
realistically allow products to possess the necessary performance 
attributes and allow them to compete with non-biobased products in 
performance and economics. Furthermore, setting the minimum biobased 
content level based on the lowest level found among the sampled 
products will offer procuring agencies more choices in selecting 
products to purchase and will encourage the most widespread usage of 
biobased products by procuring agencies.
5. Biodegradable Cutlery
    Five of the 15 biobased biodegradable cutlery identified have been 
tested for biobased content using ASTM D6866. The biobased contents of 
these five biobased biodegradable products ranged from 36 percent to 
100 percent.
    USDA is proposing to set the minimum biobased content for this item 
at 33 percent, based on the product with a tested biobased content of 
36 percent. USDA is proposing to set the minimum biobased content at a 
level that will include all of the products sampled. USDA believes that 
it is in the best interest of the preferred procurement program for 
minimum biobased contents to be set at levels that will realistically 
allow products to possess the necessary performance attributes and 
allow them to compete with non-biobased products in performance and 
economics. Furthermore, setting the minimum biobased content level 
based on the lowest level found among the sampled products will offer 
procuring agencies more choices in selecting products to purchase and 
will encourage the most widespread usage of biobased products by 
procuring agencies.
6. Glass Cleaners
    Seven of the 19 biobased glass cleaners identified have been tested 
for biobased content using ASTM D6866. The biobased contents of these 
glass cleaners ranged from 0 percent to 67 percent. The products with 
tested biobased contents of 0 and 1 percent were not considered in 
establishing the minimum biobased content for this proposed designated 
item. The one product whose tested biobased content was 0 percent was 
eliminated from consideration because, according to the results of the 
analysis, the product would not be considered a biobased product. 
Further, USDA will not establish the minimum biobased content for a 
designated item based on products with essentially no biobased content; 
that is, in this instance on a product with a tested biobased content 
of 1 percent. The biobased content of the remaining five products 
ranged from 26 percent to 67 percent.
    USDA is proposing to set the minimum biobased content for this item 
at 23 percent, based on the product with a tested biobased content of 
26 percent. USDA is proposing to set the minimum biobased content at a 
level that will include all of the products sampled. USDA believes that 
it is in the best interest of the preferred procurement program for 
minimum biobased contents to be set at levels that will realistically 
allow products to possess the necessary performance attributes and 
allow them to compete with non-biobased products in performance and 
economics. Furthermore, setting the minimum biobased content level 
based on the lowest level found among the sampled products will offer 
procuring agencies more choices in selecting products to purchase and 
will encourage the most widespread usage of biobased products by 
procuring agencies.
7. Greases
    Eighteen of the 67 biobased greases identified have been tested for 
biobased

[[Page 47607]]

content using ASTM D6866. For the five proposed subcategories of 
greases, the results obtained and the proposed minimum biobased 
contents are discussed in the following paragraphs by proposed grease 
subcategory.
    Food grade greases. The biobased content was measured for three 
food grade greases. The tested biobased contents were 45, 62, and 95 
percent.
    USDA is proposing to set the minimum biobased content for food 
grade greases at 42 percent, based on the product with a tested 
biobased content of 45 percent. USDA believes that it is in the best 
interest of the preferred procurement program for minimum biobased 
contents to be set at levels that will realistically allow products to 
possess the necessary performance attributes and allow them to compete 
with non-biobased products in performance and economics. Setting the 
minimum biobased content level based on the lowest level found among 
the sampled products will offer procuring agencies more choices in 
selecting products to purchase and will encourage the most widespread 
usage of biobased products by procuring agencies.
    Multipurpose greases. The biobased content was measured for three 
multipurpose greases. The tested biobased contents were 76, 76, and 76 
percent.
    USDA is proposing to set the minimum biobased content for food 
grade greases at 73 percent, based on the tested biobased content of 76 
percent for all three multipurpose greases.
    Rail track greases. The biobased content was measured for six rail 
track greases. The tested biobased contents ranged from 33 percent to 
66 percent.
    USDA is proposing to set the minimum biobased content for rail 
track greases at 30 percent, based on the two products with a tested 
biobased content of 33 percent. The range in biobased contents is due 
to formulations necessary to meet seasonal requirements. Because one 
would not use a rail track grease formulated for winter use in the 
summer (and vice-versa), USDA does not believe it is necessary to 
subdivide this item. Instead, USDA believes that it is appropriate to 
set a single minimum biobased content and is proposing to set it based 
on the lowest tested biobased content. By doing so, USDA believes that 
it is setting a minimum biobased content level that will realistically 
allow products to possess the necessary performance attributes and 
allow them to compete with non-biobased products in performance and 
economics, which is in the best interests of this program. Further, 
setting the minimum biobased content level based on the lowest level 
found among the sampled products will offer procuring agencies more 
choices in selecting products to purchase and will encourage the most 
widespread usage of biobased products by procuring agencies.
    Truck greases. The biobased content was measured for three truck 
greases. The tested biobased contents were 75, 77, and 77 percent.
    USDA is proposing to set the minimum biobased content for truck 
greases at 72 percent, based on the product with a tested biobased 
content of 77 percent. USDA believes that the slight difference between 
the biobased content of three products tested is insignificant, and 
establishing the minimum biobased content for the item based on the 
lower tested value offers procurement agents more choice in selecting 
truck grease products to purchase.
    Greases not elsewhere specified. The biobased content was measured 
for four greases that did not fit any of the four specified 
subcategories. The tested biobased contents ranged from 78 percent to 
96 percent.
    USDA is proposing to set the minimum biobased content for greases 
not elsewhere specified at 75 percent, based on the product with a 
tested biobased content of 78 percent. Because of the nature of this 
subcategory, grease products within it will be formulated to meet a 
wide range of demands. Because of the resulting range in product 
characteristics, USDA is proposing to set the minimum biobased content 
at a level that will include all of these ``other'' grease products 
sampled. USDA believes that it is in the best interest of the preferred 
procurement program for minimum biobased contents to be set at levels 
that will realistically allow products to possess the necessary 
performance attributes and allow these ``other'' grease products to 
compete with non-biobased products in performance and economics. 
Furthermore, setting the minimum biobased content level based on the 
lowest level found among the sampled ``other'' grease products will 
offer procuring agencies more choices in selecting products to purchase 
and will encourage the most widespread usage of biobased products by 
procuring agencies.
8. Dust Suppressants
    Five of the 13 biobased dust suppressants identified have been 
tested for biobased content using ASTM D6866. The biobased contents of 
these 5 biobased dust suppressants ranged from 69 percent to 100 
percent.
    USDA is proposing to set the minimum biobased content for this item 
at 66 percent, based on the product with a tested biobased content of 
69 percent. USDA is proposing to set the minimum biobased content at a 
level that will include all of the products sampled, including the 
product with 69 percent biobased content, which is the only one of the 
products that is formulated specifically as a concentrate to be mixed 
with water. USDA believes that it is in the best interest of the 
preferred procurement program for minimum biobased contents to be set 
at levels that will realistically allow products to possess the 
necessary performance attributes and allow them to compete with non-
biobased products in performance and economics. Furthermore, setting 
the minimum biobased content level based on the lowest level found 
among the sampled products will offer procuring agencies more choices 
in selecting products to purchase and will encourage the most 
widespread usage of biobased products by procuring agencies.
9. Carpet
    Nine of the 19 biobased carpet identified have been tested for 
biobased content using ASTM D6866. The testing was conducted on the 
entire carpet samples (i.e., face and backing). The biobased content of 
these nine biobased carpets ranged from 0 percent to 37 percent. The 
two products whose tested biobased content was 0 percent was eliminated 
from consideration because, according to the results of the analysis, 
the product would not be considered a biobased product. The biobased 
content of the remaining 7 products ranged from 10 percent to 37 
percent.
    USDA is proposing to set the minimum biobased content for this item 
at 7 percent, based on the product with a tested biobased content of 10 
percent. For each of the carpet samples tested, the biobased component 
of the carpets sampled was the material used as the carpet backing. The 
sampled products with a higher biobased content contain similar 
biobased materials, but had higher biobased contents because they 
simply had a thicker layer of the backing material. Thus, those 
products with the lower biobased content are likely to be less costly 
and more competitive in markets such as the commercial carpet segment. 
USDA is proposing to set the minimum biobased content at a level that 
will include all of the products sampled. USDA believes that it is in 
the best interest of the preferred procurement program for minimum 
biobased contents to be set at levels that will realistically allow

[[Page 47608]]

products to possess the necessary performance attributes and allow them 
to compete with non-biobased products in performance and economics. 
Furthermore, setting the minimum biobased content level based on the 
lowest level found among the sampled products also will provide more 
products from which procurement officials may choose and will encourage 
the most widespread usage of biobased products by procuring agencies.
10. Carpet and Upholstery Cleaners
    Ten of the 17 biobased carpet and upholstery cleaners identified 
have been tested for biobased content using ASTM D6866. The biobased 
content of these 10 biobased carpet and upholstery cleaners ranged from 
10 percent to 99 percent. Two products, with biobased contents of 10 
and 15 percent are characterized by their manufacturers as ``spot 
removers.'' USDA did not consider these products in establishing the 
minimum biobased content because this designated item is intended to 
include those products formulated for use in larger scale cleaning 
operations than would be typical for ``spot removers.'' The biobased 
content of the eight remaining products ranged from 37 percent to 99 
percent.
    USDA is proposing to set the minimum biobased content for this item 
at 34 percent, based on the product with a biobased content of 37 
percent. USDA is proposing to set the minimum biobased content at a 
level that will include all of the products sampled. USDA believes that 
it is in the best interest of the preferred procurement program for 
minimum biobased contents to be set at levels that will realistically 
allow products to possess the necessary performance attributes and 
allow them to compete with non-biobased products in performance and 
economics. Furthermore, setting the minimum biobased content level 
based on the lowest level found among the sampled products will offer 
procuring agencies more choices in selecting products to purchase and 
will encourage the most widespread usage of biobased products by 
procuring agencies.

D. Effective Date for Procurement Preference and Incorporation Into 
Specifications

    USDA intends for the final rule to take effect thirty (30) days 
after publication of the final rule. However, under the terms of the 
proposed rule, procuring agencies would have a one-year transition 
period, starting from the date of publication of the final rule, before 
the procurement preference for biobased products within a designated 
item would take effect.
    USDA proposes a one-year period before the procurement preferences 
would take effect based on an understanding that Federal agencies will 
need time to incorporate the preferences into procurement documents and 
to revise existing standardized specifications. Section 9002(d) of 
FSRIA and section 2902(c) of 7 CFR part 2902 explicitly acknowledge the 
latter need for Federal agencies to have sufficient time to revise the 
affected specifications to give preference to biobased products when 
purchasing the designated items. Procuring agencies will need time to 
evaluate the economic and technological feasibility of the available 
biobased products for their agency-specific uses and for compliance 
with agency-specific requirements, including manufacturers' warranties 
for machinery in which the biobased products would be used.
    By the time these items are promulgated for designation, Federal 
agencies will have had a minimum of 18 months (from when these 
designated items were proposed), and much longer considering when the 
Guidelines were first proposed and these requirements were first laid 
out, to implement these requirements.
    For these reasons, USDA proposes that the mandatory preference for 
biobased products under the designated items take effect one year after 
promulgation of the final rule. The one-year period provides these 
agencies with ample time to evaluate the economic and technological 
feasibility of biobased products for a specific use and to revise the 
specifications accordingly. However, some agencies may be able to 
complete these processes more expeditiously, and not all uses will 
require extensive analysis or revision of existing specifications. 
Although it is allowing up to one year, USDA encourages procuring 
agencies to implement the procurement preferences as early as 
practicable for procurement actions involving any of the designated 
items.

V. Where Can Agencies Get More Information on These USDA-Designated 
Items?

    Once the item designations in today's proposal become final, 
manufacturers and vendors voluntarily may post information on specific 
products, including product and contact information, on the USDA 
biobased products Web site http://www.biobased.oce.usda.gov. USDA will 
periodically audit the information displayed on the Web site and, where 
questions arise, contact the manufacturer or vendor to verify, correct, 
or remove incorrect or out-of-date information. Procuring agencies 
should contact the manufacturers and vendors directly to discuss 
specific needs and to obtain detailed information on the availability 
and prices of biobased products meeting those needs.
    By accessing the Web site, agencies will also be able to obtain the 
voluntarily-posted information on each product concerning: Relative 
price; life cycle costs; hot links directly to a manufacturer's or 
vendor's Web site (if available); performance standards (industry, 
government, military, ASTM/ISO) that the product has been tested 
against; and environmental and public health information from the BEES 
analysis or the alternative analysis embedded in the ASTM Standard 
D7075, ``Standard Practice for Evaluating and Reporting Environmental 
Performance of Biobased Products.''
    USDA has linked its Web site to DoD's list of specifications and 
standards, which can be used as guidance when procuring products. To 
access this list, go to USDA's FB4P Web site and click on the ``Product 
Submission'' tab and look for the DoD Specifications link.

VI. Regulatory Information

A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review

    Executive Order 12866 requires agencies to determine whether a 
regulatory action is ``significant.'' The Order defines a ``significant 
regulatory action'' as one that is likely to result in a rule that may: 
``(1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or 
adversely affect, in a material way, the economy, a sector of the 
economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public 
health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or 
communities; (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere 
with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) Materially alter 
the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan 
programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) 
Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the 
President's priorities, or the principles set forth in this Executive 
Order.''
    It has been determined that this rule is not a ``significant 
regulatory action'' under the terms of Executive Order 12866. The 
annual economic effect associated with today's proposed rule

[[Page 47609]]

has not been quantified because the information necessary to estimate 
the effect does not exist. As was discussed earlier in this preamble, 
USDA made extensive efforts to obtain information on the Federal 
agencies' usage of the 10 items proposed for designation. These efforts 
were largely unsuccessful. Therefore, attempts to determine the 
economic impacts of today's proposed rule would necessitate estimating 
the anticipated market penetration of biobased products, which would 
entail many assumptions and, thus, be of questionable value. Also, the 
program allows procuring agencies the option of not purchasing biobased 
products if the costs are deemed ``unreasonable.'' Under this program, 
the determination of ``unreasonable'' costs will be made by individual 
agencies. USDA knows these agencies will consider such factors as 
price, life-cycle costs, and environmental benefits in determining 
whether the cost of a biobased product is determined to be 
``reasonable'' or ``unreasonable.'' However, until the program is 
actually implemented by the various agencies, it is impossible to 
quantify the impact this option would have on the economic effect of 
the rule. Therefore, USDA relied on a qualitative assessment to reach 
the judgment that the annual economic effect of the designation of 
these 10 items is less than $100 million, and likely to be 
substantially less than $100 million. This judgment was based primarily 
on the offsetting nature of the program (an increase in biobased 
products purchased with a corresponding decrease in petroleum products 
purchased) and, secondarily, on the ability of procuring agencies not 
to purchase these items if costs are judged unreasonable, which would 
reduce the economic effect.
1. Summary of Impacts
    Today's proposed rulemaking is expected to have both positive and 
negative impacts to individual businesses, including small businesses. 
USDA anticipates that the biobased preferred procurement program will 
provide additional opportunities for businesses to begin supplying 
biobased materials to manufacturers of 2-cycle engine oils, lip care 
products, biodegradable films, stationary equipment hydraulic fluids, 
biodegradable cutlery, glass cleaners, greases, dust suppressants, 
carpets, and carpet and upholstery cleaners and to begin supplying 
these products made with biobased materials to Federal agencies and 
their contractors. In addition, other businesses, including small 
businesses, that do not directly contract with procuring agencies may 
be affected positively by the increased demand for these biobased 
materials and products. However, other businesses that manufacture and 
supply only non-qualifying products and do not offer a biobased 
alternative product may experience a decrease in demand for their 
products. Thus, today's proposed rule will likely increase the demand 
for biobased products, while decreasing the demand for non-qualifying 
products. It is anticipated that this will create a largely 
``offsetting'' economic impact.
    USDA is unable to determine the number of businesses, including 
small businesses, that may be adversely affected by today's proposed 
rule. If a business currently supplies any of the items proposed for 
designation to a procuring agency and those products do not qualify as 
biobased products, the proposed rule may reduce that company's ability 
to compete for future contracts. However, the proposed rule will not 
affect existing purchase orders, nor will it preclude businesses from 
modifying their product lines to meet new specifications or 
solicitation requirements for these products containing biobased 
materials. Thus, many businesses, including small businesses, that 
market to Federal agencies and their contractors have the option of 
modifying their product lines to meet the new biobased specifications.
2. Summary of Benefits
    The designation of these 10 items provides the benefits outlined in 
the objectives of section 9002: To increase domestic demand for 
biobased products and, thus, for the many agricultural commodities that 
can serve as feedstocks for production of 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 increased demand for 
biobased products will also lead to the substitution of products with a 
possibly more benign or beneficial environmental impact, as compared to 
the use of non-biobased products. By purchasing these biobased 
products, procuring agencies can increase opportunities for all of 
these benefits. On a national and regional level, today's proposed rule 
can result in expanding and strengthening markets for biobased 
materials used in these 10 items. However, because the extent to which 
procuring agencies will find the performance and costs of biobased 
products acceptable is unknown, it is impossible to quantify the actual 
economic effect of today's proposed rule. USDA, however, anticipates 
the annual economic effect of the designation of these 10 items to be 
substantially below the $100 million threshold. In addition, today's 
proposed rule does not do any of the following: Create serious 
inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by 
another agency; materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, 
grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of 
recipients thereof; or raise novel legal or policy issues arising out 
of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set 
forth in Executive Order 12866.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    The RFA, 5 U.S.C. 601-602, generally requires an agency to prepare 
a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to notice and 
comment rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act 
or any other statute unless the agency certifies that the rule will not 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. Small entities include small businesses, small organizations, 
and small governmental jurisdictions.
    USDA evaluated the potential impacts of its proposed designation of 
these 10 items to determine whether its actions would have a 
significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. Because 
the Federal Biobased Products Preferred Procurement Program in section 
9002 of FSRIA applies only to Federal agencies and their contractors, 
small governmental (city, county, etc.) agencies are not affected. 
Thus, the proposal, if promulgated, will not have a significant 
economic impact on small governmental jurisdictions. USDA anticipates 
that this program will affect entities, both large and small, that 
manufacture or sell biobased products. For example, the designation of 
items for preferred procurement will provide additional opportunities 
for businesses to manufacture and sell biobased products to Federal 
agencies and their contractors. Similar opportunities will be provided 
for entities that supply biobased materials to manufacturers. 
Conversely, the biobased procurement program may decrease opportunities 
for businesses that manufacture or sell non-biobased products or 
provide components for the manufacturing of such products. However, the 
proposed rule will not affect existing purchase orders and it will not 
preclude procuring agencies from continuing to purchase non-biobased 
items under

[[Page 47610]]

certain conditions relating to the availability, performance, or cost 
of biobased items. Today's proposed rule will also not preclude 
businesses from modifying their product lines to meet new 
specifications or solicitation requirements for these products 
containing biobased materials. Thus, the economic impacts of today's 
proposed rule are not expected to be significant.
    The intent of section 9002 is largely to stimulate the production 
of new biobased products and to energize emerging markets for those 
products. Because the program is still in its infancy, however, it is 
unknown how many businesses will ultimately be affected. While USDA has 
no data on the number of small businesses that may choose to develop 
and market products within the 10 items proposed for designation by 
today's proposed rulemaking, the number is expected to be small. 
Because biobased products represent an emerging market, only a small 
percentage of all manufacturers, large or small, are expected to 
develop and market biobased products. Thus, the number of small 
businesses affected by today's proposed rulemaking is not expected to 
be substantial.
    After considering the economic impacts of today's proposed rule on 
small entities, USDA certifies that this action will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
This rule, therefore, does not require a regulatory flexibility 
analysis.
    While not a factor relevant to determining whether the proposed 
rule will have a significant impact for RFA purposes, USDA has 
concluded that the effect of today's proposed rule would be to provide 
positive opportunities to businesses engaged in the manufacture of 
these biobased products. Purchase and use of these biobased products by 
procuring agencies increase demand for these products and result in 
private sector development of new technologies, creating business and 
employment opportunities that enhance local, regional, and national 
economies. Technological innovation associated with the use of biobased 
materials can translate into economic growth and increased industry 
competitiveness worldwide, thereby, creating opportunities for small 
entities.

C. Executive Order 12630: Governmental Actions and Interference With 
Constitutionally Protected Property Rights

    This proposed rule has been reviewed in accordance with Executive 
Order 12630, Governmental Actions and Interference with 
Constitutionally Protected Property Rights, and does not contain 
policies that would have implications for these rights.

D. Executive Order 12988: Civil Justice Reform

    This proposed rule has been reviewed in accordance with Executive 
Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. This proposed rule does not preempt 
State or local laws, is not intended to have retroactive effect, and 
does not involve administrative appeals.

E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This proposed rule does not have sufficient federalism implications 
to warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment. Provisions of 
this proposed rule will not have a substantial direct effect on States 
or their political subdivisions or on the distribution of power and 
responsibilities among the various government levels.

F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This proposed rule contains no Federal mandates under the 
regulatory provisions of Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act 
of 1995 (UMRA), 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, for State, local, and tribal 
governments, or the private sector. Therefore, a statement under 
section 202 of UMRA is not required.

G. Executive Order 12372: Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs

    For the reasons set forth in the Final Rule Related Notice for 7 
CFR part 3015, subpart V (48 FR 29115, June 24, 1983), this program is 
excluded from the scope of the Executive Order 12372, which requires 
intergovernmental consultation with State and local officials. This 
program does not directly affect State and local governments.

H. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian 
Tribal Governments

    Today's proposed rule does not significantly or uniquely affect 
``one or more Indian tribes, * * * the relationship between the Federal 
Government and Indian tribes, or * * * the distribution of power and 
responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.'' 
Thus, no further action is required under Executive Order 13175.

I. Paperwork Reduction Act

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 
3501 through 3520), the information collection under this proposed rule 
is currently approved under OMB control number 0503-0011.

J. Government Paperwork Elimination Act Compliance

    The Office of Energy Policy and New Uses is committed to compliance 
with the Government Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA) (44 U.S.C. 3504 
note), which requires Government agencies in general to provide the 
public the option of submitting information or transacting business 
electronically to the maximum extent possible. USDA is implementing an 
electronic information system for posting information voluntarily 
submitted by manufacturers or vendors on the products they intend to 
offer for preferred procurement under each item designated. For 
information pertinent to GPEA compliance related to this rule, please 
contact Marvin Duncan at (202) 401-0461.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 2902

    Biobased products, Procurement.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Department of 
Agriculture proposes to amend 7 CFR chapter XXIX as follows:

CHAPTER XXIX--OFFICE OF ENERGY POLICY AND NEW USES, DEPARTMENT OF 
AGRICULTURE

PART 2902--GUIDELINES FOR DESIGNATING BIOBASED PRODUCTS FOR FEDERAL 
PROCUREMENT

    1. The authority citation for part 2902 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 8102.

    2. Add Sec. Sec.  2902.26 through 2902.35 to subpart B to read as 
follows:
Subpart B--Designated Items
Sec.
2902.26 2-Cycle Engine Oils.
2902.27 Lip Care Products.
2902.28 Biodegradable Films.
2902.29 Stationary Equipment Hydraulic Fluids.
2902.30 Biodegradable Cutlery.
2902.31 Glass Cleaners.
2902.32 Greases.
2902.33 Dust Suppressants.
2902.34 Carpets.
2902.35 Carpet and Upholstery Cleaners.

Subpart B--Designated Items

* * * * *


Sec.  2902.26  2-Cycle Engine Oils.

    (a) Definition. Lubricants formulated to provide clean-burning 
lubrication, decreased spark plug fouling, reduced deposit formation, 
and reduced engine wear in 2-cycle gasoline engines.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content is 7 
percent and shall be based on the amount of

[[Page 47611]]

qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a percent of the weight 
(mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished product.
    (c) Preference effective date. No later than [date one year after 
the date of publication of the final rule], procuring agencies, in 
accordance with this part, will give a procurement preference for 
qualifying biobased 2-cycle engine oils. By that date, Federal agencies 
that have the responsibility for drafting or reviewing specifications 
for items to be procured shall ensure that the relevant specifications 
require the use of biobased 2-cycle engine oils.
    (d) Exemptions. The following applications are exempt for the 
preferred procurement requirement for this item:
    (1) Military equipment: Product or system designed or procured for 
combat or combat-related missions.
    (2) Spacecraft systems and launch support equipment.


Sec.  2902.27  Lip Care Products.

    (a) Definition. Personal care products formulated to replenish the 
moisture and/or prevent drying of the lips.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content is 82 
percent and shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon 
in the product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic 
carbon in the finished product.
    (c) Preference effective date. No later than [date one year after 
the date of publication of the final rule], procuring agencies, in 
accordance with this part, will give a procurement preference for 
qualifying biobased lip care products. By that date, Federal agencies 
that have the responsibility for drafting or reviewing specifications 
for items to be procured shall ensure that the relevant specifications 
require the use of biobased lip care products.
    (d) Exemptions. Spacecraft systems and launch support equipment 
applications are exempt from the preferred procurement requirement for 
this item.


Sec.  2902.28  Biodegradable Films.

    (a) Definition. Films used in packaging, wrappings, linings, and 
other similar applications and that are capable of meeting ASTM D6400 
standard for biodegradability.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content is 22 
percent and shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon 
in the product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic 
carbon in the finished product.
    (c) Preference effective date. No later than [date one year after 
the date of publication of the final rule], procuring agencies, in 
accordance with this part, will give a procurement preference for 
qualifying biobased biodegradable films. By that date, Federal agencies 
that have the responsibility for drafting or reviewing specifications 
for items to be procured shall ensure that the relevant specifications 
require the use of biobased biodegradable films.
    (d) Exemptions. Spacecraft systems and launch support equipment 
applications are exempt from the preferred procurement requirement for 
this item.


Sec.  2902.29  Stationary Equipment Hydraulic Fluids.

    (a) Definition. Hydraulic fluids formulated for use as a mechanical 
power transmission medium (and to provide wear, rust, and oxidation 
protection) in the hydraulic systems of stationary equipment.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content is 46 
percent and shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon 
in the product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic 
carbon in the finished product.
    (c) Preference effective date. No later than [date one year after 
the date of publication of the final rule], procuring agencies, in 
accordance with this part, will give a procurement preference for 
qualifying biobased stationary equipment hydraulic fluids. By that 
date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased stationary 
equipment hydraulic fluids.
    (d) Determining overlap with an EPA-designated recovered content 
product. Qualifying biobased products that fall under this item may, in 
some cases, overlap with the EPA-designated recovered content product: 
Re-refined lubricating oils. USDA is requesting that manufacturers of 
these qualifying biobased products provide information on the USDA Web 
site of qualifying biobased products about the intended uses of the 
product, information on whether or not the product contains any 
recovered material, in addition to biobased ingredients, and 
performance standards against which the product has been tested. This 
information will assist Federal agencies in determining whether or not 
a qualifying biobased product overlaps with EPA-designated building 
insulation and which product should be afforded the preference in 
purchasing.
    (e) Exemptions. The following applications are exempt for the 
preferred procurement requirement for this item:
    (1) Military equipment: Product or system designed or procured for 
combat or combat-related missions.
    (2) Spacecraft systems and launch support equipment.


Sec.  2902.30  Biodegradable Cutlery.

    (a) Definition. Hand-held, disposable utensils designed for one-
time use in eating food and that are capable of meeting ASTM D5338 
standard for biodegradability.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content is 33 
percent and shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon 
in the product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic 
carbon in the finished product.
    (c) Preference effective date. No later than [date one year after 
the date of publication of the final rule], procuring agencies, in 
accordance with this part, will give a procurement preference for 
qualifying biobased biodegradable cutlery. By that date, Federal 
agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or reviewing 
specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that the relevant 
specifications require the use of biobased biodegradable cutlery.
    (d) Exemptions. Spacecraft systems and launch support equipment 
applications are exempt from the preferred procurement requirement for 
this item.


Sec.  2902.31  Glass Cleaners.

    (a) Definition. Cleaning products designed specifically for use in 
cleaning glass surfaces, such as windows, mirrors, car windows, and 
computer monitors.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content is 23 
percent and shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon 
in the product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic 
carbon in the finished product. If the finished product is to be 
diluted before use, the biobased content of the cleaner must be 
determined before dilution.
    (c) Preference effective date. No later than [date one year after 
the date of publication of the final rule], procuring agencies, in 
accordance with this part, will give a procurement preference for 
qualifying biobased glass cleaners. By that date, Federal agencies that 
have the responsibility for drafting or reviewing specifications for 
items to be procured shall ensure that the relevant specifications 
require the use of biobased glass cleaners.

[[Page 47612]]

    (d) Exemptions. Spacecraft systems and launch support equipment 
applications are exempt from the preferred procurement requirement for 
this item.


Sec.  2902.32  Greases.

    (a) Definition. (1) Lubricants composed of oils thickened with 
soaps or other thickeners to a semisolid or solid consistency.
    (2) Greases for which minimum biobased contents under paragraph (b) 
of this section apply are:
    (i) Food grade greases. Lubricants that are designed for use on 
food-processing equipment as a protective anti-rust film, as a release 
agent on gaskets or seals of tank closures, or on machine parts and 
equipment in locations in which there is exposure of the lubricated 
part to food.
    (ii) Multipurpose greases. Lubricants that are designed for general 
use.
    (iii) Rail track greases. Lubricants that are designed for use on 
railroad tracks or heavy crane tracks.
    (iv) Truck greases. Lubricants that are designed for use on the 
fifth wheel of tractor trailer trucks onto which the semi-trailer rests 
and pivots.
    (v) Greases not elsewhere specified. Lubricants that meet the 
general definition of greases as defined in paragraph (a) of this 
section, but are not otherwise covered by paragraphs (b)(1) through (5) 
of this section.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content for all 
greases shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in 
the product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic 
carbon in the finished product. The applicable minimum biobased 
contents are:
    (1) Food grade grease--42 percent.
    (2) Multipurpose grease--73 percent.
    (3) Rail track grease--30 percent.
    (4) Truck grease--72 percent.
    (5) Greases not elsewhere specified--75 percent.
    (c) Preference effective date. No later than [date one year after 
the date of publication of the final rule], procuring agencies, in 
accordance with this part, will give a procurement preference for 
qualifying biobased greases. By that date, Federal agencies that have 
the responsibility for drafting or reviewing specifications for items 
to be procured shall ensure that the relevant specifications require 
the use of biobased greases.
    (d) Exemptions. The following applications are exempt for the 
preferred procurement requirement for this item:
    (1) Military equipment: Product or system designed or procured for 
combat or combat-related missions.
    (2) Spacecraft systems and launch support equipment.


Sec.  2902.33  Dust Suppressants.

    (a) Definition. Products formulated to reduce or eliminate the 
spread of dust associated with gravel roads, dirt parking lots, or 
similar sources of dust, including products used in equivalent indoor 
applications.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content is 66 
percent and shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon 
in the product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic 
carbon in the finished product. If the finished product is to be 
diluted before use, the biobased content of the suppressant must be 
determined before dilution.
    (c) Preference effective date. No later than [date one year after 
the date of publication of the final rule], procuring agencies, in 
accordance with this part, will give a procurement preference for 
qualifying biobased dust suppressants. By that date, Federal agencies 
that have the responsibility for drafting or reviewing specifications 
for items to be procured shall ensure that the relevant specifications 
require the use of biobased dust suppressants.
    (d) Exemptions. The following applications are exempt for the 
preferred procurement requirement for this item:
    (1) Military equipment: Product or system designed or procured for 
combat or combat-related missions.
    (2) Spacecraft systems and launch support equipment.


Sec.  2902.34  Carpets.

    (a) Definition. Floor coverings composed of woven fibers, with a 
backing.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content is 7 
percent and shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon 
in the product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic 
carbon in the finished product.
    (c) Preference effective date. No later than [date one year after 
the date of publication of the final rule], procuring agencies, in 
accordance with this part, will give a procurement preference for 
qualifying biobased carpet. By that date, Federal agencies that have 
the responsibility for drafting or reviewing specifications for items 
to be procured shall ensure that the relevant specifications require 
the use of biobased carpet.
    (d) Determining overlap with an EPA-designated recovered content 
product. Qualifying biobased products that fall under this item may, in 
some cases, overlap with the EPA-designated recovered content product: 
Carpets (polyester). USDA is requesting that manufacturers of these 
qualifying biobased products provide information on the USDA Web site 
of qualifying biobased products about the intended uses of the product, 
information on whether or not the product contains any recovered 
material, in addition to biobased ingredients, and performance 
standards against which the product has been tested. This information 
will assist Federal agencies in determining whether or not a qualifying 
biobased product overlaps with EPA-designated building insulation and 
which product should be afforded the preference in purchasing.
    (e) Exemptions. Spacecraft systems and launch support equipment 
applications are exempt from the preferred procurement requirement for 
this item.


Sec.  2902.35  Carpet and Upholstery Cleaners.

    (a) Definition. Cleaning products formulated specifically for use 
in cleaning carpets and upholstery, through a dry or wet process, found 
in locations such as houses, cars, and workplaces. Spot cleaners are 
not included in this item.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content is 34 
percent and shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon 
in the product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic 
carbon in the finished product.
    (c) Preference effective date. No later than [date one year after 
the date of publication of the final rule], procuring agencies, in 
accordance with this part, will give a procurement preference for 
qualifying biobased carpet and upholstery cleaners. By that date, 
Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or reviewing 
specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that the relevant 
specifications require the use of biobased carpet and upholstery 
cleaners.
    (d) Exemptions. Spacecraft systems and launch support equipment 
applications are exempt from the preferred procurement requirement for 
this item.

    Dated: August 10, 2006.
Keith Collins,
Chief Economist, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
[FR Doc. 06-6920 Filed 8-14-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-GL-P