[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 159 (Thursday, August 17, 2006)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 47565-47588]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 06-6922]



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Part II





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-AA30


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: Adhesive and mastic 
removers; insulating foam for wall construction; hand cleaners and 
sanitizers; composite panels; fluid-filled transformers; biodegradable 
containers; fertilizers; metalworking fluids; sorbents; and graffiti 
and grease removers. 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-AA30. 
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-AA30 
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 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: Adhesive and mastic removers; insulating foam 
for wall construction; hand cleaners and sanitizers; composite panels; 
fluid-filled transformers; biodegradable containers; fertilizers; 
metalworking fluids; sorbents; and graffiti and grease removers. 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 email 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. Four of the items being proposed for designation (insulating 
foam, composite panels, fertilizers, and sorbents) 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. We are proposing a single item designation for hand cleaners and 
sanitizers. We are seeking comment as to whether there are different 
performance standards for this item and, if so, whether USDA should 
consider either creating subcategories within this item, each with its 
own minimum biobased content, or limiting the scope of the current item 
and proposing one or more new items for hand cleaners and sanitizers. 
In your comments, please be sure to identify specific performance 
standards and rationale for either subdividing the current proposed 
item or for limiting the scope of the current proposed item and 
proposing one or more new items for hand cleaners and sanitizers.
    3. We are proposing a single minimum biobased content for the item 
insulation foam for wall construction. The proposed minimum biobased 
content is based on two measured biobased contents, one for a spray 
foam product and one for a rigid foam product. USDA is interested in 
receiving comments as to whether USDA should set a minimum biobased 
content for spray foam products and one for rigid foam products. 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.
    5. 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.

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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 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

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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: Adhesive and mastic 
removers; insulating foam for wall construction; hand cleaners and 
sanitizers; composite panels; fluid-filled transformers; biodegradable 
containers; fertilizers; metalworking fluids; sorbents; and graffiti 
and grease removers. 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, 4 of the 10 items may overlap with EPA-designated 
recovered content products. These four items are: Insulating foam, 
composite panels, fertilizers, and sorbents. For these four items, USDA 
is requesting that certain information on the qualifying biobased 
products be made available by their manufacturers to assist Federal 
agencies in determining 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

[[Page 47571]]

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 fluid-filled transformers 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. Adhesive and Mastic Removers
    Adhesive and mastic removers represent that group of industrial 
cleaning solvent products formulated for use in removing asbestos, 
carpet, and ceramic tile mastics as well as adhesive materials, 
including glue, tape, and gum, from various surface types. Products in 
this item eliminate the need to sand and grind glue and adhesives from 
parts, floors, or walls, significantly reducing the time required on a 
project. These products are typically formulated from natural soy-based 
or citrus-based feedstocks.
    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 adhesive and mastic removers, USDA identified 11 
different manufacturers producing 13 individual biobased products. 
These 11 manufacturers do not necessarily include all manufacturers of 
biobased adhesive and mastic removers, merely those identified during 
USDA information gathering activities. Information supplied by these 
manufacturers indicates that each of these products is being used 
commercially. Using the procedure described earlier in this notice, no 
industry standard performance tests were identified by the 
manufacturers who submitted information on these products or others.
    USDA contacted procurement officials with various procuring 
agencies, including the General Services Administration, several 
offices within the Defense Logistics Agency, OFEE, USDA Departmental 
Administration, the National Park Service, the EPA, Oak Ridge National 
Laboratory, and OMB, in an effort to gather information on the 
purchases of products within the 10 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 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 
unable to obtain data on the amount of adhesive and mastic removers 
purchased by procuring agencies. However, Federal agencies routinely 
procure building construction, renovation, cleaning, and repair 
services and materials, including adhesive and mastic removers. Thus, 
they have a need for adhesive and mastic removers and for services that 
require the use of adhesive and mastic removers. Designation of 
adhesive and mastic removers 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 adhesive and mastic removers was performed 
for two of the products using the BEES analytical tool. Table 1 
summarizes the BEES results for the two adhesive and mastic removers. 
As seen in Table 1, the environmental performance score, which includes 
human health, ranges from 0.0257 to 0.0625 points per gallon. The 
environmental performance score indicates the share of annual per 
capita U.S. environmental impacts that is attributable to one gallon 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 of 
adhesive and mastic remover sample A was estimated to contribute 
0.000002 percent of this value.

   Table 1.--Summary of BEES Results for Adhesive and Mastic Removers
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                  Adhesive and mastic
                                                       removers
                 Parameters                  ---------------------------
                                                Sample A      Sample B
------------------------------------------------------------------------
BEES Environmental Performance--Total Score         0.0257        0.0625
 \1\........................................
Acidification (5%)..........................        0.0000        0.0000

[[Page 47572]]

 
Criteria Air Pollutants (6%)................        0.0002        0.0007
Ecological Toxicity (11%)...................        0.0052        0.0170
Eutrophication (5%).........................        0.0015        0.0111
Fossil Fuel Depletion (5%)..................        0.0110        0.0157
Global Warming (16%)........................        0.0035        0.0062
Habitat Alteration (16%)....................        0.0000        0.0000
Human Health (11%)..........................        0.0025        0.0085
Indoor Air (11%)............................        0.0000        0.0000
Ozone Depletion (5%)........................        0.0000        0.0000
Smog (6%)...................................        0.0011        0.0019
Water Intake (3%)...........................        0.0007        0.0014
Economic Performance (Life Cycle Costs($))         15.99         17.66
 \2\........................................
First Cost..................................       15.99         17.66
Future Cost (3.9%)..........................    (\3\)         (\3\)
Functional Unit.............................          1 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.

    When evaluating the information presented in Table 1, as well as in 
the subsequent tables presented in this preamble, the reader should be 
aware 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 2 
through 10 for other proposed designated items in this preamble 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 Tables 1 through 10 in this preamble 
are per the appropriate functional unit for the proposed designated 
item. The life cycle costs of the submitted adhesive and mastic 
removers range from $15.99 to $17.66 (present value dollars) per 
gallon. 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. Future 
costs are discounted to present value using the OMB discount rate of 
3.9 percent.
    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. Insulating Foam for Wall Construction
    Insulating foam for wall construction represents that group of 
products designed as spray-in-place insulation systems for residential 
or commercial construction applications. Products in this item provide 
a sealed thermal barrier, which significantly simplifies construction 
and reduces the effort required on a project. Biobased insulating foams 
are typically formulated from natural soy-based feedstocks.
    Qualifying products within this item may overlap with the EPA-
designated recovered content product: Construction--Building 
Insulation.
    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 insulating foam for wall construction, USDA identified 
14 different manufacturers producing 21 individual biobased products. 
These 14 manufacturers do not necessarily include all manufacturers of 
biobased insulating foam for wall construction, merely those identified 
during USDA information gathering activities. Information supplied by 
these manufacturers indicates that each of these products has been 
tested against one or more industry performance standards and is 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 E84-05, Standard Test Method for Surface Burning 
Characteristics of Building Materials;
     ASTM C177-04, Standard Test Method for Steady-State Heat 
Flux Measurements and Thermal Transmission Properties by Means of the 
Guarded-Hot-Plate Apparatus;
     ASTM E283-04, Standard Test Method for Determining Rate of 
Air Leakage Through Exterior Windows, Curtain Walls, and Doors Under 
Specified Pressure Differences Across the Specimen;
     ASTM D1622-03, Standard Test Method for Apparent Density 
of Rigid Cellular Plastics;
     ASTM E96/E96M-05, Standard Test Methods for Water Vapor 
Transmission of Materials;
     ASTM 90-04, Standard Test Method for Laboratory 
Measurement of Airborne Sound Transmission Loss of Building Partitions 
and Elements;
     ASTM C423-02a, Standard Test Method for Sound Absorption 
and Sound Absorption Coefficients by the Reverberation Room Method;

[[Page 47573]]

     ASTM C518-04, Standard Test Method for Steady-State 
Thermal Transmission Properties by Means of the Heat Flow Meter 
Apparatus; and
     ASTM E84-05e1, Standard Test Method for Surface Burning 
Characteristics of Building Materials.
    USDA attempted to gather data on the potential market for biobased 
products within the Federal government as described in the section on 
adhesive and mastic removers. These attempts were largely unsuccessful. 
However, Federal agencies routinely procure building construction, 
renovation, and repair services and materials, including insulating 
foam for wall construction. Thus, they have a need for insulating foam 
for wall construction and for services that require the use of 
insulating foam for wall construction. Designation of insulating foam 
for wall construction 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 insulating foam for wall construction was 
performed for one of the products using the BEES analytical tool. Table 
2 summarizes the BEES results for the one sample of insulating foam for 
wall construction. As seen in Table 2, the environmental performance 
score, which includes human health, was 0.0018 points for a quantity of 
material necessary to provide one square foot of insulated wall surface 
for a period of 50 years. The environmental performance score indicates 
the share of annual per capita U.S. environmental impacts that is 
attributable to the quantity of material necessary to provide one 
square foot of insulated wall surface for a period of 50 years, 
expressed in 100ths of 1 percent.

     Table 2.--Summary of BEES Results for Insulating Foam for Wall
                              Construction
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             Insulating
                                                              foam for
                        Parameters                              wall
                                                            construction
------------------------------------------------------------------------
BEES Environmental Performance--Total Score \1\...........        0.0018
Acidification (5%)........................................        0.0000
Criteria Air Pollutants (6%)..............................        0.0000
Ecological Toxicity (11%).................................        0.0002
Eutrophication (5%).......................................        0.0000
Fossil Fuel Depletion (5%)................................        0.0009
Global Warming (16%)......................................        0.0002
Habitat Alteration (16%)..................................        0.0000
Human Health (11%)........................................        0.0003
Indoor Air (11%)..........................................        0.0000
Ozone Depletion (5%)......................................        0.0000
Smog (6%).................................................        0.0001
Water Intake (3%).........................................        0.0001
Economic Performance (Life Cycle Costs($)) \2\............        1.10
First Cost................................................        1.15
Future Cost (3.9%) \3\....................................       -0.05
Functional Unit...........................................   (\4\)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Numbers in parentheses indicate weighting factor.
\2\ Costs are per functional unit.
\3\ Note that because this product has a residual (or salvage) value
  after its initial use, the future cost is a negative value.
\4\ The quantity of material necessary to provide one square foot of
  insulated wall surface for a period of 50 years.

    The life cycle cost of the submitted insulating foam for wall 
construction was $1.10 (present value dollars) for a quantity of 
material necessary to provide one square foot of insulated wall surface 
for a period of 50 years.
3. Hand Cleaners and Sanitizers
    Hand cleaners and sanitizers represent that group of personal care 
products formulated for use in cleaning and sanitizing human hands. 
Products in this item, which may be used with or without water, are 
used to remove a variety of different soils, greases, and bacteria. 
These products significantly reduce the potential for transmitting 
harmful bacteria. Biobased hand cleaners and sanitizers are typically 
formulated from natural corn, soy, or citrus-based feedstocks.
    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.
    As noted earlier in this preamble, USDA is requesting comment on 
whether there should be one or more subcategories within this item 
based on required performance properties of the item. For example, hand 
cleaners and sanitizers used in medical situations might be required to 
meet different performance standards from those used in households. If 
this is the case, then there may be differences in the level of 
biobased content depending on the performance standard to be met. As 
proposed, USDA is not differentiating between settings in which hand 
cleaners and sanitizers are used.
    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 hand cleaners and sanitizers, USDA identified 36 
different manufacturers producing 73 individual biobased products. 
These 36 manufacturers do not necessarily include all manufacturers of 
biobased hand cleaners and sanitizers, merely those identified during 
USDA information gathering activities. Information supplied by these 
manufacturers indicates that each of these products has been tested 
against one or more industry performance standards and is being used 
commercially. While other applicable performance standards may exist,

[[Page 47574]]

applicable industry performance standards against which these products 
have been typically tested, as identified by manufacturers of products 
within this item, include:
     American Type Culture Collection Number 11229, Organism: 
Escherichia coli (Migula) Castellani, and Chalmers; and
     American Type Culture Collection Number 6539 Organism: 
Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica (ex Kauffmann and Edwards) Le Minor 
and Popoff serovar Typhi; deposited as Salmonella typhi (Schroeter) 
Warren and Scott.
    Some products within this item may require ``higher'' standards 
than other products. For example, hand cleaners and sanitizers used in 
hospitals and medical clinics may require higher levels of performance 
than those used in typical households. Procuring agencies, therefore, 
may need to contact the manufacturer of a biobased product or access 
the FB4P Web site to obtain additional information on the performance 
specification of a product within this item.
    USDA attempted to gather data on the potential market for biobased 
products within the Federal government as described in the section on 
adhesive and mastic removers. These attempts were largely unsuccessful. 
However, Federal agencies routinely procure washroom and janitorial 
services and materials, including hand cleaners and sanitizers. Thus, 
they have a need for hand cleaners and sanitizers and for services that 
require the use of hand cleaners and sanitizers. Designation of hand 
cleaners and sanitizers 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 hand cleaners and sanitizers was performed 
for three of the products using the BEES analytical tool. Table 3 
summarizes the BEES results for the three hand cleaners and sanitizers. 
As seen in Table 3, the environmental performance score, which includes 
human health, ranges from 0.0227 to 0.0412 points per gallon of hand 
cleaner and sanitizer. The environmental performance score indicates 
the share of annual per capita U.S. environmental impacts that is 
attributable to one gallon of the product, expressed in 100ths of 1 
percent.

   Table 3.--Summary of BEES Results for Hand Cleaners and Sanitizers
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      Hand cleaners and sanitizers
          Parameters           -----------------------------------------
                                  Sample A      Sample B      Sample C
------------------------------------------------------------------------
BEES Environmental                    0.0227        0.0347        0.0412
 Performance--Total Score \1\.
Acidification (5%)............        0.0000        0.0000        0.0000
Criteria Air Pollutants (6%)..        0.0001        0.0002        0.0004
Ecological Toxicity (11%).....        0.0112        0.0128        0.0125
Eutrophication (5%)...........        0.0007        0.0034        0.0052
Fossil Fuel Depletion (5%)....        0.0063        0.0077        0.0102
Global Warming (16%)..........        0.0015        0.0028        0.0047
Habitat Alteration (16%)......        0.0000        0.0000        0.0000
Human Health (11%)............        0.0017        0.0053        0.0058
Indoor Air (11%)..............        0.0000        0.0000        0.0000
Ozone Depletion (5%)..........        0.0000        0.0000        0.0000
Smog (6%).....................        0.0008        0.0015        0.0014
Water Intake (3%).............        0.0004        0.0010        0.0010
Economic Performance (Life           17.02         17.30         21.24
 Cycle Costs ($)) \2\.........
First Cost....................       17.02         17.30         21.24
Future Cost (3.9%)............    (\3\)         (\3\)         (\3\)
Functional Unit...............                  1 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 hand cleaners and sanitizers 
range from $17.02 to $21.24 (present value dollars) per gallon.
4. Composite Panels
    Composite panels represent that group of engineered products 
designed for use in non-structural construction applications, including 
wall panels, shelving, decorative panels, lavatory dividers, and 
exterior signs. Biobased composite panels are typically formulated from 
natural wheat or rice straw, recycled or forest clean-up wood, and 
paper industry wastes. This item applies to both interior and exterior 
applications. However, some products within this item may not be 
applicable to all exterior applications, which may require specific 
insulating values and moisture protection properties. Procuring 
agencies, therefore, need to assess an individual product's performance 
specifications before using in exterior applications.
    Qualifying products within this item may overlap with the following 
three EPA-designated recovered content product: Construction--Laminated 
Paperboard and Structural Foam Board; Construction--Shower and Restroom 
Dividers; and Miscellaneous Products--Signage.
    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 composite panels, USDA identified 26 different 
manufacturers producing 51 individual biobased products. These 26 
manufacturers do not necessarily include all manufacturers of biobased 
composite panels, merely those identified during USDA information 
gathering activities. Information supplied by these manufacturers 
indicates that each of these products has been tested against one or 
more industry performance standards and is 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:

[[Page 47575]]

     ASTM C473-03, Standard Test Methods for Physical Testing 
of Gypsum Panel Products;
     ASTM D1037-99, Standard Test Methods for Evaluating 
Properties of Wood-Base Fiber and Particle Panel Materials;
     ASTM D3273-00, Standard Test Method for Resistance to 
Growth of Mold on the Surface of Interior Coatings in an Environmental 
Chamber;
     ASTM D4060-01, Standard Test Method for Abrasion 
Resistance of Organic Coatings by the Taber Abraser;
     ASTM E72-05, Standard Test Methods of Conducting Strength 
Tests of Panels for Building Construction;
     ASTM E84-05, Standard Test Method for Surface Burning 
Characteristics of Building Materials
     ASTM E90-04, Standard Test Method for Laboratory 
Measurement of Airborne Sound Transmission Loss of Building Partitions 
and Elements;
     ASTM E119-00a, Standard Test Methods for Fire Tests of 
Building Construction and Materials; and
     ASTM E413-04, Classification for Rating Sound Insulation.
    USDA attempted to gather data on the potential market for biobased 
products within the Federal government as described in the section on 
adhesive and mastic removers. These attempts were largely unsuccessful. 
However, Federal agencies routinely procure building construction, 
renovation, and repair services and materials, including composite 
panels. Thus, they have a need for composite panels and for services 
that require the use of composite panels. Designation of composite 
panels 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 composite panels was performed for two of 
the products using the BEES analytical tool. Table 4 summarizes the 
BEES results for the two composite panels. As seen in Table 4, the 
environmental performance score, which includes human health, ranges 
from 0.0085 to 0.0113 points per square foot of partition for a period 
of 50 years. The environmental performance score indicates the share of 
annual per capita U.S. environmental impacts that is attributable to 
one square foot of partition for a period of 50 years, expressed in 
100ths of 1 percent.

         Table 4.--Summary of BEES Results for Composite Panels
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                   Composite panels
                 Parameters                  ---------------------------
                                                Sample A      Sample B
------------------------------------------------------------------------
BEES Environmental Performance--Total Score         0.0085        0.0113
 \1\........................................
Acidification (5%)..........................        0.0000        0.0000
Criteria Air Pollutants (6%)................        0.0001        0.0001
Ecological Toxicity (11%)...................        0.0004        0.0010
Eutrophication (5%).........................        0.0001        0.0001
Fossil Fuel Depletion (5%)..................        0.0044        0.0055
Global Warming (16%)........................        0.0012        0.0016
Habitat Alteration (16%)....................        0.0000        0.0000
Human Health (11%)..........................        0.0017        0.0026
Indoor Air (11%)............................        0.0000        0.0000
Ozone Depletion (5%)........................        0.0000        0.0000
Smog (6%)...................................        0.0004        0.0004
Water Intake (3%)...........................        0.0002        0.0000
Economic Performance (Life Cycle Costs ($))         2.37          4.96
 \2\........................................
First Cost..................................        2.37          4.96
Future Cost (3.9%)..........................    (\3\)         (\3\)
Functional Unit.............................      one square foot of
                                               partition over 50 years.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\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 composite panels range from 
$2.37 to $4.96 (present value dollars) per square foot of partition for 
a period of 50 years.
5. Fluid-Filled Transformers
    Fluid-filled transformers represent that group of electric power 
transformers designed to utilize a dielectric (non-conducting) fluid as 
a means of insulating and cooling the electro-mechanical equipment 
inside the transformer.
    The electro-mechanical components of a fluid-filled transformer are 
the same between fluid-filled transformers, with only the type of fluid 
varying. The dielectric fluid used in fluid-filled transformers is the 
only component that is a biobased material. Therefore, the information 
presented in this preamble is based on analyses performed on biobased 
transformer fluids. However, USDA is proposing to designate the item as 
``fluid-filled transformers,'' because end users generally purchase 
ready-to-use transformers rather than purchasing the electro-mechanical 
components separately from the fluid. Biobased transformer fluids are 
typically formulated from vegetable oils, such as soybean oil.
    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.
    USDA identified 5 different manufacturers producing 12 individual 
biobased products that are used as transformer fluids in fluid-filled 
transformers. These five manufacturers do not necessarily include all 
manufacturers of biobased transformer fluids, merely those identified 
during USDA information gathering activities. Information supplied by 
these manufacturers indicates that each of these products has been 
tested against one or more industry performance standards and is being 
used commercially. While other applicable performance standards may 
exist, applicable industry performance

[[Page 47576]]

standards against which these products have been typically tested, as 
identified by manufacturers of products within this item, include:
     ASTM D287-92 (2000) e1, Standard Test Method for API 
Gravity of Crude Petroleum and Petroleum Products (Hydrometer Method);
     ASTM D2882-00, Standard Test Method for Indicating the 
Wear Characteristics of Petroleum and Non-Petroleum Hydraulic Fluids in 
Constant Volume Vane Pump (Withdrawn 2003);
     American Petroleum Institute API GL-3, Lubricant with 
light EP effect for transmissions and non-hypoid gear drives;
     General Motors GM LS-2, General Motors Maintenance 
Lubricant Standard LS-2 for Industrial Equipment and Machine Tools;
     German Institute for Standardization DIN51524, Pressure 
fluids; hydraulic oils; HL, HLP, and HVLP hydraulic oils; minimum 
requirements.
     ASTM D1816, Standard Test Method for Dielectric Breakdown 
Voltage of Insulating Oils of Petroleum Origin Using VDE Electrodes;
     ASTM D877-02e1, Standard Test Method for Dielectric 
Breakdown Voltage of Insulating Liquids Using Disk Electrodes;
     ASTM D924-04, Standard Test Method for Dissipation Factor 
(or Power Factor) and Relative Permittivity (Dielectric Constant) of 
Electrical Insulating Liquids;
     ASTM D1169-02, Standard Test Method for Specific 
Resistance (Resistivity) of Electrical Insulating Liquids;
     ASTM D3300-00, Standard Test Method for Dielectric 
Breakdown Voltage of Insulating Oils of Petroleum Origin Under Impulse 
Conditions;
     ASTM D2300-00, Standard Test Method for Gassing of 
Insulating Liquids Under Electrical Stress and Ionization (Modified 
Pirelli Method);
     ASTM D1298-99 (2005), Standard Test Method for Density, 
Relative Density (Specific Gravity), or API Gravity of Crude Petroleum 
and Liquid Petroleum Products by Hydrometer Method;
     ASTM D971-99a (2004), Standard Test Method for Interfacial 
Tension of Oil Against Water by the Ring Method;
     EPA 9045C, Corrosivity and pH Determination;
     ASTM D974-04, Standard Test Method for Acid and Base 
Number by Color-Indicator Titration;
     ASTM D445-04e2, Standard Test Method for Kinematic 
Viscosity of Transparent and Opaque Liquids (and the Calculation of 
Dynamic Viscosity);
     ASTM 1533B, Water in Insulating Fluids;
     CPS Method, Percent Saturation of Moisture;
     ASTM D2779-92 (2002), Standard Test Method for Estimation 
of Solubility of Gases in Petroleum Liquids;
     ASTM D1524-94 (2004), Standard Test Method for Visual 
Examination of Used Electrical Insulating Oils of Petroleum Origin in 
the Field;
     ASTM D1500-04a, Standard Test Method for ASTM Color of 
Petroleum Products (ASTM Color Scale);
     ASTM D93-02a, Standard Test Methods for Flash-Point by 
Pensky-Martens Closed Cup Tester;
     ASTM D92-05a, Standard Test Method for Flash and Fire 
Points by Cleveland Open Cup Tester;
     ASTM D97-05a, Standard Test Method for Pour Point of 
Petroleum Products;
     ASTM D2766-95 (2005), Standard Test Method for Specific 
Heat of Liquids and Solids;
     ASTM E1269-05 Standard Test Method for Determining 
Specific Heat Capacity by Differential Scanning Calorimetry;
     APHA SM 5210B, (APHA = American Public Health Association)
     Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD);
     EPA OPPTS 835.3100, Fate, Transport, and Transformation 
Test Guidelines for Aerobic Aquatic Biodegradation and Anaerobic 
Biodegradability of Organic Chemicals; and
     OECD G.L 203, Acute Toxicity Test (Trout Fry).
    USDA attempted to gather data on the potential market for biobased 
products within the Federal government as described in the section on 
adhesive and mastic removers. These attempts were largely unsuccessful. 
However, many Federal facilities utilize, or contract for services that 
utilize, transformers as part of their electrical distribution systems. 
Thus, Federal agencies have a need for fluid-filled transformers and 
for services that require the use of fluid-filled transformers. 
Designation of fluid-filled transformers 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 transformer fluids was performed for two 
of the products using the BEES analytical tool. Table 5 summarizes the 
BEES results for the two biobased transformer fluids. As seen in Table 
5, the environmental performance score, which includes human health, 
ranges from 0.0198 to 0.0581 points per gallon of the transformer 
fluids. The environmental performance score indicates the share of 
annual per capita U.S. environmental impacts that is attributable to 1 
gallon of transformer fluid, expressed in 100ths of 1 percent.

     Table 5.--Summary of BEES Results for Fluid-Filled Transformers
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                  Transformer fluids
                 Parameters                  ---------------------------
                                                Sample A      Sample B
------------------------------------------------------------------------
BEES Environmental Performance--Total Score         0.0198        0.0581
 \1\........................................
Acidification (5%)..........................        0.0000        0.0000
Criteria Air Pollutants (6%)................        0.0002        0.0003
Ecological Toxicity (11%)...................        0.0046        0.0204
Eutrophication (5%).........................        0.0007        0.0066
Fossil Fuel Depletion (5%)..................        0.0066        0.0130
Global Warming (16%)........................        0.0033        0.0052
Habitat Alteration (16%)....................        0.0000        0.0000
Human Health (11%)..........................        0.0029        0.0047
Indoor Air (11%)............................        0.0000        0.0000
Ozone Depletion (5%)........................        0.0000        0.0000
Smog (6%)...................................        0.0007        0.0040
Water Intake (3%)...........................        0.0008        0.0039
Economic Performance (Life Cycle Costs ($))         8.50          9.10
 \2\........................................
First Cost..................................        8.50          9.10

[[Page 47577]]

 
Future Cost (3.9%)..........................    (\3\)         (\3\)
Functional Unit.............................          1 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 biobased transformer fluids 
range from $8.50 to $9.10 (present value dollars) per gallon of 
transformer fluid.
6. Biodegradable Containers
    Biodegradable containers represent that group of products capable 
of complying with the specifications established in the 
biodegradability standard ASTM D6400 ``Standard Specifications for 
Compostable Plastics'' and designed to be used for temporary storage or 
transportation of materials, such as food items. Products in this item 
are typically used by quick-serve restaurants, food management 
companies, universities, and government organizations. Biobased 
biodegradable containers are typically produced from natural starch-
based or synthetic corn-based feedstocks and are readily biodegradable 
through composting.
    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 containers, USDA identified four 
different manufacturers producing six individual biobased products. 
These four manufacturers do not necessarily include all manufacturers 
of biobased biodegradable containers, merely those identified during 
USDA information gathering activities. Information supplied by these 
manufacturers indicates that each of these products has been tested 
against one or more industry performance standards and is 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 D6400-04, Standard Specification for Compostable 
Plastics; and
     Biodegradable Products Institute Certified Compostable 
plastic products will biodegrade and compost satisfactorily in actively 
managed compost facilities.
    USDA attempted to gather data on the potential market for biobased 
products within the Federal government as described in the section on 
adhesive and mastic removers. These attempts were largely unsuccessful. 
However, Federal agencies routinely perform, or procure contract 
services to perform, activities such as food preparation and materials 
storage that utilize containers. Thus, they have a need for containers 
and for services that require the use of containers. Designation of 
biodegradable containers 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 containers was performed for 
two of the products using the BEES analytical tool. Table 6 summarizes 
the BEES results for the two biodegradable containers. As seen in Table 
6, the environmental performance score, which includes human health, 
ranges from 0.0003 to 0.0008 points per biodegradable container. The 
environmental performance score indicates the share of annual per 
capita U.S. environmental impacts that is attributable to one 
biodegradable container, expressed in 100ths of 1 percent.

     Table 6.--Summary of BEES Results for Biodegradable Containers
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                               Biodegradable containers
                 Parameters                  ---------------------------
                                                Sample A      Sample B
------------------------------------------------------------------------
BEES Environmental Performance--Total Score         0.0003        0.0008
 \1\........................................
Acidification (5%)..........................        0.0000        0.0000
Criteria Air Pollutants (6%)................        0.0000        0.0000
Ecological Toxicity (11%)...................        0.0002        0.0001
Eutrophication (5%).........................        0.0000        0.0000
Fossil Fuel Depletion (5%)..................        0.0001        0.0004
Global Warming (16%)........................        0.0000        0.0001
Habitat Alteration (16%)....................        0.0000        0.0000
Human Health (11%)..........................        0.0000        0.0001
Indoor Air (11%)............................        0.0000        0.0000
Ozone Depletion (5%)........................        0.0000        0.0000
Smog (6%)...................................        0.0000        0.0000
Water Intake (3%)...........................        0.0000        0.0001
Economic Performance (Life Cycle Costs ($))         0.05          0.10
 \2\........................................
First Cost..................................        0.05          0.10
Future Cost (3.9%)..........................    (\3\)         (\3\)
Functional Unit.............................  1 biodegradable container.
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\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.


[[Page 47578]]

    The life cycle cost of the submitted biodegradable containers range 
from $0.05 to $0.10 (present value dollars) per biodegradable 
container.
7. Fertilizers
    Fertilizers represent that group of products formulated or 
processed for use in soil improvement applications. Products in this 
item provide moisture holding capacity, nutrients for plant growth, 
and/or beneficial bacteria to convert nutrients into plant usable 
forms. These products are used to provide added nutrition to the sports 
turf, golf course, organic farming, horticulture, lawn care, landscape, 
and nursery industries. Biobased fertilizers are typically produced 
from natural agricultural waste feedstocks such as meat and poultry by-
products, animal wastes, grocery scraps, restaurant grease, and bakery 
wastes.
    Qualifying products within this item may overlap with the EPA-
designated recovered content product: Fertilizers Made From Recovered 
Organic Materials.
    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 fertilizers, USDA identified 15 different 
manufacturers producing 30 individual biobased products. These 15 
manufacturers do not necessarily include all manufacturers of biobased 
fertilizers, merely those identified during USDA information gathering 
activities. Information supplied by these manufacturers indicates that 
each of these products has been tested against one or more industry 
performance standards and is 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:
     Organic Materials Review Institute, listed seal assures 
the stability of a product for certified organic production, handling, 
and processing; and
     United States Composting Council Seal of Testing 
Assurance.
    USDA attempted to gather data on the potential market for biobased 
products within the Federal government as described in the section on 
adhesive and mastic removers. These attempts were largely unsuccessful. 
However, Federal agencies routinely perform, or procure contract 
services to perform, activities such as landscape maintenance and the 
production of agricultural products that require the use of 
fertilizers. Thus, they have a need for fertilizers and for services 
that require the use of fertilizers. Designation of fertilizers 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 fertilizers was performed for two of the 
products using the BEES analytical tool. Table 7 summarizes the BEES 
results for the two fertilizers. As seen in Table 7, the environmental 
performance score, which includes human health, ranges from 0.3299 to 
0.9576 points per the quantity of fertilizer recommended for 1 acre 
over 3 years of use. The environmental performance score indicates the 
share of annual per capita U.S. environmental impacts that is 
attributable to the quantity of fertilizer recommended for 1 acre over 
3 years of use, expressed in 100ths of 1 percent.

            Table 7.--Summary of BEES Results for Fertilizers
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                      Fertilizers
                 Parameters                  ---------------------------
                                                Sample A      Sample B
------------------------------------------------------------------------
BEES Environmental Performance--Total Score         0.3299        0.9576
 \1\........................................
Acidification (5%)..........................        0.0000        0.0000
Criteria Air Pollutants (6%)................        0.0020        0.0039
Ecological Toxicity (11%)...................        0.0212        0.1754
Eutrophication (5%).........................        0.0061        0.0407
Fossil Fuel Depletion (5%)..................        0.1455        0.1203
Global Warming (16%)........................        0.0493        0.4941
Habitat Alteration (16%)....................        0.0000        0.0000
Human Health (11%)..........................        0.0809        0.0753
Indoor Air (11%)............................        0.0000        0.0000
Ozone Depletion (5%)........................        0.0000        0.0000
Smog (6%)...................................        0.0249        0.0221
Water Intake (3%)...........................        0.0000        0.0258
Economic Performance (Life Cycle Costs ($))        17.64        195.43
 \2\........................................
First Cost..................................       17.64        132.00
Future Cost (3.9%)..........................        0.00         63.43
Functional Unit.............................            (\3\)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Numbers in parentheses indicate weighting factor.
\2\ Costs are per functional unit.
\3\ The quantity of fertilizer recommended for 1 acre over 3 years of
  use.

    The life cycle cost of the submitted fertilizers range from $17.64 
to $195.43 (present value dollars) for the quantity of fertilizer 
recommended for 1 acre over 3 years of use.
8. Metalworking Fluids
    Metalworking fluids represent that group of products formulated to 
provide cooling, lubrication, and corrosion prevention when applied to 
metal feedstock during operations such as grinding and machining. These 
products are designed for continuous use in systems that re-circulate 
the fluid through the use of a reservoir. These products are typically 
formulated from vegetable seed oils and are sold as concentrates 
designed to be diluted with water or other solvents prior to 
application.
    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 metalworking fluids, USDA identified 16 different 
manufacturers producing 45 individual

[[Page 47579]]

biobased products. These 16 manufacturers do not necessarily include 
all manufacturers of biobased metalworking fluids, merely those 
identified during USDA information gathering activities. Information 
supplied by these manufacturers indicates that each of these products 
has been tested against one or more industry performance standards and 
is being used commercially. While other applicable performance 
standards may exist, applicable industry performance standards and 
other relevant measurements of performance against which these products 
have been typically tested, as identified by manufacturers of products 
within this item, include:
     ASTM D3233-93 (2003), Standard Test Methods for 
Measurement of Extreme Pressure Properties of Fluid Lubricants (Falex 
Pin and Vee Block Methods);
     ASTM D3946-92 (1997), Standard Test Method for Evaluating 
the Bacteria Resistance of Water-Dilutable Metalworking Fluids 
(Withdrawn 2004); and
     Readily Biodegradable EPA 560/6-82-003, monitors the 
conversion of the test material carbon to carbon dioxide, the product 
must biodegrade in 28 days to pass.
    USDA attempted to gather data on the potential market for biobased 
products within the Federal government as described in the section on 
adhesive and mastic removers. These attempts were largely unsuccessful. 
However, Federal agencies routinely own and operate fabrication and 
repair facilities that utilize the types of metal machining equipment 
that require the use of metalworking fluids. In addition, many Federal 
agencies contract for services involving the use of such facilities and 
equipment. Thus, they have a need for metalworking fluids and for 
services that require the use of metalworking fluids. Designation of 
metalworking 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 biobased metalworking fluids was performed for two 
of the products using the BEES analytical tool. Table 8 summarizes the 
BEES results for the two biobased metalworking fluids. As seen in Table 
8, the environmental performance score, which includes human health, 
ranges from 0.0018 to 0.0036 points per gallon of diluted and ready to 
use fluid. The environmental performance score indicates the share of 
annual per capita U.S. environmental impacts that is attributable to 
one diluted and ready to use gallon of fluid, expressed in 100ths of 1 
percent.

        Table 8.--Summary of BEES Results for Metalworking Fluids
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                  Metalworking fluids
                 Parameters                  ---------------------------
                                                Sample A      Sample B
------------------------------------------------------------------------
BEES Environmental Performance--Total Score         0.0018        0.0036
 \1\........................................
Acidification (5%)..........................        0.0000        0.0000
Criteria Air Pollutants (6%)................        0.0000        0.0000
Ecological Toxicity (11%)...................        0.0004        0.0026
Eutrophication (5%).........................        0.0001        0.0001
Fossil Fuel Depletion (5%)..................        0.0008        0.0002
Global Warming (16%)........................        0.0002        0.0002
Habitat Alteration (16%)....................        0.0000        0.0000
Human Health (11%)..........................        0.0002        0.0001
Indoor Air (11%)............................        0.0000        0.0000
Ozone Depletion (5%)........................        0.0000        0.0000
Smog (6%)...................................        0.0001        0.0000
Water Intake (3%)...........................        0.0000        0.0004
Economic Performance (Life Cycle Costs ($))         0.72          0.96
 \2\........................................
First Cost..................................        0.72          0.96
Future Cost (3.9%)..........................    (\3\)         (\3\)
Functional Unit.............................   One diluted and ready to
                                                 use gallon of fluid.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\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 metalworking fluids range from 
$0.72 to $0.96 (present value dollars) per gallon of diluted and ready 
to use fluid.
9. Sorbents
    Sorbents represent that group of materials formulated for clean up 
and bioremediation of oil and chemical spills, disposal of liquid 
materials, and prevention of leakage or leaching in maintenance 
applications, shop floors, and fuel storage areas. Products in this 
item are normally light in weight, produce little dust, and provide 
absorbing capabilities through wicking or sponge-like action. Biobased 
sorbents are typically produced from corncobs, cotton fibers, nut pith 
and other plant fiber, often combined with gelling agents.
    Qualifying products within this item may overlap with the EPA-
designated recovered content product: Miscellaneous--Sorbents.
    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 sorbents, USDA identified 16 different manufacturers 
producing 31 individual biobased products. These 16 manufacturers do 
not necessarily include all manufacturers of biobased sorbents, merely 
those identified during USDA information gathering activities. 
Information supplied by these manufacturers indicates that each of 
these products has been tested against one or more industry performance 
standards and is being used commercially. While other applicable 
performance standards may exist, applicable industry performance 
standards against which these products have been typically tested, as 
identified

[[Page 47580]]

by manufacturers of products within this item, include:
     ASTM D726-94 (2003), Standard Test Method for Resistance 
of Nonporous Paper to Passage of Air;
     ASTM D2974-00, Standard Test Methods for Moisture, Ash, 
and Organic Matter of Peat and Other Organic Soils; and
     Canadian General Standards Board CAN/CGSB-183.94, Method 
for Testing Sorbents.
    USDA attempted to gather data on the potential market for biobased 
products within the Federal government as described in the section on 
adhesive and mastic removers. These attempts were largely unsuccessful. 
However, Federal agencies routinely perform, or procure services that 
perform, the types of clean-up and containment activities that would 
utilize sorbents. Thus, they have a need for sorbents and for services 
that require the use of sorbents. Designation of sorbents 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 sorbents was performed for two of the products 
using the BEES analytical tool. Table 9 summarizes the BEES results for 
the two sorbents. As seen in Table 9, the environmental performance 
score, which includes human health, ranges from 0.0957 to 0.1159 points 
per the quantity of the analyzed sorbent required to absorb 1 barrel of 
light crude oil. The environmental performance score indicates the 
share of annual per capita U.S. environmental impacts that is 
attributable to the quantity of the analyzed sorbent required to absorb 
1 barrel of light crude oil, expressed in 100ths of 1 percent.

             Table 9.--Summary of BEES Results for Sorbents
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       Sorbents
                 Parameters                  ---------------------------
                                                Sample A      Sample B
------------------------------------------------------------------------
BEES Environmental Performance--Total Score         0.0957        0.1159
 \1\........................................
Acidification (5%)..........................        0.0000        0.0000
Criteria Air Pollutants (6%)................        0.0001        0.0014
Ecological Toxicity (11%)...................        0.0006        0.0113
Eutrophication (5%).........................        0.0040        0.0018
 Fossil Fuel Depletion (5%).................        0.0059        0.0583
Global Warming (16%)........................        0.0026        0.0156
Habitat Alteration (16%)....................        0.0000        0.0000
Human Health (11%)..........................        0.0020        0.0221
Indoor Air (11%)............................        0.0000        0.0000
Ozone Depletion (5%)........................        0.0000        0.0000
Smog (6%)...................................        0.0024        0.0033
Water Intake (3%)...........................        0.0781        0.0021
Economic Performance (Life Cycle Costs ($))        49.94         11.83
 \2\........................................
First Cost..................................       49.94         11.83
Future Cost (3.9%)..........................    (\3\)         (\3\)
Functional Unit.............................             (\4\)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\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.
\4\ The quantity of the analyzed sorbent required to absorb 1 barrel of
  light crude oil.

    The life cycle cost of the submitted sorbents range from $11.83 to 
$49.94 (present value dollars) per the quantity of the analyzed sorbent 
required to absorb 1 barrel of light crude oil.
10. Graffiti and Grease Removers
    Graffiti and grease removers represent that group of industrial 
solvent products formulated to remove automotive, industrial, and 
kitchen soils and oils, including grease, paint, and other coatings, 
from hard surfaces. Biobased grease and graffiti removers are typically 
formulated from natural soy, corn, or citrus-based feedstocks and 
contain little to no hazardous ingredients.
    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 graffiti and grease removers, USDA identified 26 
different manufacturers producing 44 individual biobased products. 
These 26 manufacturers do not necessarily include all manufacturers of 
biobased graffiti and grease removers, merely those identified during 
USDA information gathering activities. Information supplied by these 
manufacturers indicates that each of these products is being used 
commercially. While applicable performance standards and other measures 
of performance may exist, relevant measures of performance against 
which these products have been typically tested, as identified by 
manufacturers of products within this item, include:
     Graffiti Performance Testing; and
     Adhesive Testing in Screen-printing.
    USDA attempted to gather data on the potential market for biobased 
products within the Federal government as described in the section on 
adhesive and mastic removers. These attempts were largely unsuccessful. 
However, Federal agencies routinely perform, and procure services that 
perform, the types of clean-up activities that would utilize graffiti 
and grease removers. Thus, they have a need for graffiti and grease 
removers and for services that require the use of graffiti and grease 
removers. Designation of graffiti and grease removers 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 graffiti and grease removers was performed 
for two of the products using the BEES analytical tool. Table 10 
summarizes the BEES results for the two graffiti and grease removers. 
As seen in Table 10, the environmental performance score, which 
includes human health, ranges from 0.0446 to 0.0646 points per gallon 
of the graffiti and grease removers. The environmental performance 
score indicates the share of

[[Page 47581]]

annual per capita U.S. environmental impacts that is attributable to 
one gallon of the graffiti and grease removers, expressed in 100ths of 
1 percent.

   Table 10.--Summary of BEES Results for Graffiti and Grease Removers
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                  Graffiti and grease
                                                       removers
                 Parameters                  ---------------------------
                                                Sample A      Sample B
------------------------------------------------------------------------
BEES Environmental Performance--Total Score         0.0446        0.0646
 \1\........................................
Acidification (5%)..........................        0.0000        0.0000
Criteria Air Pollutants (6%)................        0.0003        0.0007
Ecological Toxicity (11%)...................        0.0039        0.0172
Eutrophication (5%).........................        0.0012        0.0112
Fossil Fuel Depletion (5%)..................        0.0268        0.0168
Global Warming (16%)........................        0.0043        0.0064
Habitat Alteration (16%)....................        0.0000        0.0000
Human Health (11%)..........................        0.0045        0.0089
Indoor Air (11%)............................        0.0000        0.0000
Ozone Depletion (5%)........................        0.0000        0.0000
Smog (6%)...................................        0.0032        0.0021
Water Intake (3%)...........................        0.0004        0.0013
Economic Performance (Life Cycle Costs ($))        22.16         22.00
 \2\........................................
First Cost..................................       22.16         22.00
Future Cost (3.9%)..........................    (\3\)         (\3\)
Functional Unit.............................           1 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 graffiti and grease removers 
range from $22.00 to $22.16 (present value dollars) per gallon of 
graffiti and grease removers.

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) 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. Adhesive and Mastic Removers
    Five of the 13 biobased adhesive and mastic removers identified 
have been tested for biobased content using ASTM D6866.\1\ The biobased 
content of these 5 samples ranged from 61 percent to 99 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 58 percent, based on the product with

[[Page 47582]]

a biobased content of 61 percent. No industry standard performance 
tests have been identified for this item. Thus, although all products 
within this item perform essentially the same function, the performance 
of any individual product or the range of adhesive and mastic 
formulations that exist is unknown. Because USDA does not have 
performance information to determine whether the products with biobased 
contents on the lower end of the range have unique or more desirable 
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.
2. Insulating Foam for Wall Construction
    Two of the 21 identified biobased insulating foam for wall 
construction products have been tested for biobased content using ASTM 
D6866. The biobased content of these two products were 11 and 65 
percent.
    USDA is proposing to set a minimum biobased content of 8 percent 
for this item, based on the product with a biobased content of 11 
percent. The two products sampled provide insulating foam in two 
different manners. One is a ``spray in place'' foam and the other is a 
foam board. USDA believes that both products should be included in the 
preferred procurement program and, therefore, is proposing to set the 
minimum biobased content at a level that will include both 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. USDA also believes that 
setting a minimum biobased content of 8 percent for this item is 
reasonable given that only two samples were tested, and that the 
alternative of basing the minimum biobased content on the 65 percent 
product could result in unforeseen limitations to the use of ``spray in 
place'' insulating foam. Lastly, 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.
3. Hand Cleaners and Sanitizers
    Sixteen of the 73 biobased hand cleaners and sanitizers identified 
have been tested for biobased content using ASTM D6866. The biobased 
content of these 16 hand cleaners and sanitizers ranged from 21 percent 
to 95 percent.
    USDA is proposing to set the minimum biobased content for this item 
at 18 percent, based on the product with a biobased content of 21 
percent. Hand cleaners and sanitizers are formulated to meet a wide 
range of demands. Some are designed specifically to be used without 
water, while others are to be used with water; some are liquids and 
others are gels; some contain pumice, while others may contain 
moisturizers; and some are intended for use in health care facilities, 
while others are formulated to remove grease or similar substances. 
Because of this 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.
4. Composite Panels
    Eight of the 51 biobased composite panels identified have been 
tested for biobased content using ASTM D6866. The biobased content of 
these 8 composite panels ranged from 29 percent to 100 percent.
    USDA is proposing to set the minimum biobased content for this item 
at 26 percent, based on the product with a biobased content of 29 
percent. Composite panels are manufactured to meet a range of demands 
and may be formulated to meet specific applications. Because of this 
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. Fluid-Filled Transformers
    Two of the 12 identified biobased fluids designed for use in fluid-
filled transformers have been tested for biobased content using ASTM 
D6866. The biobased content of these two biobased fluids were 69 
percent and 98 percent.
    USDA is proposing to set the minimum biobased content for this item 
at 66 percent, based on the product with a biobased content of 69 
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. USDA also believes that setting 
a minimum biobased content of 66 percent for this item is reasonable 
given that only two samples were tested, and that the alternative of 
basing the minimum biobased content on the 98 percent product could 
result in unforeseen limitations to the use of biobased fluid-filled 
transformers. Lastly, 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. Biodegradable Containers
    Two of the six available biobased biodegradable containers have 
been tested for biobased content using ASTM D6866. The biobased content 
of these two biodegradable container were 99 percent and 100 percent.

[[Page 47583]]

    USDA is proposing to set the minimum biobased content for this item 
at 96 percent, based on the product with a biobased content of 99 
percent. USDA believes that the slight difference between the biobased 
content of two 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 products to 
purchase.
7. Fertilizers
    Ten of the 30 biobased fertilizers identified have been tested for 
biobased content using ASTM D6866. The biobased content of these 10 
biobased fertilizers ranged from 74 percent to 100 percent.
    USDA is proposing to set the minimum biobased content for this item 
at 71 percent, based on the product with a biobased content of 74 
percent. Fertilizers are designed to address a range of parameters, 
including, application method, nutrients contents, release rate of 
nutrients, soil types, crop types, and desired re-application 
intervals. Because of this 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.
8. Metalworking Fluids
    Seventeen of the 45 biobased metalworking fluids identified have 
been tested for biobased content using ASTM D6866. The biobased content 
of these 17 biobased metalworking fluids ranged from 43 percent to 100 
percent. Because biobased metalworking fluids are typically sold as 
concentrates to be diluted with either water or petroleum-based 
solvents before use, the biobased content of the fluids must be 
determined before dilution.
    USDA is proposing to set the minimum biobased content for this item 
at 40 percent, based on the product with a biobased content of 43 
percent. The conditions under which metalworking fluids must perform 
are widely varied. Different types of machining operations and 
different metal feedstocks require different characteristics in the 
associated metalworking fluids. In some operations the ability to 
dissipate heat may be the most critical characteristic, while in others 
corrosion prevention may be most important. The ability of a 
metalworking fluid to be diluted with water is desirable in many 
situations, but may not be significant in others. Because of this 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.
9. Sorbents
    Seven of the 31 biobased sorbents identified have been tested for 
biobased content using ASTM D6866. The biobased content of these seven 
biobased sorbents ranged from 55 percent to 100 percent.
    USDA is proposing to set the minimum biobased content for this item 
at 52 percent, based on the product with a biobased content of 55 
percent. Sorbents are used to absorb a variety of liquid materials and 
the sorbent formulation affects the absorbency of the sorbent. Because 
of this 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.
10. Graffiti and Grease Removers
    Eleven of the 44 biobased graffiti and grease removers identified 
have been tested for biobased content using ASTM D6866. The biobased 
content of these 11 biobased graffiti and grease removers ranged from 
24 percent to 100 percent.
    USDA is proposing to set the minimum biobased content for this item 
at 21 percent, based on the product with a biobased content of 24 
percent. Graffiti and grease removers are formulated to remove a wide 
variety of paints and other marking materials, as well as grease, from 
many types of surfaces and using several different application 
techniques. For example, some graffiti and grease removers are sold as 
concentrates to be mixed with water, while others are designed to be 
used as purchased; some are designed to be sprayed on with power 
washers, while others are designed to be applied with brushes; and some 
are designed to provide a foaming action, while others are not. Because 
of this 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.

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

[[Page 47584]]

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 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 adhesive and mastic removers, 
insulating foam for wall construction, hand cleaners and sanitizers, 
composite panels, fluid-filled transformers, biodegradable containers, 
fertilizers, metalworking fluids, sorbents, and graffiti and grease 
removers 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

[[Page 47585]]

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 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

[[Page 47586]]

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.  2902.16 through 2902.25 to subpart B to read as 
follows:

Subpart B--Designated Items

* * * * *
Sec.
2902.16 Adhesive and Mastic Removers.
2902.17 Insulating Foam for Wall Construction.
2902.18 Hand Cleaners and Sanitizers.
2902.19 Composite Panels.
2902.20 Fluid-filled Transformers.
2902.21 Biodegradable Containers.
2902.22 Fertilizers.
2902.23 Metalworking Fluids.
2902.24 Sorbents.
2902.25 Graffiti and Grease Removers.

Subpart B--Designated Items

* * * * *


Sec.  2902.16  Adhesive and Mastic Removers.

    (a) Definition. Industrial cleaning solvent products formulated for 
use in removing asbestos, carpet, and ceramic tile mastics as well as 
adhesive materials, including glue, tape, and gum, from various surface 
types.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content is 58 
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 adhesive and mastic removers. 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 adhesive and mastic 
removers.
    (d) Exemptions. Spacecraft systems and launch support equipment 
applications are exempt from the preferred procurement requirement for 
this item.


Sec.  2902.17  Insulating Foam for Wall Construction.

    (a) Definition. Products designed to provide a sealed thermal 
barrier for residential or commercial construction applications.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content is 8 
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 insulating foam for wall construction. 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 insulating foam for 
wall construction.
    (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: 
Building Insulation. 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

[[Page 47587]]

preferred procurement requirement for this item.


Sec.  2902.18  Hand Cleaners and Sanitizers.

    (a) Definition. Personal care products formulated for use in 
removing a variety of different soils, greases, and bacteria from human 
hands with or without the use of water.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content is 18 
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 hand cleaners and sanitizers. 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 hand cleaners and 
sanitizers.
    (d) Exemptions. Spacecraft systems and launch support equipment 
applications are exempt from the preferred procurement requirement for 
this item.


Sec.  2902.19  Composite Panels.

    (a) Definition. Engineered products designed for use in non-
structural construction applications, including wall panels, shelving, 
decorative panels, lavatory dividers, and exterior signs.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content is 26 
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 composite panels. 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 composite panels.
    (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 following EPA-designated recovered content 
products: Laminated Paperboard and Structural Foam Board; Shower and 
Restroom Dividers; and Signage. 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 laminated 
paperboard, structural foam board, shower and restroom dividers, and 
signage, 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.  2902.20  Fluid-filled Transformers.

    (a) Definition. Electric power transformers that are designed to 
utilize a dielectric (non-conducting) fluid to provide insulating and 
cooling properties.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content is 66 
percent and shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon 
in the dielectric fluid within the fluid-filled transformer as a 
percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the fluid.
    (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 fluid-filled transformers. 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 fluid-filled transformers.
    (d) Exemptions. The following applications are exempt from 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.  2902.21  Biodegradable Containers.

    (a) Definition. Products capable of complying with the 
specifications established in the biodegradability standard ASTM D6400 
``Standard Specifications for Compostable Plastics'' and designed to be 
used for temporary storage or transportation of materials such as food 
items.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content is 96 
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 containers. 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 containers.
    (d) Exemptions. Spacecraft systems and launch support equipment 
applications are exempt from the preferred procurement requirement for 
this item.


Sec.  2902.22  Fertilizers.

    (a) Definition. Products formulated or processed to provide 
nutrients for plant growth and/or beneficial bacteria to convert 
nutrients into plant usable forms.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content is 71 
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 fertilizers. 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 fertilizers.
    (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: 
Fertilizers Made From Recovered Organic Materials. 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

[[Page 47588]]

Federal agencies in determining whether or not a qualifying biobased 
product overlaps with EPA-designated fertilizers 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.  2902.23  Metalworking Fluids.

    (a) Definition. Products formulated for use in a re-circulating 
fluid system to provide cooling, lubrication, and corrosion prevention 
when applied to metal feedstock during operations such as grinding and 
machining.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content is 40 
percent and shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon 
in the undiluted 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 fluid 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 metalworking 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 metalworking fluids.
    (d) Exemptions. Spacecraft systems and launch support equipment 
applications are exempt from the preferred procurement requirement for 
this item.


Sec.  2902.24  Sorbents.

    (a) Definition. Materials formulated for use in the clean up and 
bioremediation of oil and chemical spills, the disposal of liquid 
materials, or the prevention of leakage or leaching in maintenance 
applications, shop floors, and fuel storage areas.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content is 52 
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 sorbents. 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 sorbents.
    (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: 
Sorbents. 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 sorbents 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.  2902.25  Graffiti and Grease Removers.

    (a) Definition. Industrial solvent products formulated to remove 
automotive, industrial, or kitchen soils and oils, including grease, 
paint, and other coatings, from hard surfaces.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content is 21 
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 remover 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 graffiti and grease removers. 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 graffiti and grease removers.
    (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. 06-6922 Filed 8-16-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-GL-P