[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 178 (Wednesday, September 14, 2011)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 56883-56903]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-23067]



[[Page 56883]]

Vol. 76

Wednesday,

No. 178

September 14, 2011

Part II





Department of Agriculture





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7 CFR Part 3201





Designation of Product Categories for Federal Procurement; Proposed 
Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 178 / Wednesday, September 14, 2011 / 
Proposed Rules

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

7 CFR Part 3201

RIN 0599-AA14


Designation of Product Categories for Federal Procurement

AGENCY: Office of Procurement and Property Management, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is proposing to 
amend the Guidelines for Designating Biobased Products for Federal 
Procurement (Guidelines) to add 13 sections that will designate the 
following product categories within which biobased products would be 
afforded Federal procurement preference: Air fresheners and 
deodorizers; asphalt and tar removers; asphalt restorers; blast media; 
candles and wax melts; electronic components cleaners; floor coverings 
(non-carpet); foot care products; furniture cleaners and protectors; 
inks; packaging and insulating materials; pneumatic equipment 
lubricants; and wood and concrete stains. USDA is also proposing 
minimum biobased contents for each of these product categories.

DATES: USDA will accept public comments on this proposed rule until 
November 14, 2011.

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 0599-AA14. 
Also, please identify submittals as pertaining to the ``Proposed 
Designation of Product Categories.''
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     E-mail: [email protected]. Include RIN number 0599-
AA14 and ``Proposed Designation of Product Categories'' on the subject 
line. Please include your name and address in your message.
     Mail/commercial/hand delivery: Mail or deliver your 
comments to: Ron Buckhalt, USDA, Office of Procurement and Property 
Management, Room 361, Reporters Building, 300 7th St., SW., Washington, 
DC 20024.
     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) 690-0942 (TTY).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ron Buckhalt, USDA, Office of 
Procurement and Property Management, Room 361, Reporters Building, 300 
7th St., SW., Washington, DC 20024; e-mail: [email protected]; 
phone (202) 205-4008. Information regarding the Federal biobased 
products preferred procurement program (one part of the BioPreferred 
Program) is available on the Internet at http://www.biopreferred.gov.

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

I. Authority
II. Background
III. Summary of Today's Proposed Rule
IV. Designation of Product Categories, Minimum Biobased Contents, 
and Time Frame
    A. Background
    B. Product Categories Proposed for Designation
    C. Minimum Biobased Contents
    D. Compliance Date for Procurement Preference and Incorporation 
Into Specifications
V. Where can agencies get more information on these USDA-designated 
product categories?
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 13132: Federalism
    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995
    F. Executive Order 12372: Intergovernmental Review of Federal 
Programs
    G. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With 
Indian Tribal Governments
    H. Paperwork Reduction Act
    I. E-Government Act

I. Authority

    The designation of these product categories is proposed under the 
authority of section 9002 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act 
of 2002 (FSRIA), as amended by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act 
of 2008 (FCEA), 7 U.S.C. 8102 (referred to in this document as 
``section 9002'').

II. Background

    Section 9002 provides for the preferred procurement of biobased 
products by Federal procuring agencies and is referred to hereafter in 
this Federal Register notice as the ``Federal preferred procurement 
program.'' The definition of ``procuring agency'' in section 9002 
includes both Federal agencies and ``a person that is a party to a 
contract with any Federal agency, with respect to work performed under 
such a contract.'' Thus, Federal contractors, as well as Federal 
agencies, are expressly subject to the procurement preference 
provisions of section 9002.
    The term ``product category'' is used in the designation process to 
mean a generic grouping of specific products that perform a similar 
function, such as the various brands of foot care products or furniture 
cleaners. Once USDA designates a product category, procuring agencies 
are required generally to purchase biobased products within these 
designated product categories where the purchase price of the 
procurement product exceeds $10,000 or where the quantity of such 
products or the functionally equivalent products purchased over the 
preceding fiscal year equaled $10,000 or more. Procuring agencies must 
procure biobased products within each product category unless they 
determine that products within a product category 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 7 CFR part 3201--
``Guidelines for Designating Biobased Products for Federal 
Procurement'' (Guidelines), biobased products that are merely 
incidental to Federal funding are excluded from the Federal preferred 
procurement program; that is, the requirements to purchase biobased 
products do not apply to such purchases if they are unrelated to or 
incidental to the purpose of the Federal contract. In implementing the 
Federal 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 product categories proposed for 
designation in this proposed rule. Rather, the effect of the 
designation of the product categories is to require procuring agencies 
to determine their performance needs, determine whether there are 
qualified biobased products that fall under the designated product 
categories 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.

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    Section 9002(a)(3)(B) requires USDA to provide information to 
procuring agencies on the availability, relative price, performance, 
and environmental and public health benefits of such product categories 
and to recommend, where appropriate, the minimum level of biobased 
content to be contained in the procured products.
    Subcategorization. Most of the product categories USDA is 
considering for designation for Federal preferred procurement cover a 
wide range of products. For some product categories, there are 
subgroups of products that meet different requirements, uses and/or 
different performance specifications. For example, within the product 
category ``hand cleaners and sanitizers,'' products that are used in 
medical offices may be required to meet performance specifications for 
sanitizing, while other products that are intended for general purpose 
hand washing may not need to meet these specifications. Where such 
subgroups exist, USDA intends to create subcategories. Thus, for 
example, for the product category ``hand cleaners and sanitizers,'' 
USDA determined that it was reasonable to create a ``hand cleaner'' 
subcategory and a ``hand sanitizer'' subcategory. Sanitizing 
specifications are applicable to the latter subcategory, but not the 
former. In sum, USDA looks at the products within each product category 
to evaluate whether there are groups of products within the category 
that have different characteristics or that meet different performance 
specifications and, where USDA finds these types of differences, it 
intends to create subcategories with the minimum biobased content based 
on the tested products within the subcategory.
    For some product categories, however, USDA may not have sufficient 
information at the time of proposal to create subcategories. For 
example, USDA may know that there are different performance 
specifications that furniture cleaners and protectors are required to 
meet, but it may have information on only one type of furniture 
cleaner. In such instances, USDA may either designate the product 
category without creating subcategories (i.e., defer the creation of 
subcategories) or designate one subcategory and defer designation of 
other subcategories within the product category until additional 
information is obtained. Once USDA has received sufficient additional 
information to justify the designation of a subcategory, the 
subcategory will be designated through the proposed final rulemaking 
process.
    Within today's proposed rule, USDA is proposing to subcategorize 
one of the product categories. That product category is inks and the 
proposed subcategories are: Specialty inks used to add extra 
characteristics or features to printed material; inks used for coated 
paper, paperboard, plastic, and foil (sheetfed--color and sheetfed--
black); inks used in photocopying and laser machines (printer toner--
<25 pages per minute (ppm) and printer toner-->=25 ppm); and inks used 
primarily in newsprint (news). In addition, public comments and 
additional data are being requested for several other product 
categories and subcategories may be created in a future rulemaking.
    Minimum Biobased Contents. The minimum biobased contents being 
proposed with today's rule are based on products for which USDA has 
biobased content test data. Because the submission of product samples 
for biobased content testing is on a strictly voluntary basis, USDA was 
able to obtain samples only from those manufacturers who volunteered to 
invest the resources required to submit the samples.
    In addition to considering the biobased content test data for each 
product category, USDA also considers other factors including product 
performance information. USDA evaluates this information to determine 
whether some products that may have a lower biobased content also have 
unique performance or applicability attributes that would justify 
setting the minimum biobased content at a level that would include 
these products. For example, a lubricant product that has a lower 
biobased content than others within a product category but is 
formulated to perform over a wider temperature range than the other 
products may be more desirable to Federal agencies. Thus, it would be 
beneficial to set the minimum biobased content for the product category 
at a level that would include the product with superior performance 
features.
    USDA also considers the overall range of the tested biobased 
contents within a product category, groupings of similar values, and 
breaks (significant gaps between two groups of values) in the biobased 
content test data array. For example, the biobased contents of five 
tested products within a product category being proposed for 
designation today are 14, 46, 100, 100, and 100 percent. Because this 
is a very wide range, and because there is a significant gap in the 
data between the 46 percent biobased product and the 100 percent 
biobased products, USDA reviewed the product literature to determine 
whether subcategories could be created within this product category. 
USDA found that the available product information did not justify 
subcategorization. Further, USDA did not find any performance claims 
that would justify setting the minimum biobased content based on the 14 
or 46 percent biobased content products. Thus, USDA is proposing to set 
the minimum biobased content for this product category based on the 
product with a tested biobased content of 100 percent. USDA believes 
that this evaluation process allows it to establish minimum biobased 
contents based on a broad set of factors to assist the Federal 
procurement community in its decisions to purchase biobased products.
    USDA makes every effort to obtain biobased content test data on 
multiple products within each product category. For most designated 
product categories, USDA has biobased content test data on more than 
one product within the category. However, in some cases, USDA has been 
able to obtain biobased content data for only a single product within a 
designated product category. As USDA obtains additional data on the 
biobased contents for products within these designated product 
categories or their subcategories, USDA will evaluate whether the 
minimum biobased content for a designated product category or 
subcategory will be revised.
    USDA anticipates that the minimum biobased content of a product 
category that is based on a single product is more likely to change as 
additional products within that category are identified and tested. In 
today's proposed rule, the minimum biobased contents for the ``inks 
(printer toner-->=25 ppm)'' and the ``inks (news)'' subcategories of 
the inks product category are based on a single tested product within 
each subcategory. Based on discussions with industry stakeholders, USDA 
believes that the tested products are representative of other products 
within the subcategories, but has been unable to obtain additional 
products for testing. In addition to requesting comments on the 
appropriateness of the proposed minimum biobased contents for these 
subcategories, USDA requests that stakeholders provide biobased content 
data on their products.
    Where USDA receives additional biobased content test data for 
products within these proposed product categories during the public 
comment period, USDA will take that information into consideration when 
establishing the minimum biobased content when the product categories 
are designated in the final rulemaking.
    Overlap with EPA's Comprehensive Procurement Guideline program for 
recovered content products under the Resource Conservation and Recovery

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Act (RCRA) Section 6002. Some of the products that are within biobased 
product categories designated for Federal preferred procurement under 
this program may also be within categories the Environmental Protection 
Agency (EPA) has designated under the EPA's Comprehensive Procurement 
Guideline (CPG) for products containing recovered materials. In 
situations where it believes there may be an overlap, USDA is asking 
manufacturers of qualifying biobased products to make additional 
product and performance information available to Federal agencies 
conducting market research to assist them in determining whether the 
biobased products in question are, or are not, the same products for 
the same uses as the recovered content products. Manufacturers are 
asked to provide information highlighting the sustainable features of 
their biobased products and to indicate 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 are being asked to provide other types of 
information, such as whether the product contains fossil energy-based 
components (including petroleum, coal, and natural gas) and whether the 
product contains recovered materials. Federal agencies also may review 
available information on a product's biobased content and its profile 
against environmental and health measures and life-cycle costs (the 
ASTM Standard D7075, ``Standard Practice for Evaluating and Reporting 
Environmental Performance of Biobased Products,'' or the Building for 
Environmental and Economic Sustainability (BEES) analysis for 
evaluating and reporting on environmental performance of biobased 
products). Federal agencies may then use this information to make 
purchasing decisions based on the sustainability features of the 
products. Detailed information on ASTM Standard D7075, and other ASTM 
standards, can be found on ASTM's Web site at http://www.astm.org. 
Information on the BEES analytical tool can be found on the Web site 
http://www.bfrl.nist.gov/oae/software/bees.html.
    Section 6002 of RCRA requires a procuring agency procuring a 
product designated by EPA generally to procure such a product composed 
of the highest percentage of recovered materials content practicable. 
However, a procuring agency may decide not to procure such a product 
based on a determination that it fails to meet the reasonable 
performance standards or specifications of the procuring agency. A 
product with recovered materials content may not meet reasonable 
performance standards or specifications, for example, if the use of the 
product with recovered materials content would jeopardize the intended 
end use of the product.
    Where a biobased product is used for the same purposes and to meet 
the same Federal agency performance 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 because ``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 a Federal agency's certain environmental or health 
performance requirements that the EPA-designated recovered content 
product would not meet, then the biobased product should be given 
preference, subject to reasonable price, availability, and performance 
considerations.
    This proposed rule designates three product categories for Federal 
preferred procurement for which there may be overlap with an EPA-
designated recovered content product. The first is blast media, which 
may overlap with the EPA-designated recovered content product 
``Miscellaneous products--blasting grit.'' The second is floor 
coverings (non-carpet), which may overlap with the EPA-designated 
recovered content product ``Floor tiles.'' The third is pneumatic 
equipment lubricants, which may overlap with the EPA-designated 
recovered content product ``Re-refined lubricating oils.'' EPA provides 
recovered materials content recommendations for these recovered content 
products in Recovered Materials Advisory Notice (RMAN) I. The RMAN 
recommendations for these CPG products can be found by accessing EPA's 
Web site http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/non-hw/procure/products.htm and 
then clicking on the appropriate product name.
    Federal Government Purchase of Sustainable Products. The Federal 
government's sustainable purchasing program includes the following 
three statutory preference programs for designated products: the 
BioPreferred Program, the EPA's Comprehensive Procurement Guideline for 
products containing recovered materials, and the Environmentally 
Preferable Purchasing 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.
    Procuring agencies should note that not all biobased products are 
``environmentally preferable.'' For example, unless cleaning products 
contain no or reduced levels of metals and toxic and hazardous 
constituents, they can be harmful to aquatic life, the environment, 
and/or workers. Household cleaning products that are formulated to be 
disinfectants are required, under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide 
and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), to be registered with EPA and must meet 
specific labeling requirements warning of the potential risks 
associated with misuse of such products. When purchasing 
environmentally preferable cleaning products, many Federal agencies 
specify that products must meet Green Seal standards for institutional 
cleaning products or that the products have been reformulated in 
accordance with recommendations from the 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, alkyl phenol 
ethoxylates, ethylene glycol, and volatile organic compounds. In 
addition, both require that cleaning products have neutral or less 
caustic pH.
    In contrast, some biobased products may be more environmentally 
preferable than some products that meet Green Seal standards for 
institutional cleaning products or that have been reformulated in 
accordance with EPA's DfE program. To fully compare products, one must 
look at the ``cradle-to-grave'' impacts of the manufacture, use, and 
disposal of products. Biobased products that will be available for 
Federal 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. Fossil carbon is derived from non-renewable sources 
(typically fossil fuels such as coal and oil), whereas renewable 
biomass carbon is derived from renewable sources (biomass). Qualifying 
biobased products offer the user the opportunity to manage the carbon 
cycle and reduce the introduction of new fossil carbon into the 
atmosphere.

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    Manufacturers of qualifying biobased products designated under the 
Federal preferred procurement program 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 
ASTM D7075, or the comparable BEES analysis, which examines 12 
different environmental parameters, including human health. Therefore, 
USDA encourages Federal procurement agencies to consider that USDA has 
already examined all available information on the environmental and 
human health effects of biopreferred products when making their 
purchasing decisions.
    Other Federal Preferred Procurement Programs. Federal procurement 
officials should also note that biobased products may be available for 
purchase by Federal agencies through the AbilityOne Program (formerly 
known as the Javits-Wagner-O'Day (JWOD) program). Under this program, 
members of organizations including the National Industries for the 
Blind (NIB) and the National Institute for the Severely Handicapped 
(NISH) offer products and services for preferred procurement by Federal 
agencies. A search of the AbilityOne Program's online catalog (http://www.abilityone.gov) indicated that four of the product categories being 
proposed today (air fresheners and deodorizers, blast media, floor 
coverings, and inks (printer toner--<25 ppm)) are available through the 
AbilityOne Program. While there is no specific product within these 
product categories identified in the AbilityOne online catalog as being 
a biobased product, it is possible that such biobased products are 
available or will be available in the future. Also, because additional 
categories of products are frequently added to the AbilityOne Program, 
it is possible that biobased products within other product categories 
being proposed for designation today may be available through the 
AbilityOne Program in the future. Procurement of biobased products 
through the AbilityOne Program would further the objectives of both the 
AbilityOne Program and the Federal preferred procurement program.
    Outreach. To augment its own research, USDA consults with industry 
and Federal stakeholders to the Federal preferred procurement program 
during the development of the rulemaking packages for the designation 
of product categories. USDA consults with stakeholders to gather 
information used in determining the order of product category 
designation and in identifying: Manufacturers producing and marketing 
products that fall within a product category 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.
    Future Designations. In making future designations, USDA will 
continue to conduct market searches to identify manufacturers of 
biobased products within product categories. USDA will then contact the 
identified manufacturers to solicit samples of their products for 
voluntary submission for biobased content testing. Based on these 
results, USDA will then propose new product categories for designation 
for Federal preferred procurement.
    In the preamble to the first six product categories designated for 
Federal preferred procurement (71 FR 13686, March 16, 2006), USDA 
stated that it planned to identify approximately 10 product categories 
in each future rulemaking. In an effort to finalize the designation of 
more product categories in a shorter time period, USDA now plans to 
increase the number of product categories in each rulemaking, whenever 
possible. Thus, today's proposed rulemaking would designate 13 product 
categories for Federal preferred procurement.
    USDA has developed a preliminary list of product categories for 
future designation and has posted this preliminary list on the 
BioPreferred Web site. While this list presents an initial 
prioritization of product categories for designation, USDA cannot 
identify with certainty which product categories will be presented in 
each of the future rulemakings. In response to comments from other 
Federal agencies, USDA intends to give increased priority to those 
product categories that contain the highest biobased content. In 
addition, as the program matures, manufacturers of biobased products 
within some industry segments have become more responsive to USDA's 
requests for technical information than those in other segments. Thus, 
product categories with high biobased content and for which sufficient 
technical information can be obtained quickly may be added or moved up 
on the prioritization list. USDA intends to update the list of product 
categories for future designation on the BioPreferred Web site every 
six months, or more often if significant changes are made to the list.

III. Summary of Today's Proposed Rule

    USDA is proposing to designate the following product categories for 
Federal preferred procurement: Air fresheners and deodorizers; asphalt 
and tar removers; asphalt restorers; blast media; candles and wax 
melts; electronic components cleaners; floor coverings (non-carpet); 
foot care products; furniture cleaners and protectors; inks, including 
specialty inks, inks (sheetfed--color), inks (sheetfed--black), inks 
(printer toner--<25 ppm), inks (printer toner-->=25 ppm), and inks 
(news) as subcategories; packaging and insulating materials; pneumatic 
equipment lubricants; and wood and concrete stains. USDA is also 
proposing minimum biobased content for each of these product 
categories. Lastly, USDA is proposing a date by which Federal agencies 
must incorporate these designated product categories into their 
procurement specifications (see Section IV.D).
    In today's proposed rule, 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 designated product categories. Information on the availability, 
relative price, performance, and environmental and public health 
benefits of individual products within each of these product categories 
is not presented in this notice. Further, USDA has reached an 
understanding with manufacturers not to publish their names in 
conjunction with specific product data published in the Federal 
Register when designating product categories. This understanding was 
reached to encourage manufacturers to submit products for testing to 
support the designation of a product category. Once a product category 
has been designated, USDA will encourage the manufacturers of products 
within the product category to voluntarily make their names and other 
contact information available for the BioPreferred Web site.
    Warranties. Some of the product categories being proposed for 
designation today may affect original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) 
warranties for equipment in which the product categories are used. For 
example, the manufacturer of a piece of equipment that requires 
lubrication typically includes a list of recommended lubricants in the 
owner/operators manual that accompanies the equipment when purchased. 
If the purchaser of the equipment uses a lubricant (including a 
biobased lubricant) that is not among the lubricants recommended by the 
equipment manufacturer, the manufacturer may cite that as a reason not 
to honor the warranty on the equipment. At this time, USDA does not

[[Page 56888]]

have information available as to the extent that OEMs have included, or 
will include, biobased products among their recommended lubricants (or 
other similar operating components). This does not necessarily mean 
that use of biobased products will void warranties, only that USDA does 
not currently have such information. USDA is requesting comments and 
information on this topic, but cannot be held responsible if damage 
were to occur. USDA encourages manufacturers of biobased products to 
test their products against all relevant standards, including those 
that affect warranties, and to work with OEMs to ensure that biobased 
products are accepted and recommended for use. Whenever manufacturers 
of biobased products find that existing performance standards for 
warranties are not relevant or appropriate for biobased products, USDA 
is willing to assist them in working with the appropriate OEMs to 
develop tests that are relevant and appropriate for the end uses in 
which biobased products are intended. In addition to outreach to 
biobased product manufacturers and Federal agencies, USDA will, as time 
and resources allow, work with OEMs on addressing any effect the use of 
biobased products may have on their warranties. If, in spite of these 
efforts, there is insufficient information regarding the use of a 
biobased product and its effect on warranties, 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 
the BioPreferred Web site.
    Additional Information. USDA is working with manufacturers and 
vendors to make all relevant product and manufacturer contact 
information available on the BioPreferred Web site before a procuring 
agency asks for it, in order to make the Federal preferred procurement 
program more efficient. Steps USDA has implemented, or will implement, 
include: Making direct contact with submitting companies through e-mail 
and phone conversations to encourage completion of product listing; 
coordinating outreach efforts with intermediate material producers to 
encourage participation of their customer base; conducting targeted 
outreach with industry and commodity groups to educate stakeholders on 
the importance of providing complete product information; participating 
in industry conferences and meetings to educate companies on program 
benefits and requirements; and communicating the potential for expanded 
markets beyond the Federal government to include State and local 
governments, as well as the general public markets. Section V provides 
instructions to agencies on how to obtain this information on products 
within these product categories through the following Web site: http://www.biopreferred.gov.
    Comments. USDA invites comment on the proposed designation of these 
product categories, including the definition, proposed minimum biobased 
content, and any of the relevant analyses performed during the 
selection of these product categories. In addition, USDA invites 
comments and information in the following areas:
    1. Three of the product categories being proposed for designation 
(blast media, floor coverings, and pneumatic equipment lubricants) may 
overlap with products designated under EPA's Comprehensive Procurement 
Guideline for products containing recovered material. To help procuring 
agencies in making their purchasing decisions between biobased products 
within the proposed designated product categories that overlap with 
products containing recovered material, USDA is requesting 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.
    2. We have attempted to identify relevant and appropriate 
performance standards and other relevant measures of performance for 
each of the proposed product categories. If you know of other such 
standards or relevant measures of performance for any of the proposed 
product categories, 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.
    3. Many biobased products within the product categories 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 BioPreferred Web site. This 
information will then be available to Federal procuring agencies and 
will assist them in making informed sustainable procurement decisions. 
When possible, please provide appropriate documentation to support the 
environmental and human health attributes you describe.
    4. Several product categories (e.g., air fresheners and 
deodorizers, electronic components cleaners, floor coverings, inks, and 
wood and concrete stains) have wide ranges of tested biobased contents. 
For the reasons discussed later in this preamble, USDA is proposing a 
minimum biobased content that would allow many of the tested products 
to be eligible for Federal preferred procurement. USDA welcomes 
comments on the appropriateness of the proposed minimum biobased 
contents for these product categories and whether there are potential 
subcategories within the product categories that should be considered.
    5. As discussed above, the effect that the use of biobased products 
may have on original equipment manufacturers' warranties is uncertain. 
USDA requests comments and supporting information on any aspect of this 
issue.
    6. Today's proposed rule is expected to have both positive and 
negative impacts on individual businesses, including small businesses. 
USDA anticipates that the biobased Federal preferred procurement 
program will provide additional opportunities for businesses and 
manufacturers to begin supplying products under the proposed designated 
biobased product categories to Federal agencies and their contractors. 
However, other businesses and manufacturers that supply only non-
qualifying products and do not offer biobased alternatives may 
experience a decrease in demand from Federal agencies and their 
contractors. Because USDA has been unable to determine the number of 
businesses, including small businesses, that may be adversely affected 
by today's proposed rule, USDA requests comment on how many small 
entities may be affected by this rule and on the nature and extent of 
that effect.
    All comments should be submitted as directed in the ADDRESSES 
section above.
    To assist you in developing your comments, the background 
information used in proposing these product categories for designation 
has been assembled in a technical support document (TSD), ``Technical 
Support for Proposed Rule--Round 8 Designated Product Categories,'' 
which is available on the BioPreferred Web site. The TSD document can 
be located by clicking on the ``Federal Procurement Preference'' link 
on the right side of the BioPreferred Web site's home page (http://www.biopreferred.gov) and then on the ``Rules and Regulations'' link. 
At the next screen, click on the Supporting Documentation link under 
Round 8

[[Page 56889]]

Designation under the Proposed Regulations section.

IV. Designation of Product Categories, Minimum Biobased Contents, and 
Time Frame

A. Background

    In order for USDA to designate product categories for Federal 
preferred procurement, section 9002 requires USDA to consider: (1) The 
availability of biobased products within the product categories and (2) 
the economic and technological feasibility of using those products, 
including the life-cycle costs of the products.
    In considering an item's availability, USDA uses several sources of 
information. USDA performs Internet searches, contacts trade 
associations (such as the Bio organization) 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 manufacturers and 
vendors to identify those manufacturers and vendors with biobased 
products within product categories being considered for designation. 
USDA uses the results of these same searches to determine if an item is 
generally available.
    In considering a product category's economic and technological 
feasibility, USDA examines evidence pointing to the general commercial 
use of a product and its life-cycle cost and performance 
characteristics. This information is obtained from the sources used to 
assess a product'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 a product being purchased by a procuring agency or other 
entity, where available. In sum, USDA considers a product category 
economically and technologically feasible for purposes of designation 
if products within that product category are being offered and used in 
the marketplace.
    In considering the life-cycle costs of product categories proposed 
for designation, USDA has obtained the necessary input information (on 
a voluntary basis) from manufacturers of biobased products and has used 
the BEES analytical tool to analyze individual products within each 
proposed product category. The BEES analytical tool measures the 
environmental performance and the economic performance of a product. 
The environmental performance scores, impact values, and economic 
performance results for products within the Round 8 designated product 
categories analyzed using the BEES analytical tool can be found in 
``Technical Support for Proposed Rule--Round 8 Designated Product 
Categories,'' located on the BioPreferred Web site (http://www.biopreferred.gov).
    In addition to the BEES analytical tool, manufacturers wishing to 
make similar life-cycle information available may choose to use the 
ASTM Standard D7075 analysis. The ASTM Standard D7075 product analysis 
includes information on environmental performance, human health 
impacts, and economic performance. USDA is working with manufacturers 
and vendors to make this information available on the BioPreferred Web 
site in order to make the Federal 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 make this 
information, including manufacturer contact information, available on 
the BioPreferred Web site in order to then make it available to 
procurement officials. Additional information on specific products 
within the product categories proposed for designation may also be 
obtained directly from the manufacturers of the products. USDA has also 
provided a link on the BioPreferred Web site to a document that offers 
useful information to manufacturers and vendors who wish to position 
their businesses as BioPreferred vendors to the Federal Government. 
This document can be accessed by clicking on the ``Sell Biobased 
Products'' tab on the right side of the home page of the BioPreferred 
Web site, then on the ``Resources for Business'' tab under ``Related 
Topics'' on the right side of the next page, and then on the document 
titled ``Selling Biobased Products to the Federal Government'' in the 
middle of the page.
    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 information on 
industry standard test methods and performance standards that 
manufacturers are using to evaluate the functional performance of their 
products. (Test methods are procedures used to provide information on a 
certain attribute of a product. For example, a test method might 
determine how many bacteria are killed. Performance standards identify 
the level at which a product must perform in order for it to be 
``acceptable'' to the entity that set the performance standard. For 
example, a performance standard might require that a certain percentage 
(e.g., 95 percent) of the bacteria must be killed through the use of 
the product.) The primary sources of information on these test methods 
and performance standards are manufacturers of biobased products within 
these product categories. Additional test methods and performance 
standards are also 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 product category proposed 
for designation (presented in Section IV.B), the functional performance 
test methods, performance standards, product certifications, and other 
measures of performance associated with the functional aspects of 
products identified during the development of this Federal Register 
notice for these product categories.
    While this process identifies many of the relevant test methods and 
standards, USDA recognizes that those identified herein do not 
represent all of the methods and standards that may be applicable for a 
product category or for any individual product within the category. 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 BioPreferred 
Web site.
    In gathering information relevant to the analyses discussed above 
for this proposed rule, USDA has made extensive efforts to contact and 
request information and product samples within the product categories 
proposed for designation. For product information, USDA has attempted 
to contact representatives of the manufacturers of biobased products 
identified by the Federal preferred procurement program. For product 
samples on which to conduct biobased content tests and BEES analysis, 
USDA has attempted to obtain samples and BEES input information for at 
least five different suppliers of products within each product category 
in today's proposed rule. However, because the submission of 
information and samples is on a strictly voluntary basis, USDA was able 
to obtain information and samples only from those manufacturers who 
volunteered to invest the resources required to gather and submit the 
information and samples. The data

[[Page 56890]]

presented are all the data that were submitted in response to USDA 
requests for information from manufacturers of the products within the 
product categories proposed for designation. While USDA would prefer to 
have complete data on the full range of products within each product 
category, the data that were submitted support designation of the 
product categories in today's proposed rule.
    To propose a product category for designation, USDA must have 
sufficient information on a sufficient number of products within the 
category to be able to assess its availability and its economic and 
technological feasibility, including its life-cycle costs. For some 
product categories, there may be numerous products available. For 
others, there may be very few products currently available. Given the 
infancy of the market for some product categories, it is expected that 
categories with only a single product 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 it is appropriate to designate 
a product category or subcategory for Federal preferred procurement 
even when there is only a single product with a single supplier, though 
this will generally occur once other products with high biobased 
content and two or more producers are first designated. However, USDA 
has also determined that in such situations it is appropriate to defer 
the effective Federal preferred procurement date until such time that 
more than one supplier is identified in order to provide choice to 
procuring agencies. Similarly, the documented availability, benefits, 
and life-cycle costs of even a very small percentage of all products 
that may exist within a product category are also considered sufficient 
to support designation.

B. Product Categories Proposed for Designation

    USDA uses a model (as summarized below) to identify and prioritize 
product categories for designation. Through this model, USDA has 
identified over 100 product categories for potential designation under 
the Federal preferred procurement program. A list of these product 
categories and information on the model can be accessed on the 
BioPreferred Web site at http://www.biopreferred.gov.
    In general, product categories 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 manufacturers. These evaluations begin by 
looking at the cost, performance, and availability of products within 
each product category. USDA then considers the following points:
     Are there manufacturers interested in providing the 
necessary test information on products within a particular product 
category?
     Are there a number of manufacturers producing biobased 
products in this product category?
     Are there products available in this product category?
     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 a product category create a high demand for biobased 
feed stock?
     Does manufacturing of products within this product 
category increase potential for rural development?
    After completing this evaluation, USDA prioritizes the list of 
product categories for designation. USDA then gathers information on 
products within the highest priority product categories and, as 
sufficient information becomes available for a group of product 
categories, a new rulemaking package is developed to designate the 
product categories within that group. USDA points out that the list of 
product categories may change, with some being added or dropped, and 
that the order in which they are proposed for designation is likely to 
change because the information necessary to designate a product 
category may take more time to obtain than one lower on the list.
    In today's proposed rule, USDA is proposing to designate the 
following product categories for the Federal preferred procurement 
program: Air fresheners and deodorizers; asphalt and tar removers; 
asphalt restorers; blast media; candles and wax melts; electronic 
components cleaners; floor coverings (non-carpet); foot care products; 
furniture cleaners and protectors; inks, including specialty inks, inks 
(sheetfed--color), inks (sheetfed--black), inks (printer toner--<25 
ppm), inks (printer toner-->=25 ppm), and inks (news) as subcategories; 
packaging and insulating materials; pneumatic equipment lubricants; and 
wood and concrete stains. USDA has determined that each of these 
product categories 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 product 
categories 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.
    Overlap with EPA's Comprehensive Procurement Guideline program for 
recovered content products. In today's proposed rule, three product 
categories may overlap with EPA-designated recovered content products. 
The first is blast media, which may overlap with the EPA-designated 
recovered content product ``Miscellaneous products--blasting grit.'' 
The second is floor coverings (non-carpet), which may overlap with the 
EPA-designated recovered content product ``Floor tiles.'' The third is 
pneumatic equipment lubricants, which may overlap with the EPA-
designated recovered content product ``Re-refined lubricating oils.''
    For these product categories, 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 BioPreferred Web site.
    Exemptions. Products exempt from the biobased procurement 
preference are military equipment, defined as any product or system 
designed or procured for combat or combat-related missions, and 
spacecraft systems and launch support equipment. However, agencies may 
purchase biobased products wherever performance, availability and 
reasonable price indicates that such purchases are justified.
    Although each product category in today's proposed rule would be 
exempt from the procurement preference requirement when used in 
spacecraft systems or launch support application or in military 
equipment used in combat and combat-related applications, this 
exemption does not extend to contractors performing work other than

[[Page 56891]]

direct maintenance and support of the spacecraft or launch support 
equipment or combat or combat-related missions. For example, if a 
contractor is applying furniture cleaners and protectors to the 
furniture in an office building on a military base, the furniture 
cleaners and protectors the contractor purchases and uses in the office 
building should be a qualifying biobased furniture cleaner and 
protector. 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 or launch applications. After reviewing 
the regulatory requirement and the relevant contract, where contractors 
have any questions on the exemption, they should contact the cognizant 
contracting officer.
    USDA points out that it is not the intent of these exemptions to 
imply that biobased products are inferior to non-biobased products. If 
manufacturers of biobased products can meet the concerns of these two 
agencies, USDA is willing to reconsider such exemptions on a case-by-
case basis. Any changes to the current exemptions would be announced in 
a proposed rule amendment with an opportunity for public comment.
    Each of the proposed designated product categories are discussed in 
the following sections.
1. Air Fresheners and Deodorizers (Minimum Biobased Content 97 Percent) 
\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Additional information on the determination of minimum 
biobased contents is presented in Section IV.C of this preamble.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Air fresheners and deodorizers are products used to alleviate the 
experience of unpleasant odors by chemical neutralization, absorption, 
anesthetization, or masking.
    USDA identified 44 manufacturers and suppliers of 77 air fresheners 
and deodorizers. These 44 manufacturers and suppliers do not 
necessarily include all manufacturers of air fresheners and 
deodorizers, merely those identified during USDA information gathering 
activities. Relevant product information supplied by these 
manufacturers and suppliers indicates that these products are being 
used commercially. In addition, manufacturers and stakeholders 
identified two test methods (as shown below) used in evaluating 
products within this product category. While there may be additional 
test methods, as well as performance standards, product certifications, 
and other measures of performance, applicable to products within this 
product category, the two test methods identified by the manufacturers 
are:
Test Methods
     Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 40 CFR part 
797.1300, Daphnid Acute Toxicity Test. Method used to determine the 
concentration of a substance that produces a toxic effect; and
     EPA, 40 CFR part 797.1400, Fish Acute Toxicity Test. 
Method used to determine the concentration of a substance that produces 
a toxic effect.
    USDA contacted procurement officials with various policy-making and 
procuring agencies in an effort to gather information on the purchases 
of air fresheners and deodorizers, as well as information on products 
within the other 12 product categories proposed for designation today. 
These agencies included GSA, several offices within the DLA, OFEE, USDA 
Departmental Administration, the National Park Service, EPA, a 
Department of Energy laboratory, and OMB. Communications with these 
Federal officials led to the conclusion that obtaining current usage 
statistics and specific potential markets within the Federal government 
for biobased products within the 13 proposed designated product 
categories is not possible at this time.
    Most of the contacted officials reported that procurement data are 
appropriately reported in higher level groupings of Federal Supply 
Codes \2\ for materials and supplies, which is higher level coding than 
the proposed designated product categories. Using terms that best match 
the product categories in today's proposed rule, USDA queried the GSA 
database for Federal purchases of products within today's proposed 
product categories. The results indicate purchases of products within 
product categories in today's proposed rule. The results of this 
inquiry can be found in the TSD for this proposed rule. Also, the 
purchasing of such materials as part of contracted services and with 
individual purchase cards used to purchase products locally leads to 
less accurate data on purchases of specific products.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ The Federal Supply Code (FSC) is a four-digit code used by 
government buying offices to classify and identify, in broad terms, 
the products and supplies that the government buys and uses. The FSC 
is the first four digits in the much more detailed 13-digit National 
Stock Number (NSN) that is assigned to all government purchases for 
purposes of identification and inventory control.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    USDA also investigated the Web site FEDBIZOPPS.gov, a site which 
lists Federal contract purchase opportunities and awards greater than 
$25,000. The information provided on this Web site, however, is for 
broad categories of services and products rather than the specific 
types of products that are included in today's proposed rule. 
Therefore, USDA has been unable to obtain data on the amount of air 
fresheners and deodorizers purchased by procuring agencies. However, 
Federal agencies routinely procure such products and contract for 
lodging, cleaning, and health care related services involving the use 
of such products. Thus, they have a need for air fresheners and 
deodorizers and for services that use these products. Designation of 
air fresheners and deodorizers will promote the use of biobased 
products, furthering the objectives of this program.
    Specific product information, including company contact, intended 
use, biobased content, and performance characteristics, have been 
collected on 14 air fresheners and deodorizers. Analyses of the 
environmental and human health benefits and the life-cycle costs of 
biobased air fresheners were performed for two of the products using 
the BEES analytical tool. The results of those analyses are presented 
in the TSD for the Round 8 product categories, which can be found on 
the BioPreferred Web site.
2. Asphalt and Tar Removers (Minimum Biobased Content 80 Percent)
    Asphalt and tar removers are products designed to remove asphalt or 
tar from equipment, roads, or various surfaces.
    USDA identified 13 manufacturers and suppliers of 16 asphalt and 
tar removers. The 13 manufacturers and suppliers do not necessarily 
include all manufacturers and suppliers of biobased asphalt and tar 
removers, merely those identified during USDA information gathering 
activities. Information supplied by these manufacturers and suppliers 
indicates that these products are being used commercially. However, 
manufacturers and stakeholders contacted by USDA did not identify any 
applicable performance standards, test methods, or other industry 
measures of performance against which these products have been tested. 
USDA points out that the lack of identified performance standards is 
not relevant to the designation of a product category for Federal 
preferred procurement because it is not one of the criteria section 
9002 requires USDA to consider. If and when performance standards, test 
methods, and other relevant measures of performance are identified for 
this product category, USDA will provide such information on the 
BioPreferred Web site.

[[Page 56892]]

    USDA attempted to gather data on the potential market for asphalt 
and tar remover products within the Federal government, as discussed in 
the section on air fresheners and deodorizers. These attempts were 
largely unsuccessful. However, Federal agencies routinely procure such 
products and perform, or procure contract services to perform, the 
types of cleaning activities that would use these products. Thus, they 
have a need for asphalt and tar removers and for services that require 
the use of asphalt and tar removers. Designation of asphalt and tar 
removers will promote the use of biobased products, furthering the 
objectives of this program.
    Specific product information, including company contact, intended 
use, biobased content, and performance characteristics, have been 
collected on eight asphalt and tar removers. Analyses of the 
environmental and human health benefits and the life-cycle costs of 
asphalt and tar removers were performed for two products using the BEES 
analytical tool. The results of those analyses are presented in the TSD 
for the Round 8 product categories, which can be found on the 
BioPreferred Web site.
3. Asphalt Restorers (Minimum Biobased Content 68 Percent)
    Asphalt restorers are products designed to seal, protect, or 
restore poured asphalt and concrete surfaces and are typically applied 
through spraying immediately after pouring of concrete or asphalt.
    USDA identified five manufacturers and suppliers of seven asphalt 
restorers. The five manufacturers and suppliers do not necessarily 
include all manufacturers and suppliers of biobased asphalt restorers, 
merely those identified during USDA information gathering activities. 
Information supplied by these manufacturers and suppliers indicates 
that these products are being used commercially. In addition, 
manufacturers and stakeholders identified one test method (as shown 
below) used in evaluating products within this product category. While 
there may be additional test methods, as well as performance standards, 
product certifications, and other measures of performance, applicable 
to products within this product category, the one test method 
identified by the manufacturers is:
Test Method
     ASTM D2170--Standard Test Method for Kinematic Viscosity 
of Asphalts (Bitumens).
    USDA attempted to gather data on the potential market for asphalt 
restorer products within the Federal government, as discussed in the 
section on air fresheners and deodorizers. These attempts were largely 
unsuccessful. However, many Federal agencies routinely perform, or 
procure contract services to perform, the types of paving activities 
that would use these products. Thus, they have a need for asphalt 
restorers and for services that require the use of asphalt restorers. 
Designation of asphalt restorers will promote the use of biobased 
products, furthering the objectives of this program.
    Specific product information, including company contact, intended 
use, biobased content, and performance characteristics, have been 
collected on five asphalt restorers. An analysis of the environmental 
and human health benefits and the life-cycle costs of asphalt restorers 
was performed for one product using the BEES analytical tool. The 
results of that analysis are presented in the TSD for the Round 8 
product categories, which can be found on the BioPreferred Web site.
4. Blast Media (Minimum Biobased Content 94 Percent)
    Blast media are abrasive particles sprayed forcefully to clean, 
remove contaminants, or condition surfaces, often preceding coating.
    USDA identified 7 manufacturers and suppliers of 13 different blast 
media. These seven manufacturers and suppliers do not necessarily 
include all manufacturers and suppliers of biobased blast media, merely 
those identified during USDA information gathering activities. 
Information supplied by these manufacturers and suppliers indicates 
that these products are being used commercially. In addition, 
manufacturers and stakeholders identified one test method (as shown 
below) used in evaluating products within this product category. While 
there may be additional test methods, as well as performance standards, 
product certifications, and other measures of performance, applicable 
to products within this product category, the one test method 
identified by the manufacturers is:
Test Method
     ASTM International D2240 Standard Test Method for Rubber 
Property--Durometer Hardness.
    USDA attempted to gather data on the potential market for blast 
media within the Federal government, as discussed in the section on air 
fresheners and deodorizers. These attempts were largely unsuccessful. 
However, many Federal agencies routinely use blast media in cleaning 
and painting operations. In addition, Federal agencies may contract for 
services involving the use of such products. Thus, they have a need for 
blast media and for services that require the use of blast media. 
Designation of blast media will promote the use of biobased products, 
furthering the objectives of this program.
    Specific product information, including company contact, intended 
use, biobased content, and performance characteristics have been 
collected on 13 blast media products. Analyses of the environmental and 
human health benefits and the life-cycle costs of blast media were 
performed for two of the products using the BEES analytical tool. The 
results of those analyses are presented in the TSD for the Round 8 
product categories, which can be found on the BioPreferred Web site.
5. Candles and Wax Melts (Minimum Biobased Content 88 Percent)
    Candles and wax melts are products that are in the form of a solid 
mass that either has an embedded wick that is burned to provide light 
or aroma, or is wickless and melts when heated to produce just aroma.
    USDA identified 267 manufacturers and suppliers of 708 candles and 
wax melts. These 267 manufacturers and suppliers do not necessarily 
include all manufacturers and suppliers of biobased candles and wax 
melts, merely those identified during USDA information gathering 
activities. Information supplied by these manufacturers and suppliers 
indicates that these products are being used commercially. In addition, 
manufacturers and stakeholders identified one test method (as shown 
below) used in evaluating products within this product category. While 
other test methods and measures of performance, as well as performance 
standards, applicable to products within this product category may 
exist, the only test method identified by manufacturers is:
Test Method
     ASTM International F2417, Standard Specification for Fire 
Safety for Candles.
    USDA attempted to gather data on the potential market for candles 
and wax melts within the Federal government, as discussed in the 
section on air fresheners and deodorizers. These attempts were largely 
unsuccessful. However, many Federal agencies routinely maintain, or 
procure contract services to maintain, residential facilities that use 
candles and wax melts. Thus, they have a need for these products. 
Designation of candles and wax melts will promote the use of

[[Page 56893]]

biobased products, furthering the objectives of this program.
    Specific product information, including company contact, intended 
use, biobased content, and performance characteristics have been 
collected on 85 candles and wax melts. Analyses of the environmental 
and human health benefits and the life-cycle costs of candles and wax 
melts were performed for two of the products using the BEES analytical 
tool. The results of those analyses are presented in the TSD for the 
Round 8 product categories, which can be found on the BioPreferred Web 
site.
6. Electronic Components Cleaners (Minimum Biobased Content 91 Percent)
    Electronic components cleaners are products used to wash or remove 
dirt or extraneous matter from electronic parts, devices, circuits, or 
systems.
    USDA identified seven manufacturers and suppliers of eight 
electronic components cleaners. These seven manufacturers and suppliers 
do not necessarily include all manufacturers and suppliers of 
electronic components cleaners, merely those identified during USDA 
information gathering activities. Information supplied by these 
manufacturers and suppliers indicates that these products are being 
used commercially. In addition, manufacturers and stakeholders 
identified one test method (as shown below) used in evaluating products 
within this product category. While other test methods and measures of 
performance, as well as performance standards, applicable to products 
within this product category may exist, the only test method identified 
by manufacturers is:
Test Method
     ASTM International D86, Standard Test Method for 
Distillation of Petroleum Products at Atmospheric Pressure.
    USDA attempted to gather data on the potential market for 
electronic components cleaners within the Federal government, as 
discussed in the section on air fresheners and deodorizers. These 
attempts were largely unsuccessful. However, most Federal agencies 
routinely procure electronic components cleaners, or procure services 
that use these products. Thus, they have a need for electronic 
components cleaners and for services that require the use of electronic 
components cleaners. Designation of electronic components cleaners will 
promote the use of biobased products, furthering the objectives of this 
program.
    Specific product information, including company contact, intended 
use, biobased content, and performance characteristics have been 
collected on six electronic components cleaners. Analyses of the 
environmental and human health benefits and the life-cycle costs of 
biobased electronic components cleaners were performed for two products 
using the BEES analytical tool. The results of those analyses are 
presented in the TSD for the Round 8 product categories, which can be 
found on the BioPreferred Web site.
7. Floor Coverings (Non-Carpet) (Minimum Biobased Content 91 Percent)
    Floor coverings that are designed for use as the top layer on a 
floor and that are not carpet products. Examples are bamboo, hardwood, 
and cork tiles.
    USDA identified 38 manufacturers and suppliers of 343 floor 
coverings. These 38 manufacturers and suppliers do not necessarily 
include all manufacturers and suppliers of floor coverings, merely 
those identified during USDA information gathering activities. 
Information supplied by these manufacturers and suppliers indicates 
that these products are being used commercially. In addition, 
manufacturers and stakeholders identified one test method (as shown 
below) used in evaluating products within this product category. While 
other test methods and measures of performance, as well as performance 
standards, applicable to products within this product category may 
exist, the only test method identified by manufacturers is:
Test Method
     ASTM E1333--Standard Test Method for Determining 
Formaldehyde Concentrations in Air and Emission Rates from Wood 
Products Using a Large Chamber.
    USDA attempted to gather data on the potential market for floor 
coverings within the Federal government, as discussed in the section on 
air fresheners and deodorizers. These attempts were largely 
unsuccessful. However, many Federal agencies routinely procure floor 
coverings, or contract with services that procure these products. Thus, 
they have a need for floor coverings and for services that require the 
use of floor coverings. Designation of floor coverings will promote the 
use of biobased products, furthering the objectives of this program.
    Specific product information, including company contact, intended 
use, biobased content, and performance characteristics have been 
collected on 45 floor coverings. An analysis of the environmental and 
human health benefits and the life-cycle costs of biobased floor 
coverings was performed for one product using the BEES analytical tool. 
The results of that analysis are presented in the TSD for the Round 8 
product categories, which can be found on the BioPreferred Web site.
8. Foot Care Products (Minimum Biobased Content 83 Percent)
    Foot care products are products used in the soothing or cleaning of 
feet.
    USDA identified 36 manufacturers and suppliers of 62 foot care 
products. These 36 manufacturers and suppliers do not necessarily 
include all manufacturers and suppliers of foot care products, merely 
those identified during USDA information gathering activities. 
Information supplied by these manufacturers and suppliers indicates 
that these products are being used commercially. In addition, 
manufacturers and stakeholders identified three test methods (as shown 
below) used in evaluating products within this product category. While 
other test methods and measures of performance, as well as performance 
standards, applicable to products within this product category may 
exist, the three test methods identified by manufacturers are:
Test Methods
     ASTM International E1207--Standard Practice for the 
Sensory Evaluation of Axillary Deodorancy;
     ASTM International E1909--Standard Guide for Time-
Intensity Evaluation of Sensory Attributes; and
     ASTM International F2412--Standard Test Methods for Foot 
Protection.
    USDA attempted to gather data on the potential market for foot care 
products within the Federal government, as discussed in the section on 
air fresheners and deodorizers. These attempts were largely 
unsuccessful. However, Federal agencies procure foot care products for 
use in medical care or similar types of facilities, or they procure the 
services that use these products. Thus, they have a need for foot care 
products and for services that require the use of foot care products. 
Designation of foot care products will promote the use of biobased 
products, furthering the objectives of this program.
    Specific product information, including company contact, intended

[[Page 56894]]

use, biobased content, and performance characteristics have been 
collected on 13 foot care products. An analysis of the environmental 
and human health benefits and the life-cycle costs of biobased foot 
care products was performed for one product using the BEES analytical 
tool. The results of that analysis are presented in the TSD for the 
Round 8 product categories, which can be found on the BioPreferred Web 
site.
9. Furniture Cleaners and Protectors (Minimum Biobased Content 77 
Percent)
    Furniture cleaners and protectors are cleaning agents designed to 
clean, protect, and increase the life of household furniture, not 
including upholstery.
    USDA identified 24 manufacturers and suppliers of 36 furniture 
cleaner and protector products. These 24 manufacturers and suppliers do 
not necessarily include all manufacturers of furniture cleaners and 
protectors, merely those identified during USDA information gathering 
activities. Information supplied by the manufacturers and suppliers 
indicates that these products are being used commercially. However, 
manufacturers and stakeholders contacted by USDA did not identify any 
applicable performance standards, test methods, or other industry 
measures of performance against which these products have been tested. 
USDA points out that the lack of identified performance standards is 
not relevant to the designation of a product category for Federal 
preferred procurement because it is not one of the criteria section 
9002 requires USDA to consider. If and when performance standards, test 
methods, and other relevant measures of performance are identified for 
this product category, USDA will provide such information on the 
BioPreferred Web site.
    USDA attempted to gather data on the potential market for furniture 
cleaners and protectors within the Federal government using the 
procedure described in the section on air fresheners and deodorizers. 
These attempts were largely unsuccessful. However, Federal agencies 
routinely engage in operations where furniture cleaners and protectors 
are used. In addition, many Federal agencies contract for lodging and 
housekeeping activities involving the use of such products. Thus, they 
have a need for furniture cleaners and protectors and for services that 
use furniture cleaners and protectors. Designation of furniture 
cleaners and protectors will promote the use of biobased products, 
furthering the objectives of this program.
    Specific product information including company contact, intended 
use, biobased content, and performance characteristics have been 
collected on eight furniture cleaners and protectors. Analyses of the 
environmental and human health benefits and the life-cycle costs of two 
products were performed using the BEES analytical tool. The results of 
those analyses are presented in the TSD for the Round 8 product 
categories, which can be found on the BioPreferred Web site.
10. Inks (Minimum Biobased Content: 66 percent for Specialty Inks; 67 
Percent for Inks (Sheetfed--Color); 49 Percent for Inks (Sheetfed--
Black); 34 Percent for Inks (Printer Toner--< 25 ppm); 20 Percent for 
Inks (Printer Toner-->= 25 ppm); and 32 Percent for Inks (News)
    Specialty inks are products used by printers to add extra 
characteristics to their prints, for special effects or functions, 
including CD printing, erasable, PDA compliant, invisible, magnetic, 
OCR, RFID, scratch & sniff, thermochromic and tree-marking inks. Inks 
(sheetfed--color) and inks (sheetfed--black) are inks used on coated 
and uncoated paper, paperboard, some plastic and foil to print items 
such as annual reports, brochures, and labels. Inks (printer toner--< 
25 ppm) and (printer toner-->= 25 ppm) are a powdered chemical, used in 
photocopying machines and laser printers, which is transferred onto 
paper to form the printed image. These inks are usually stored in a 
cartridge which is placed in the printer. Inks (news) are inks used 
primarily to print newspapers.
    USDA identified 11 manufacturers and suppliers of 31 different 
biobased specialty inks; 17 manufacturers of 53 biobased inks 
(sheetfed); 28 manufacturers and suppliers of 40 different biobased 
inks (printer toner); and 8 manufacturers and suppliers of 24 different 
biobased inks (news). These manufacturers and suppliers do not 
necessarily include all manufacturers and suppliers of biobased inks, 
merely those identified during USDA information gathering activities. 
Information supplied by these manufacturers and suppliers indicates 
that these products are being used commercially. However, manufacturers 
and stakeholders contacted by USDA did not identify any applicable 
performance standards, test methods, or other industry measures of 
performance against which these products have been tested. USDA points 
out that the lack of identified performance standards is not relevant 
to the designation of a product category for Federal preferred 
procurement because it is not one of the criteria section 9002 requires 
USDA to consider. If and when performance standards, test methods, and 
other relevant measures of performance are identified for this product 
category, USDA will provide such information on the BioPreferred Web 
site.
    USDA attempted to gather data on the potential market for inks 
within the Federal government as discussed in the section on air 
fresheners and deodorizers. These attempts were largely unsuccessful. 
However, many Federal agencies perform printing operations, or procure 
services that perform printing operations, that use various types of 
inks. Thus, they have a need for inks and for services that require the 
use of inks. Designation of inks will promote the use of biobased 
products, furthering the objectives of this program.
    Specific product information, including company contact, intended 
use, biobased content, and performance characteristics have been 
collected on 67 inks. Analyses of the environmental and human health 
benefits and the life-cycle costs of biobased inks were performed for 
three inks using the BEES analytical tool. The results of those 
analyses are presented in the TSD for the Round 8 product categories, 
which can be found on the BioPreferred Web site.
11. Packaging and Insulating Materials (Minimum Biobased Content 82 
Percent)
    Packaging and insulating materials are pre-formed or molded 
materials used to hold package contents in place during shipping or for 
insulating and sound-proofing applications. Examples include; packaging 
``peanuts,'' foam packaging that is molded into specific shapes to 
surround electronic items, and material molded into sheets that are 
used as sound-proofing insulation for home theaters.
    USDA identified 16 manufacturers of 23 biobased packaging and 
insulating material products. The 16 manufacturers do not necessarily 
include all manufacturers of biobased packaging and insulating 
materials, merely those identified during USDA information gathering 
activities. Information supplied by these manufacturers indicates that 
these products are being used commercially. In addition, manufacturers 
and stakeholders identified 10 methods (as shown below) used in 
evaluating products within this product category. While other test 
methods and other measures of performance, as well as performance 
standards, applicable to

[[Page 56895]]

products within this product category may exist, those test methods and 
other measures of performance identified by manufacturers are:
Test Methods
     ASTM International D6400--Standard Specification for 
Compostable Plastics;
     ASTM International D4169--Standard Practice for 
Performance Testing of Shipping Containers and Systems;
     Military Specification MIL-P-1120b Cushioning material. 
Uncompressed bound fiber;
     Military Specification MIL-P-1120c Cushioning material. 
Uncompressed bound fiber (Metric measurements);
     ASTM C1338--Standard Test Method for Determining Fungi 
Resistance of Insulation Materials and Facings;
     ASTM D4168--Standard Test Methods for Transmitted Shock 
Characteristics of Foam-in-Place Cushioning Materials;
     ASTM D4236--Standard Practice for Labeling Art Materials 
for Chronic Health Hazards;
     ASTM D5338--Standard Test Method for Determining Aerobic 
Biodegradation of Plastic Materials Under Controlled Composting 
Conditions;
     ASTM D6868--Standard Specification for Biodegradable 
Plastics used as Coatings on Paper and Other Compostable Substrates; 
and
     ASTM D963--Specification for Copper Phthalcoyanine Blue 
Pigment.
    USDA attempted to gather data on the potential market for packaging 
and insulating materials within the Federal government, as discussed in 
the section on air fresheners and deodorizers. These attempts were 
largely unsuccessful. However, most Federal agencies routinely use, and 
procure services that use packaging and insulating materials. Thus, 
they have a need for packaging and insulating materials and for 
services that require the use of these materials. Designation of 
packaging and insulating materials will promote the use of biobased 
products, furthering the objectives of this program.
    Specific product information, including company contact, intended 
use, biobased content, and performance characteristics have been 
collected on 15 packaging and insulating materials. An analysis of the 
environmental and human health benefits and the life-cycle costs of 
biobased packaging and insulating materials was performed for two 
products using the BEES analytical tool. The results of those analyses 
are presented in the TSD for the Round 8 product categories, which can 
be found on the BioPreferred Web site.
12. Pneumatic Equipment Lubricants (Minimum Biobased Content 67 
Percent)
    Lubricants designed specifically for pneumatic equipment including 
air compressors, vacuum pumps, in-line lubricators, rock drills, 
jackhammers, etc.
    USDA identified 11 manufacturers and suppliers of 25 pneumatic 
equipment lubricants. These 11 manufacturers and suppliers do not 
necessarily include all manufacturers and suppliers of pneumatic 
equipment lubricants, merely those identified during USDA information 
gathering activities. Information supplied by these manufacturers and 
suppliers indicates that these products are being used commercially. In 
addition, manufacturers and stakeholders identified 20 test methods (as 
shown below) used in evaluating products within this product category. 
While other test methods and measures of performance, as well as 
performance standards, applicable to products within this product 
category may exist, the only test methods identified by manufacturers 
are:
Test Methods
     ASTM D130--Standard Test Method for Corrosiveness to 
Copper from Petroleum Products by Copper Strip Test;
     ASTM D2266--Standard Test Method for Wear Preventive 
Characteristics of Lubricating Grease (Four-Ball Method);
     ASTM D2270--Standard Practice for Calculating Viscosity 
Index From Kinematic Viscosity at 40 and 100[deg]C;
     ASTM D2272--Standard Test Method for Oxidation Stability 
of Steam Turbine Oils by Rotating Pressure Vessel;
     ASTM D2619--Standard Test Method for Hydrolytic Stability 
of Hydraulic Fluids (Beverage Bottle Method);
     ASTM D287--Standard Test Method for API Gravity of Crude 
Petroleum and Petroleum Products (Hydrometer Method);
     ASTM D2982--Standard Test Methods for Detecting Glycol-
Base Antifreeze in Used Lubricating Oils;
     ASTM D2983--Standard Test Method for Low-Temperature 
Viscosity of Lubricants Measured by Brookfield Viscometer;
     ASTM D445--Standard Test Method for Kinematic Viscosity of 
Transparent and Opaque Liquids (the Calculation of Dynamic Viscosity);
     ASTM D5864--Standard Test Method for Determining Aerobic 
Aquatic Biodegradation of Lubricants or Their Components;
     ASTM D5985--Standard Test Method for Pour Point of 
Petroleum Products (Rotational Method);
     ASTM D6400--Standard Specification for Compostable 
Plastics;
     ASTM D665--Standard Test Method for Rust-Preventing 
Characteristics of Inhibited Mineral Oil in the Presence of Water;
     ASTM D892--Standard Test Method for Foaming 
Characteristics of Lubricating Oils;
     ASTM D92--Standard Test Method for Flash and Fire Points 
by Cleveland Open Cup Tester;
     ASTM D93--Standard Test Methods for Flash-Point by Pensky-
Martens Closed Cup Tester;
     ASTM D97--Standard Test Method for Pour Point of Petroleum 
Products;
     ISO 32--Calibration in analytical chemistry and use of 
certified reference materials;
     ISO VG-46--Designates oil viscosity grade; and
     SAE 30--J3000 Engine Oil Viscosity Classification.
    USDA attempted to gather data on the potential market for pneumatic 
equipment lubricants within the Federal government, as discussed in the 
section on air fresheners and deodorizers. These attempts were largely 
unsuccessful. However, many Federal agencies routinely procure 
pneumatic equipment lubricants, or contract with services that procure 
these products. Thus, they have a need for pneumatic equipment 
lubricants and for services that require the use of pneumatic equipment 
lubricants. Designation of pneumatic equipment lubricants will promote 
the use of biobased products, furthering the objectives of this 
program.
    Specific product information, including company contact, intended 
use, biobased content, and performance characteristics have been 
collected on 12 pneumatic equipment lubricants. Analyses of the 
environmental and human health benefits and the life-cycle costs of 
biobased pneumatic equipment lubricants were performed for two products 
using the BEES analytical tool. The results of those analyses are 
presented in the TSD for the Round 8 product categories, which can be 
found on the BioPreferred Web site.
13. Wood and Concrete Stains (Minimum Biobased Content 39 Percent)
    A finish for concrete and wood surfaces that contains a dye or 
pigment

[[Page 56896]]

to change the color without concealing the grain pattern or surface 
texture.
    USDA identified 15 manufacturers and suppliers of 48 wood and 
concrete stains. These 15 manufacturers and suppliers do not 
necessarily include all manufacturers and suppliers of wood and 
concrete stains, merely those identified during USDA information 
gathering activities. Information supplied by these manufacturers and 
suppliers indicates that these products are being used commercially. In 
addition, manufacturers and stakeholders identified two test methods 
(as shown below) used in evaluating products within this product 
category. While other test methods and measures of performance, as well 
as performance standards, applicable to products within this product 
category may exist, the test methods identified by manufacturers are:
Test Method
     GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified[supreg] standard 
for indoor air quality.
     DIN EN 71-3 ``Safety of Toys'' certified as suitable for 
use on toys.
    USDA attempted to gather data on the potential market for wood and 
concrete stains within the Federal government, as discussed in the 
section on air fresheners and deodorizers. These attempts were largely 
unsuccessful. However, many Federal agencies routinely procure wood and 
concrete stains, or contract with services that procure these products. 
Thus, they have a need for wood and concrete stains and for services 
that require the use of wood and concrete stains. Designation of wood 
and concrete stains will promote the use of biobased products, 
furthering the objectives of this program.
    Specific product information, including company contact, intended 
use, biobased content, and performance characteristics have been 
collected on three wood and concrete stains. An analysis of the 
environmental and human health benefits and the life-cycle costs of 
biobased wood and concrete stains was performed for one product using 
the BEES analytical tool. The results of that analysis are presented in 
the TSD for the Round 8 product categories, which can be found on the 
BioPreferred Web site.

C. Minimum Biobased Contents

    USDA has determined that setting a minimum biobased content for 
designated product categories 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 minimis 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 Federal 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 a 
product category 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.
    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 product categories. The data presented in 
the following paragraphs are the test results from all of the product 
samples that were submitted for analysis.
    As a result of public comments received on the first designated 
product categories 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 a 
product category 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 three (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 encourages procuring agencies to seek products with the 
highest biobased content that is practicable in all of the proposed 
designated product categories. To assist the procuring agencies in 
determining which products have the highest biobased content, USDA will 
update the information in the biobased products catalog to include the 
biobased content of each product. Those products within each product 
category that have the highest biobased content will be listed first 
and others will be listed in descending order. USDA is specifically 
requesting comments on the proposed minimum biobased contents and also 
requests additional data that can be used to re-evaluate the 
appropriateness of the proposed minimum biobased contents. As the 
market for biobased products develops and USDA obtains additional 
biobased content data, it will re-evaluate the established minimum 
biobased contents of designated product categories and consider raising 
them whenever justified.
    The following paragraphs summarize the information that USDA used 
to propose minimum biobased contents within each product category 
proposed for designation.
1. Air Fresheners and Deodorizers
    Five of the 77 biobased air fresheners and deodorizers have been 
tested for biobased content using ASTM D6866.\3\ The biobased contents 
of these five biobased air fresheners and deodorizers range from 14 to 
100 percent, as follows: 14, 46, 100, 100, and 100. Because there is a 
wide range of tested biobased contents, and because there is a 
significant break between the values for the two products with the 
lowest biobased contents and the values for the three products with the 
highest biobased contents, USDA considered the need to subcategorize 
this product category. USDA found that there was not sufficient 
information on the performance or applicability of the products to 
justify subcategorization. USDA also found that the two products with 
the 14 and 46 percent biobased content did not claim to offer any 
unique performance or applicability features not offered by the 
products with 100 percent biobased content. Because we have data 
showing that at least three different products are available with a 
biobased content of 100 percent, we are proposing to set the minimum 
biobased content for air fresheners and deodorizers at 97 percent.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ ASTM D6866, ``Standard Test Methods for Determining the 
Biobased Content of Solid, Liquid, and Gaseous Samples Using 
Radiocarbon 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. Asphalt and Tar Removers
    Four of the 16 biobased asphalt and tar removers identified have 
been tested for biobased content using ASTM D6866. The biobased 
contents of these four biobased asphalt and tar removers range from 83 
percent to 94 percent, as follows: 83, 91, 93, and 94 percent. Because 
of the narrow range of these products, USDA is proposing to set the 
minimum biobased content for asphalt and tar removers at 80 percent, 
based on

[[Page 56897]]

the product with a tested biobased content of 83 percent.
3. Asphalt Restorers
    Three of the seven biobased asphalt restorer products identified 
have been tested for biobased content using ASTM D6866. The biobased 
contents of these three biobased asphalt restorer products range from 
71 percent to 88 percent, as follows: 71, 88, and 88 percent. Because 
the biobased contents of these three products are relatively high and 
they are within a narrow range, USDA is proposing to set the minimum 
biobased content for asphalt restorers at 68 percent, based on the 
product with a tested biobased content of 71 percent.
4. Blast Media
    Five of the 13 identified biobased blast media identified have been 
tested for biobased content using ASTM D6866. The biobased contents of 
these five biobased blast media products are 97, 100, 100, 100, and 100 
percent. Because the range of these values is very small and the 
biobased contents of all of the products are very high, USDA is 
proposing a minimum biobased content of 94 percent for blast media, 
based on the product with a tested biobased content of 97 percent.
5. Candles and Wax Melts
    Nine of the 708 biobased candles and wax melts identified have been 
tested for biobased content using ASTM D6866. The biobased contents of 
these nine biobased candles and wax melts range from 91 percent to 100 
percent as follows: 91, 91, 91, 92, 95, 96, 97, 100, and 100 percent. 
Because of the narrow range of these products, USDA is proposing to set 
the minimum biobased content for candles and wax melts at 88 percent, 
based on the three products with a tested biobased content of 91 
percent.
6. Electronic Components Cleaners
    Four of the eight biobased electronic components cleaners 
identified have been tested for biobased content using ASTM D6866. The 
biobased contents of these four biobased electronic components cleaners 
range from 52 percent to 100 percent as follows: 52, 94, 98, and 100 
percent. There is a significant break between the 52 percent biobased 
product and the 94 percent product, and USDA found no performance 
features claimed for the 54 percent product that justified setting the 
minimum biobased content based on that product. Because the biobased 
contents of the remaining three products are within a narrow range, 
USDA is proposing to set the minimum biobased content for electronic 
components cleaners at 91 percent, based on the product with a tested 
biobased content of 94 percent.
    USDA will continue to gather information on products within this 
product category and, if sufficient supporting information becomes 
available, will consider establishing subcategories based on 
formulation, performance, or applicability.
7. Floor Coverings (Non-Carpet)
    Five of the 343 biobased floor coverings (non-carpet) identified 
have been tested for biobased content using ASTM D6866. The biobased 
contents of these five biobased floor coverings range from 9 percent to 
100 percent, as follows: 9, 94, 95, 100, and 100.
    There is a significant break between the 9 percent biobased product 
and the 94 percent product, and USDA found no performance features 
claimed for the 9 percent product that justified setting the minimum 
biobased content based on that product. Because the biobased contents 
of the remaining four products are within a narrow range, USDA is 
proposing to set the minimum biobased content for floor coverings (non-
carpet) at 91 percent, based on the product with a tested biobased 
content of 94 percent.
    USDA will continue to gather information on products within this 
product category and, if sufficient supporting information becomes 
available, will consider establishing subcategories based on 
formulation, performance, or applicability.
8. Foot Care Products
    Five of the 62 biobased foot care products identified have been 
tested for biobased content using ASTM D6866. The biobased contents of 
these five biobased foot care products range from 86 percent to 100 
percent, as follows: 86, 95, 97, 97, and 100 percent. Because the 
biobased contents of these five products are relatively high and they 
are within a narrow range, USDA is proposing to set the minimum 
biobased content for foot care products at 83 percent, based on the 
product with a tested biobased content of 86 percent.
9. Furniture Cleaners and Protectors
    Six of the 36 biobased furniture cleaners and protectors identified 
have been tested for biobased content using ASTM D6866. The biobased 
contents of these six biobased furniture cleaners and protectors range 
from 9 percent to 100 percent, as follows: 9, 28, 80, 91, 98, and 100.
    There are two significant breaks in the range of data, one between 
the 9 and 28 percent biobased products and another between the 28 and 
80 percent biobased products. Considering these breaks, the tested 
products within the product category fall into three groups (9 percent, 
28 percent, and 80 through 100 percent). USDA evaluated the available 
product information to determine if there were sufficient differences 
in formulation, performance, or applicability between these product 
groups to justify subcategorization. However, USDA did not find 
sufficient information to justify subcategories. USDA also did not find 
any features of the 9 or 28 percent biobased content products that 
would justify setting the minimum biobased content at a level that 
would include these products. Therefore, USDA is proposing to set the 
minimum biobased content for furniture cleaners and protectors at 77 
percent, based on the product with the lowest biobased content of those 
products in the group of products with the highest tested biobased 
content.
    USDA will continue to gather information on products within this 
product category and, if sufficient supporting information becomes 
available, will consider establishing subcategories based on 
formulation, performance, or applicability.
10. Inks
    Nineteen of the 148 biobased inks identified have been tested for 
biobased content using ASTM D6866. As noted earlier in this preamble, 
USDA is proposing to subcategorize this product category into six 
subcategories: ``specialty inks,'' ``inks (sheetfed--color),'' ``inks 
(sheetfed--black),'' ``inks (printer toner--< 25 ppm),'' ``inks 
(printer toner-->= 25 ppm),'' and ``inks (news).'' The following 
paragraphs discuss the minimum biobased content for the six 
subcategories.
    Specialty inks. Six of the 31 biobased specialty inks identified 
have been tested for biobased content using ASTM D6866. The biobased 
contents of these six biobased specialty inks range from 69 to 85 
percent, as follows: 69, 69, 71, 75, 78, and 85 percent. Because the 
biobased contents of the six tested products are within a narrow range, 
and there is no performance information to distinguish any one product 
from the others, USDA is proposing to set the minimum biobased content 
for this subcategory at 66 percent, based on the two products with a 
tested biobased content of 69 percent.
    Inks (sheetfed--color). Four of the 53 biobased sheetfed inks 
tested for biobased content using ASTM D6866 have been identified as 
being color inks. The biobased contents of these four biobased inks 
range from 70 to 79

[[Page 56898]]

percent, as follows: 70, 71, 73, and 79 percent. Because this is a 
narrow range and even the lowest biobased content is a fairly high 
value, USDA is proposing to set the minimum biobased content for this 
subcategory at 67 percent, based on the product with the tested 
biobased content of 70 percent.
    Inks (sheetfed--black). Five of the 53 biobased sheetfed inks 
tested for biobased content using ASTM D6866 have been identified as 
black inks. The biobased contents of these five biobased inks range 
from 52 to 75 percent, as follows: 52, 56, 60, 71, and 75 percent. 
Because three of the five products tested have a biobased content 
between 52 and 60 percent, USDA is proposing to set the minimum 
biobased content for this subcategory at 49 percent, based on the 
product with the tested biobased content of 52 percent.
    Inks (printer toner--<25 ppm). Two of the 40 biobased inks (printer 
toner--<25 ppm) identified have been tested for biobased content using 
ASTM D6866. The biobased content of both of these biobased inks is 37 
percent. Because the biobased content of these two products is the 
same, USDA is proposing to set the minimum biobased content for this 
subcategory at 34 percent based on these two tested products.
    Inks (printer toner--= 25 ppm). One biobased ink 
(printer toner-->=25 ppm) has been tested for biobased content using 
ASTM D6866. The biobased content of this biobased ink is 23 percent. 
USDA believes that the one tested product is representative of biobased 
inks used in this subcategory and is proposing to set the minimum 
biobased content for this subcategory at 20 percent based on this one 
tested product.
    Inks (news). One of the 24 biobased inks (news) identified has been 
tested for biobased content using ASTM D6866. The biobased content of 
the one biobased ink is 35 percent. USDA believes that the one tested 
product is representative of biobased inks used in this subcategory and 
is proposing to set the minimum biobased content for this subcategory 
at 32 percent based on this one tested product.
11. Packaging and Insulating Materials
    Three of the 23 biobased packaging and insulating materials 
identified have been tested for biobased content using ASTM D6866. The 
biobased contents of these three biobased packaging and insulating 
materials are 85, 91, and 100 percent. Because the biobased contents of 
the three tested products are within a narrow range and all three 
values are high, USDA is proposing to set the minimum biobased content 
for packaging and insulating materials at 82 percent, based on the 
product with a tested biobased content of 85 percent.
12. Pneumatic Equipment Lubricants
    Five of the 25 biobased pneumatic equipment lubricants identified 
have been tested for biobased content using ASTM D6866. The biobased 
contents of these five biobased pneumatic equipment lubricants range 
from 70 to 100 percent, as follows: 70, 79, 94, 96, and 100 percent. 
Because the biobased contents of the five tested products are within a 
fairly narrow range, all of the contents are relatively high, and there 
is no performance information to distinguish any one product from the 
others, USDA is proposing to set the minimum biobased content for 
pneumatic equipment lubricants at 67 percent, based on the product with 
a tested biobased content of 70 percent.
13. Wood and Concrete Stains
    Four of the 48 biobased wood and concrete stains identified have 
been tested for biobased content using ASTM D6866. The biobased 
contents of these four biobased wood and concrete stains range from 42 
percent to 88 percent, as follows: 42, 57, 87, and 88.
    There are two significant breaks in the range of data, one between 
the 42 and 57 percent biobased products and another between the 57 and 
87 percent biobased products. USDA evaluated the available product 
information to determine if there were sufficient differences in 
formulation, performance, or applicability between these products to 
justify subcategorization. USDA did not find sufficient information to 
support creating subcategories at this time. However, USDA did find 
that the 42 percent biobased content product has been certified as 
complying with the German Institute for Standardization's DIN EN 71-3 
``Safety of Toys.'' USDA believes that the ability of biobased wood 
stains to meet this standard, and to be used on toys and other products 
intended for human contact, is significant and justifies setting the 
minimum biobased content for this product category at a level that 
would include this product. Therefore, USDA is proposing to set the 
minimum biobased content for wood and concrete stains at 39 percent, 
based on the product with the tested biobased content of 42 percent.
    USDA requests that stakeholders provide additional data and 
recommendations on the creation of subcategories for this product 
category. USDA will continue to gather and evaluate information on 
products within this product category and, if sufficient supporting 
information becomes available, will consider establishing subcategories 
based on formulation, performance, or applicability.

D. Compliance 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, as proposed, 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 product category 
would take effect.
    USDA is proposing a one-year period before the procurement 
preferences would take effect, because it recognizes that Federal 
agencies will need time to incorporate the preferences into procurement 
documents and to revise existing standardized specifications. Both 
section 9002(a)(3) and 7 CFR 3201(c) explicitly acknowledge the need 
for Federal agencies to have sufficient time to revise the affected 
specifications to give preference to biobased products when purchasing 
the designated product categories. 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 product categories are promulgated for 
designation, Federal agencies will have had a minimum of 18 months 
(from the date of this Federal Register notice), 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 product categories 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

[[Page 56899]]

actions involving any of the designated product categories.

V. Where can agencies get more information on these USDA-designated 
product categories?

    Information used to develop this proposed rule can be found in the 
TSD, which can be accessed on the BioPreferred Web site, which is 
located at: http://www.biopreferred.gov. At the BioPreferred Web site, 
click on the ``Federal Procurement Preference'' link on the right side 
of the page and then on the ``Rules and Regulations'' link. At the next 
screen, click on the Supporting Documentation link under Round 8 
Designation Product Categories under the Proposed Regulations section.
    Further, once the product category designations in today's proposal 
become final, manufacturers and vendors voluntarily may make available 
information on specific products, including product and contact 
information, for posting by the Agency on the BioPreferred Web site. 
USDA has begun performing periodic audits of the information displayed 
on the BioPreferred Web site and, where questions arise, is contacting 
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 BioPreferred Web site, agencies will also be able 
to search the BioPreferred Catalog and 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.''

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.''
    Today's proposed rule has been determined by the Office of 
Management and Budget to be not significant for purposes of Executive 
Order 12866. We are not able to quantify the annual economic effect 
associated with today's proposed rule. As discussed earlier in this 
preamble, USDA made extensive efforts to obtain information on the 
Federal agencies' usage within the 13 designated product categories. 
These efforts were largely unsuccessful. Therefore, attempts to 
determine the economic impacts of today's proposed rule would require 
estimation of the anticipated market penetration of biobased products 
based upon many assumptions. In addition, because agencies have the 
option of not purchasing products within designated product categories 
if price is ``unreasonable,'' the product is not readily available, or 
the product does not demonstrate necessary performance characteristics, 
certain assumptions may not be valid. While facing these quantitative 
challenges, USDA relied upon a qualitative assessment to determine the 
impacts of today's proposed rule. Consideration was also given to the 
fact that agencies may choose not to procure products within designated 
product categories due to unreasonable price.
1. Summary of Impacts
    Today's proposed rule is expected to have both positive and 
negative impacts to individual businesses, including small businesses. 
USDA anticipates that the biobased Federal preferred procurement 
program will provide additional opportunities for businesses and 
manufacturers to begin supplying products under the proposed designated 
biobased product categories to Federal agencies and their contractors. 
However, other businesses and manufacturers that supply only non-
qualifying products and do not offer biobased alternatives may 
experience a decrease in demand from Federal agencies and their 
contractors. USDA is unable to determine the number of businesses, 
including small businesses, that may be adversely affected by today's 
proposed rule. The proposed rule, however, will not affect existing 
purchase orders, nor will it preclude businesses from modifying their 
product lines to meet new requirements for designated biobased 
products. Because the extent to which procuring agencies will find the 
performance, availability and/or price of biobased products acceptable 
is unknown, it is impossible to quantify the actual economic effect of 
the rule.
2. Benefits of the Proposed Rule
    The designation of these product categories provides the benefits 
outlined in the objectives of section 9002; to increase domestic demand 
for many agricultural commodities that can serve as feedstocks for 
production of biobased products, and to spur development of the 
industrial base through value-added agricultural processing and 
manufacturing in rural communities. On a national and regional level, 
today's proposed rule can result in expanding and strengthening markets 
for biobased materials used in these product categories.
3. Costs of the Proposed Rule
    Like the benefits, the costs of today's proposed rule have not been 
quantified. Two types of costs are involved: Costs to producers of 
products that will compete with the preferred products and costs to 
Federal agencies to provide procurement preference for the preferred 
products. Producers of competing products may face a decrease in demand 
for their products to the extent Federal agencies refrain from 
purchasing their products. However, it is not known to what extent this 
may occur. Pre-award procurement costs for Federal agencies may rise 
minimally as the contracting officials conduct market research to 
evaluate the performance, availability and price reasonableness of 
preferred products before making a purchase.

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

[[Page 56900]]

organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions.
    USDA evaluated the potential impacts of its proposed designation of 
these product categories to determine whether its actions would have a 
significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. Because 
the Federal preferred procurement program established under section 
9002 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 product categories for Federal 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.
    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 biobased products within the product categories designated 
by this rulemaking, the number is expected to be small. Because 
biobased products represent a small 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 manufacturing biobased products affected by this rulemaking 
is not expected to be substantial.
    The Federal preferred procurement program may decrease 
opportunities for businesses that manufacture or sell non-biobased 
products or provide components for the manufacturing of such products. 
Most manufacturers of non-biobased products within the product 
categories being proposed for designation for Federal preferred 
procurement in this rule are expected to be included under the 
following NAICS codes: 321918 (other millwork, including flooring), 
324191 (petroleum lubricating oil and grease manufacturing), 325411 
(medicinal and botanical manufacturing), 325510 (paint and coating 
manufacturing), 325612 (polish and other sanitation goods 
manufacturing), 325620 (toilet preparation manufacturing), 325910 
(printing ink manufacturing), 325998 (other miscellaneous chemical 
products and preparation manufacturing), 326150 (urethane and other 
foam product manufacturing), and 313113 (thread mill products). USDA 
obtained information on these 10 NAICS categories from the U.S. Census 
Bureau's Economic Census database. USDA found that the Economic Census 
reports about 6,963 companies within these 10 NAICS categories and that 
these companies own a total of about 8,139 establishments. Thus, the 
average number of establishments per company is about 1.2. The Census 
data also reported that of the 8,139 individual establishments, about 
8,096 (99.5 percent) have fewer than 500 employees. USDA also found 
that the overall average number of employees per company among these 
industries is about 42, with none of the segments reporting an average 
of more than 100 employees per company. Thus, nearly all of the 
businesses fall within the Small Business Administration's definition 
of a small business (fewer than 500 employees, in most NAICS 
categories).
    USDA does not have data on the potential adverse impacts on 
manufacturers of non-biobased products within the product categories 
being designated, but believes that the impact will not be significant. 
Most of the product categories being proposed for designation in this 
rulemaking are typical consumer products widely used by the general 
public and by industrial/commercial establishments that are not subject 
to this rulemaking. Thus, USDA believes that the number of small 
businesses manufacturing non-biobased products within the product 
categories being designated and selling significant quantities of those 
products to government agencies affected by this rulemaking to be 
relatively low. Also, this proposed rule will not affect existing 
purchase orders and it will not preclude procuring agencies from 
continuing to purchase non-biobased products when biobased products do 
not meet the availability, performance, or reasonable price criteria. 
This proposed rule will also not preclude businesses from modifying 
their product lines to meet new specifications or solicitation 
requirements for those products containing biobased materials.
    After considering the economic impacts of this proposed rule on 
small entities, USDA certifies that this action will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.
    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 the rule will 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.

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 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.

E. 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.

F. 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 Executive Order 12372, which requires 
intergovernmental consultation with State and local officials. This 
program does not directly affect State and local governments.

G. 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

[[Page 56901]]

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.

H. 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.

I. E-Government Act

    USDA is committed to compliance with the E-Government Act, 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 
Federal preferred procurement under each designated item. For 
information pertinent to E-Government Act compliance related to this 
rule, please contact Ron Buckhalt at (202) 205-4008.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 3201

    Biobased products, Procurement.

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

Chapter XXXII--Office of Procurement and Property Management

PART 3201--GUIDELINES FOR DESIGNATING BIOBASED PRODUCTS FOR FEDERAL 
PROCUREMENT

    1. The authority citation for part 3201 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 8102.

    2. Add Sec. Sec.  3201.75 through 3201.87 to subpart B to read as 
follows:
Sec.
3201.75 Air fresheners and deodorizers.
3201.76 Asphalt and tar removers.
3201.77 Asphalt restorers.
3201.78 Blast media.
3201.79 Candles and wax melts.
3201.80 Electronic components cleaners.
3201.81 Floor coverings (non-carpet).
3201.82 Foot care products.
3201.83 Furniture cleaners and protectors.
3201.84 Inks.
3201.85 Packaging and insulating materials.
3201.86 Pneumatic equipment lubricants.
3201.87 Wood and concrete stains.


Sec.  3201.75  Air fresheners and deodorizers.

    (a) Definition. Products used to alleviate the experience of 
unpleasant odors by chemical neutralization, absorption, 
anesthetization, or masking.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 97 percent, 
which 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 compliance 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 air fresheners and deodorizers. By that date, 
Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or reviewing 
specifications for products to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased air fresheners and 
deodorizers.


Sec.  3201.76  Asphalt and tar removers.

    (a) Definition. Cleaning agents designed to remove asphalt or tar 
from equipment, roads, or other surfaces.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 80 percent, 
which 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 compliance 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 asphalt and tar removers. By that date, Federal 
agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or reviewing 
specifications for products to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased asphalt and tar 
removers.


Sec.  3201.77  Asphalt restorers.

    (a) Definition. Products designed to seal, protect, or restore 
poured asphalt and concrete surfaces.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 68 percent, 
which 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 compliance 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 asphalt restorers. By that date, Federal agencies 
that have the responsibility for drafting or reviewing specifications 
for products to be procured shall ensure that the relevant 
specifications require the use of biobased asphalt restorers.


Sec.  3201.78  Blast media.

    (a) Definition. Abrasive particles sprayed forcefully to clean, 
remove contaminants, or condition surfaces, often preceding coating.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 94 percent, 
which 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 compliance 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 blast media. By that date, Federal agencies that 
have the responsibility for drafting or reviewing specifications for 
products to be procured shall ensure that the relevant specifications 
require the use of biobased blast media.
    (d) Determining overlap with an EPA-designated recovered content 
product. Qualifying products within this item may overlap with the EPA-
designated recovered content product: Miscellaneous products--blasting 
grit. 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 blasting grit products 
and which product should be afforded the preference in purchasing.

    Note to paragraph (d):  Biobased blast media within this 
designated product category can compete with similar blasting grit 
products with recycled content. Under the Resource Conservation and 
Recovery Act of 1976, section 6002, the U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency designated blasting grit products containing 
recovered materials as products for which Federal agencies must give 
preference in their purchasing programs. The designation can be 
found in the Comprehensive Procurement Guideline, 40 CFR 247.17.


[[Page 56902]]




Sec.  3201.79  Candles and wax melts.

    (a) Definition. Products composed of a solid mass and either an 
embedded wick that is burned to provide light or aroma, or that are 
wickless and melt when heated to produce an aroma.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 88 percent, 
which 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 compliance 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 candles and wax melts. By that date, Federal 
agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or reviewing 
specifications for products to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased candles and wax 
melts.


Sec.  3201.80  Electronic components cleaners.

    (a) Definition. Products that are designed to wash or remove dirt 
or extraneous matter from electronic parts, devices, circuits, or 
systems.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 91 percent, 
which 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 compliance 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 electronic components cleaners. By that date, 
Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or reviewing 
specifications for products to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased electronic 
components cleaners.


Sec.  3201.81  Floor coverings (non-carpet).

    (a) Definition. Products, other than carpet products, that are 
designed for use as the top layer on a floor. Examples are bamboo, 
hardwood, and cork tiles.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 91 percent, 
which 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 compliance 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 floor coverings (non-carpet). By that date, Federal 
agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or reviewing 
specifications for products to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased floor coverings 
(non-carpet).
    (d) Determining overlap with an EPA-designated recovered content 
product. Qualifying products within this item may overlap with the EPA-
designated recovered content product: Construction Products--floor 
tiles. 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 floor tile products and 
which product should be afforded the preference in purchasing.

    Note to paragraph (d): Biobased floor coverings within this 
designated product category can compete with similar floor tile 
products with recycled content. Under the Resource Conservation and 
Recovery Act of 1976, section 6002, the U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency designated floor tile products containing 
recovered materials as products for which Federal agencies must give 
preference in their purchasing programs. The designation can be 
found in the Comprehensive Procurement Guideline, 40 CFR 247.17.

Sec.  3201.82  Foot care products.

    (a) Definition. Products formulated to be used in the soothing or 
cleaning of feet.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 83 percent, 
which 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 compliance 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 foot care products. By that date, Federal agencies 
that have the responsibility for drafting or reviewing specifications 
for products to be procured shall ensure that the relevant 
specifications require the use of biobased foot care products.


Sec.  3201.83  Furniture cleaners and protectors.

    (a) Definition. Products designed to clean and provide protection 
to the surfaces of household furniture other than the upholstery.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 77 percent, 
which 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 compliance 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 furniture cleaners and protectors. By that date, 
Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or reviewing 
specifications for products to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased furniture cleaners 
and protectors.


Sec.  3201.84  Inks.

    (a) Definitions. (1) Inks are liquid or powdered materials that are 
available in several colors and that are used to create the visual 
image on a substrate when writing, printing, and copying.
    (2) Inks for which Federal preferred procurement applies are:
    (i) Specialty inks. Inks used by printers to add extra 
characteristics to their prints for special effects or functions. 
Specialty inks include, but are not limited to: CD printing, erasable, 
FDA compliant, invisible, magnetic, scratch and sniff, thermochromic, 
and tree marking inks.
    (ii) Inks (sheetfed--color). Pigmented inks (other than black inks) 
used on coated and uncoated paper, paperboard, some plastic, and foil 
to print in color on annual reports, brochures, labels, and similar 
materials.
    (iii) Inks (sheetfed--black). Black inks used on coated and 
uncoated paper, paperboard, some plastic, and foil to print in black on 
annual reports, brochures, labels, and similar materials.
    (iv) Inks (printer toner--< 25 pages per minute (ppm)). Inks that 
are a powdered chemical, used in photocopying machines and laser 
printers, which is transferred onto paper

[[Page 56903]]

to form the printed image. These inks are formulated to be used in 
printers with standard fusing mechanisms and print speeds of less than 
25 ppm.
    (v) Inks (printer toner--= 25 ppm). Inks that are a 
powdered chemical, used in photocopying machines and laser printers, 
which is transferred onto paper to form the printed image. These inks 
are formulated to be used in printers with advanced fusing mechanisms 
and print speeds of 25 ppm or greater.
    (vi) Inks (news). Inks used primarily to print newspapers.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content for all 
inks shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon 
in the finished product. The applicable minimum biobased contents for 
the Federal preferred procurement products are:
    (1) Specialty inks--66 percent.
    (2) Inks (sheetfed--color)--67 percent.
    (3) Inks (sheetfed--black)--49 percent.
    (4) Inks (printer toner--< 25 ppm)--34 percent.
    (5) Inks (printer toner--= 25 ppm)--20 percent.
    (6) Inks (news)--32 percent.
    (c) Preference compliance 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 inks. By that date, Federal agencies that have the 
responsibility for drafting or reviewing specifications for products to 
be procured shall ensure that the relevant specifications require the 
use of biobased inks.


Sec.  3201.85  Packaging and insulating materials.

    (a) Definition. Pre-formed and molded materials that are used to 
hold package contents in place during shipping or for insulating and 
sound proofing applications.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 82 percent, 
which 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 compliance 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 packaging and insulating materials. By that date, 
Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or reviewing 
specifications for products to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased packaging and 
insulating materials.


Sec.  3201.86  Pneumatic equipment lubricants.

    (a) Definition. Lubricants designed specifically for pneumatic 
equipment, including air compressors, vacuum pumps, in-line 
lubricators, rock drills, jackhammers, etc.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 67 percent, 
which 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 compliance 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 pneumatic equipment lubricants. By that date, 
Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or reviewing 
specifications for products to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased pneumatic equipment 
lubricants.
    (d) Determining overlap with an EPA-designated recovered content 
product. Qualifying products within this item may overlap with the EPA-
designated recovered content product: Vehicular Products--re-refined 
lubricating oils. USDA is requesting that manufacturers of these 
qualifying biobased products provide information on the USDA Web site 
of qualifying biobased products about the intended uses of the product, 
information on whether or not the product contains any recovered 
material, in addition to biobased ingredients, and performance 
standards against which the product has been tested. This information 
will assist Federal agencies in determining whether or not a qualifying 
biobased product overlaps with EPA-designated re-refined lubricating 
oil products and which product should be afforded the preference in 
purchasing.

    Note to paragraph (d):  Biobased pneumatic equipment lubricants 
within this designated product category can compete with similar re-
refined lubricating oil products with recycled content. Under the 
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976, section 6002, the 
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency designated re-refined 
lubricating oil products containing recovered materials as products 
for which Federal agencies must give preference in their purchasing 
programs. The designation can be found in the Comprehensive 
Procurement Guideline, 40 CFR 247.17.

Sec.  3201.87  Wood and concrete stains.

    (a) Definition. Products that are designed to be applied as a 
finish for concrete and wood surfaces and that contain dyes or pigments 
to change the color without concealing the grain pattern or surface 
texture.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 39 percent, 
which 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 compliance 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 wood and concrete stains. By that date, Federal 
agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or reviewing 
specifications for products to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased wood and concrete 
stains.

    Dated: September 2, 2011.
Pearlie S. Reed,
Assistant Secretary for Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
[FR Doc. 2011-23067 Filed 9-13-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-93-P