[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 234 (Wednesday, December 5, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 72653-72672]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-29093]



[[Page 72653]]

Vol. 77

Wednesday,

No. 234

December 5, 2012

Part VI





Department of Agriculture





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Office of Procurement and Property Management





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7 CFR Part 3201





 Designation of Product Categories for Federal Procurement; Proposed 
Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 77 , No. 234 / Wednesday, December 5, 2012 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 72654]]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Office of Procurement and Property Management

7 CFR Part 3201

RIN 0599-AA16


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 eight sections that will designate the 
following product categories within which biobased products would be 
afforded Federal procurement preference: Aircraft and boat cleaners; 
automotive care products; engine crankcase oil; gasoline fuel 
additives; metal cleaners and corrosion removers; microbial cleaning 
products; paint removers; and water turbine bearing oils. USDA is also 
proposing to add the following subcategories to previously designated 
product categories: Countertops to the composite panels category; and 
wheel bearing and chassis grease to the greases category. USDA is also 
proposing minimum biobased contents for each of these product 
categories and subcategories.

DATES: USDA will accept public comments on this proposed rule until 
February 4, 2013.

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-AA16. 
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.
     Email: [email protected]. Include RIN number 0599-AA16 
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; email: [email protected]; phone 
(202) 205-4008. Information regarding the Federal 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. New Subcategories Proposed for Designation
    D. Minimum Biobased Contents
    E. 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 and 
Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review
    B. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)
    C. Executive Order 12630: Governmental Actions and Interference 
With Constitutionally Protected Property Rights
    D. Executive Order 12988: Civil Justice Reform
    E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism
    F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995
    G. Executive Order 12372: Intergovernmental Review of Federal 
Programs
    H. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With 
Indian Tribal Governments
    I. Paperwork Reduction Act
    J. 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 paint removers or engine 
crankcase oils. 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

[[Page 72655]]

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.
    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 products 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 metal cleaners and corrosion remover products are 
required to meet, but it may have information on only one type of metal 
cleaner and corrosion remover product. 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 and final rulemaking process.
    Within today's proposed rule, USDA is proposing to subcategorize 
three of the product categories. Those product categories are: Aircraft 
and boat cleaners; metal cleaners and corrosion removers; and microbial 
cleaning products. The proposed subcategories for the aircraft and boat 
cleaners product category are: Aircraft cleaners and boat cleaners. For 
the metal cleaners and corrosion removers product category, the 
proposed subcategories are: Stainless steel cleaners; other metal 
cleaners; and corrosion removers. For the microbial cleaning products 
category, the proposed subcategories are: Drain maintenance products; 
general cleaners; and wastewater maintenance products. USDA is also 
proposing to add a subcategory for countertops to the composite panels 
product category designated in Round 2 (73 FR 27954, May 14, 2008) and 
a subcategory for wheel bearing and chassis grease to the greases 
product category designated in Round 3 (73 FR 27974, May 14, 2008). 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. USDA has, however, 
begun to receive biobased content data associated with manufacturer's 
applications for certification to use the USDA Certified Biobased 
Product label. As discussed later in this preamble, these test results 
will also be considered when proposing the minimum biobased content 
levels for designated product categories.
    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 7 tested 
products within a product category being proposed for designation today 
range from 17 to 100 percent, as follows: 17, 41, 78, 79, 94, 98, and 
100 percent. Because this is a very wide range, and because there is a 
significant gap in the data between the 41 percent biobased product and 
the 78 percent biobased product, 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 creating a subcategory based on the 17 percent product or the 
41 percent biobased content product. Further, USDA did not find any 
performance claims that would justify setting the minimum biobased 
content based on either the 17 percent or the 41 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 78 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

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biobased contents of 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 for 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 proposed minimum biobased content for the 
water turbine bearing oils category is based on a single tested 
product.
    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 
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 one product category for Federal 
preferred procurement for which there may be overlap with an EPA-
designated recovered content product. The product category is engine 
crankcase oils, 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

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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.
    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 NISH offer products and services for preferred 
procurement by Federal agencies. A search of the AbilityOne Program's 
online catalog (www.abilityone.gov) indicated that products within 
three of the product categories, or subcategories, being proposed today 
are available through the AbilityOne Program. These are: Composite 
Panels--Countertops, Metal Cleaners and Corrosion Removers--Stainless 
Steel Cleaners, and Metal Cleaners and Corrosion Removers--Other Metal 
Cleaners. 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.
    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: Aircraft and boat cleaners; automotive 
care products; engine crankcase oil; gasoline fuel additives; metal 
cleaners and corrosion removers; microbial cleaning products; paint 
removers; and water turbine bearing oils. USDA is also proposing to add 
the following subcategories to previously designated product 
categories: ``countertops'' to the composite panels category and 
``wheel bearing and chassis grease'' to the greases category. In 
addition, USDA is proposing a minimum biobased content for each of 
these product categories and subcategories. Lastly, USDA is proposing a 
date by which Federal agencies must incorporate these designated 
product categories into their procurement specifications (see Section 
IV.E).
    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

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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 
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 email 
and phone conversations to encourage completion of product listing; 
coordinating outreach efforts with intermediate material producers to 
encourage participation of their customer base; conducting targeted 
outreach with industry and commodity groups to educate stakeholders on 
the importance of providing complete product information; participating 
in industry conferences and meetings to educate companies on program 
benefits and requirements; and communicating the potential for expanded 
markets beyond the Federal government, to include State and local 
governments, as well as the general public markets. Section V provides 
instructions to agencies on how to obtain this information on products 
within these 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. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Several product categories being proposed for designation today 
have wide ranges of tested biobased contents. For the reasons discussed 
later in this preamble, USDA is proposing a minimum biobased content 
for most of these product categories 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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 posted on the BioPreferred Web site. The background 
information 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 10 Designation under the Proposed 
Regulations section.

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

A. Background

    In order 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 a product's availability, USDA uses several sources

[[Page 72659]]

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 a product 
category 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 10 designated product 
categories analyzed using the BEES analytical tool can be found on the 
BioPreferred Web site (http://www.biopreferred.gov) under the 
Supporting Documentation link mentioned above.
    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 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

[[Page 72660]]

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 
product category?
     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: Aircraft and boat cleaners; automotive care products; engine 
crankcase oil; gasoline fuel additives; metal cleaners and corrosion 
removers; microbial cleaning products; paint removers; and water 
turbine bearing oils. USDA is also proposing to add the following 
subcategories to previously designated product categories: 
``countertops'' to the composite panels category and ``wheel bearing 
and chassis grease'' to the greases category. USDA has determined that 
each of these product categories and subcategories 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.
    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 
direct maintenance and support of the spacecraft or launch support 
equipment or combat or combat-related missions. For example, if a 
contractor is applying a paint remover product as a step in 
refurbishing office furniture on a military base, the paint remover the 
contractor purchases should be a qualifying biobased paint remover. 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 an 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. Aircraft and Boat Cleaners (Minimum Biobased Content: 48 Percent for 
Aircraft Cleaners; 38 Percent for Boat Cleaners)\1\
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    \1\ Additional information on the determination of minimum 
biobased content is presented in Section IV,D of this Preamble.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Aircraft and boat cleaners are products designed to remove built-on 
grease, oil, dirt, pollution, insect reside,

[[Page 72661]]

or impact soils on both interior and exterior of aircraft and/or boats.
    USDA identified 6 manufacturers and suppliers of 8 biobased 
aircraft cleaners and 13 manufacturers and suppliers of 24 biobased 
boat cleaners. These 19 manufacturers and suppliers do not necessarily 
include all manufacturers and suppliers of biobased aircraft cleaners 
and boat cleaners, 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 22 test method (as shown below) used in evaluating products 
within the aircraft cleaners and boat cleaners subcategories. 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 22 test methods 
identified by the manufacturers are:
Test Methods
     Aerospace Material Specifications 1526 Cleaner for 
Aircraft Exterior Surfaces, Pressure Spraying Type;
     ASTM International D877 Standard Test Method for 
Dielectric Breakdown Voltage of Insulating Liquids Using Disk 
Electrodes;
     ASTM International F1110 Standard Test Method for Sandwich 
Corrosion Test;
     ASTM International F1111 Standard Test Method for 
Corrosion of Low-Embrittling Cadmium Plate by Aircraft Maintenance 
Chemicals;
     ASTM International F483 Standard Test Method for Total 
Immersion Corrosion Test for Aircraft Maintenance Chemicals;
     ASTM International F484 Standard Test Method for Stress 
Crazing of Acrylic Plastics in Contact with Liquid or Semi-Liquid 
Compounds;
     ASTM International F502 Standard Test Method for Effects 
of Cleaning and Chemical Maintenance Materials on Painted Aircraft 
Surfaces;
     ASTM International F519 Standard Test Method for 
Mechanical Hydrogen Embrittlement Evaluation of Plating/Coating 
Processes and Service Environments;
     Boeing BAC 5763E Emulsion Cleaning & Aqueous Degreasing, 
Type II, Class 2, Grades A & B;
     Boeing D6-17487N Exterior and General Cleaners and Liquid 
Waxes;
     Environmental Protection Agency Method 796.3100 Aerobic 
Aquatic Biodegradation;
     Lockheed Martin FMS2004 Type II F-16, F-22, F-35 General 
Purpose Cleaner;
     Lockheed Martin LAC 41-4939 Cleaning Solvent, 
Environmentally Compliant;
     Lockheed Martin LMA-MN040 Type II F-16, F-22, F-35 General 
Purpose Cleaner;
     Military Performance Specification 85570D Cleaning 
Compounds, Aircraft, Exterior;
     Military Performance Specification 87937D Cleaning 
Compound, Aerospace Equipment, Type IV Heavy Duty Water Dilutable 
Cleaning Compound * Tested by SMI, ref  04JAN940;
     New York City Transit S-70-01-96 Bus Wash Alkaline 
Cleaner--Tile Cleaning Procedure;
     SAE International AMS 3167B Solvents, Wipe for Cleaning 
Prior to Application of Primer and Top Coat Materials, or Sealing 
Compounds;
     SAE International ARP 1755B Effect of Cleaning Agents on 
Aircraft Engine Materials;
     South Coast Air Quality Management District Method 313-91 
Clean Air Solvent--Eligibility; ATCC Biosafety Level 1; Minimal 
potential for causing diseases in humans, plants, animals and aquatic 
life;
     NSF Cat. 61; Pretreatment of Potable Water Sources; and
     EPA/600/4-90/027; Methods for Measuring the Acute Toxicity 
of Effluents and Receiving Waters to Freshwater and Marine Organisms.
    USDA contacted procurement officials with various policy-making and 
procuring agencies in an effort to gather information on the purchases 
of aircraft and boat cleaners, as well as information on products 
within the other seven 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 eight 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 background information for Round 10, which 
is posted on the BioPreferred Web site. 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 
aircraft and boat cleaners purchased by procuring agencies. However, 
many Federal agencies routinely perform, or procure contract services 
to perform, the types of cleaning activities that use these products. 
Thus, they have a need for aircraft cleaners and boat cleaners and for 
services that require the use of these cleaners. Designation of 
aircraft cleaners and boat 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 8 aircraft cleaners and 21 boat cleaners. Analyses of the 
environmental and human health benefits and the life-cycle costs of 
aircraft cleaners were performed for three products using the BEES 
analytical tool. The results of those analyses are presented in the 
background information for Round 10, which can be found on the 
BioPreferred Web site.
2. Automotive Care Products (Minimum Biobased Content 75 Percent)
    Automotive care products are formulated for cleaning and protecting 
automotive surfaces. Typical products include waxes, buffing compounds, 
polishes, degreasers, soaps, wheel and

[[Page 72662]]

tire cleaners, leather care products, interior cleaners, and 
fragrances.
    USDA identified 12 manufacturers and suppliers of 30 different 
biobased automotive care products. These 12 manufacturers and suppliers 
do not necessarily include all manufacturers and suppliers of biobased 
automotive 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. 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 in order to designate a 
product category for Federal preferred procurement. 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 
automotive care products within the Federal government as discussed in 
the section on aircraft and boat cleaners. These attempts were largely 
unsuccessful. However, Federal agencies use or contract for services 
that use such products in maintaining fleets of automobiles. Thus, they 
have a need for automotive care products and for services that require 
the use of automotive care products. Designation of automotive care 
products 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 automotive care products. Analyses of the environmental 
and human health benefits and the life-cycle costs of automotive care 
products were performed for two of the products using the BEES 
analytical tool. The results of those analyses are presented in the 
background information for Round 10, which can be found on the 
BioPreferred Web site.
3. Engine Crankcase Oils (Minimum Biobased Content 18 Percent)
    Engine crankcase oils are products formulated to provide 
lubrication and wear protection for four-cycle gasoline or diesel 
engines.
    USDA identified five manufacturers and suppliers of eight different 
biobased engine crankcase oils. These five manufacturers and suppliers 
do not necessarily include all manufacturers and suppliers of biobased 
engine crankcase oils, 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 nine performance 
standards and test methods (as shown below) used in evaluating products 
within this product category. While there may be additional performance 
standards, test methods, product certifications, and other measures of 
performance, applicable to products within this product category, the 
nine performance standards and test methods identified by the 
manufacturers are:
Test Methods
     ASTM International D2619 Standard Test Method for 
Hydrolytic Stability of Hydraulic Fluids (Beverage Bottle Method);
     ASTM International D665 Standard Test Method for Rust-
Preventing Characteristics of Inhibited Mineral Oil in the Presence of 
Water;
     ASTM International D892 Standard Test Method for Foaming 
Characteristics of Lubricating Oils;
     SAE International 0W20 J300 Engine Oil Viscosity 
Classification;
     SAE International 10W40 J300 Engine Oil Viscosity 
Classification;
     SAE International 15W50 J300 Engine Oil Viscosity 
Classification;
     SAE International 20W60 J300 Engine Oil Viscosity 
Classification;
     SAE International 20W70 J300 Engine Oil Viscosity 
Classification; and
     SAE International 5W30 J300 Engine Oil Viscosity 
Classification.
    USDA attempted to gather data on the potential market for engine 
crankcase oils within the Federal government as discussed in the 
section on aircraft and boat cleaners. These attempts were largely 
unsuccessful. However, many Federal agencies operate motor vehicle 
fleet maintenance facilities where engine crankcase oils are used. In 
addition, Federal agencies may contract for services involving the use 
of such products. Thus, they have a need for engine crankcase oils and 
for services that require the use of engine crankcase oils. Designation 
of engine crankcase oils 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 engine crankcase oils. Analyses of the environmental 
and human health benefits and the life-cycle costs of engine crankcase 
oils were performed for two of the products using the BEES analytical 
tool. The results of those analyses are presented in the background 
information for Round 10, which can be found on the BioPreferred Web 
site.
4. Gasoline Fuel Additives (Minimum Biobased Content 92 Percent)
    Gasoline fuel additives are chemical agents added to gasoline to 
increase octane levels, improve lubricity, and provide engine cleaning 
properties to gasoline-fired engines.
    USDA identified 115 manufacturers and suppliers of 117 gasoline 
fuel additives. These 115 manufacturers and suppliers do not 
necessarily include all manufacturers and suppliers of gasoline fuel 
additives, 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 in order to designate a product category 
for Federal preferred procurement. 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 gasoline 
fuel additives within the Federal government as discussed in the 
section on aircraft and boat cleaners. These attempts were largely 
unsuccessful. However, many Federal agencies operate motor vehicle 
fleet facilities where gasoline fuel additives are used. In addition, 
Federal agencies may contract for services involving the use of such 
products. Thus, they have a need for gasoline fuel additives and for 
services that require the use of gasoline fuel additives. Designation 
of gasoline fuel additives will promote the use of

[[Page 72663]]

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 two gasoline fuel additives. Analyses of the environmental 
and human health benefits and the life-cycle costs of biobased gasoline 
fuel additives were performed for two products using the BEES 
analytical tool. The results of those analyses are presented in the 
background information for Round 10, which can be found on the 
BioPreferred Web site.
5. Metal Cleaners and Corrosion Removers (Minimum Biobased Content: 71 
Percent for Corrosion Removers; 75 Percent for Stainless Steel 
Cleaners; and 56 Percent for Other Metal Cleaners)
    Metal cleaners and corrosion removers are products that are 
designed to clean and remove grease, oil, dirt, stains, soils, and rust 
from metal surfaces. Corrosion removers are formulated to remove 
corrosion (rust) through chemical action, although mechanical actions 
may be used to speed the process.
    USDA identified 43 manufacturers and suppliers of 62 metal cleaners 
and corrosion removers. Based on the information evaluated, USDA 
believes that it is appropriate to subcategorize this product category 
into three subcategories: Corrosion removers, stainless steel cleaners, 
and other metal cleaners. Of the 62 products identified, 12 were 
formulated specifically as corrosion removers, 7 were formulated for 
cleaning stainless steel, and 24 were formulated for cleaning other 
metals.
    The 43 manufacturers and suppliers do not necessarily include all 
manufacturers and suppliers of metal cleaners and corrosion removers, 
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 eight test methods (as shown 
below) used in evaluating products within the other metal cleaners 
subcategory. While other test methods and measures of performance, as 
well as performance standards, applicable to products within this 
product category may exist, the eight test methods identified by 
manufacturers are:
Test Methods
     DfE Qualifying Product--The DfE review team has screened 
each ingredient for potential human health and environmental effects;
     ASTM D4488--Standard Guide for Testing Cleaning 
Performance of Products Intended for Use on Resilient Flooring and 
Washable Walls;
     GS-37--Green Seal Environmental Standard for General-
Purpose, Bathroom, Glass, and Carpet Cleaners Used for Industrial and 
Institutional Purposes;
     OECD G.L. 203--Guidelines for the Testing of Chemicals, 
Organization;
     Ecologo CCD-146--Environmental Leadership of Hard Surface 
Cleaners;
     Boeing BAC 5750 Section 5.1s Glidsafe Prepsolv--95% 
minimum d-Limonone for Solvent Cleaning;
     OECD 301F-Manometric Respirometry Test; and
     NSF H1--Lubricants with incidental contact.
    USDA attempted to gather data on the potential market for metal 
cleaners and corrosion removers within the Federal government as 
discussed in the section on aircraft and boat cleaners. These attempts 
were largely unsuccessful. However, Federal agencies procure metal 
cleaners and corrosion removers for use in facilities such as vehicle 
maintenance shops, metal fabrication shops, hospitals, and office 
buildings. Also, many Federal agencies often procure contract services 
that use these products. Thus, they have a need for metal cleaners and 
corrosion removers and for services that require the use of metal 
cleaners and corrosion removers. Designation of metal cleaners and 
corrosion 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 36 metal cleaners and corrosion removers. Analyses of the 
environmental and human health benefits and the life-cycle costs of 
biobased metal cleaners and corrosion removers were performed for two 
products using the BEES analytical tool. The results of those analyses 
are presented in the background information for Round 10, which can be 
found on the BioPreferred Web site.
6. Microbial Cleaning Products (Minimum Biobased Content: 45 Percent 
for Drain Maintenance Products; 44 Percent for Wastewater Maintenance 
Products; and 50 Percent for General Cleaners)
    Microbial cleaning products are cleaning agents that use 
microscopic organisms to treat or eliminate waste materials within 
drains, plumbing fixtures, sewage systems, wastewater treatment 
systems, or on a variety of other surfaces. These products typically 
include organisms that digest protein, starch, fat, and cellulose.
    USDA identified 163 manufacturers and suppliers of 490 microbial 
cleaners. Based on the information evaluated, USDA believes that it is 
appropriate to subcategorize this product category into three 
subcategories: Drain maintenance products, wastewater maintenance 
products, and general cleaners. Of the 490 products identified, 241 
were formulated specifically for drain maintenance, 186 were formulated 
for wastewater maintenance, and 63 were general purpose cleaning 
products.
    The 163 manufacturers and suppliers do not necessarily include all 
manufacturers of microbial cleaners, merely those identified during 
USDA information gathering activities. Information supplied by the 
manufacturers and supplier indicates that these products are being used 
commercially. In addition, manufacturers and stakeholders identified 15 
performance standards and test methods (as shown below) used in 
evaluating products within this product category. While there may be 
additional performance standards, test methods, product certifications, 
and other measures of performance, applicable to products within this 
product category, the 15 performance standards and test methods 
identified by the manufacturers are:
Test Methods--Drain Maintenance Products
     EPA SW-846--Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste, 
Physical/Chemical Methods;
     DfE Qualifying Product--The DfE review team has screened 
each ingredient for potential human health and environmental effects; 
and
     ATCC Biosafety Level 1--Minimal potential for causing 
diseases in humans, plants, animals and aquatic life.
Test Methods--Wastewater Maintenance Products
     Navsea 6840--U.S. Navy surface ship (non-submarine) 
authorized chemical cleaning products and dispensing systems;
     EPA/600/4-90/027--Methods for Measuring the Acute Toxicity 
of Effluents and Receiving Waters to Freshwater and Marine Organisms;
     EPA SW-846--Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste, 
Physical/Chemical Methods;
     EPA Method 418.1--Petroleum Hydrocarbons, Total 
Recoverable for

[[Page 72664]]

determining total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) in water;
     DfE Qualifying Product--The DfE review team has screened 
each ingredient for potential human health and environmental effects;
     ATCC Biosafety Level 1--Minimal potential for causing 
diseases in humans, plants, animals and aquatic life;
     ASTM E96--Standard Test Methods for Water Vapor 
Transmission of Materials;
     ASTM D792--Standard Test Methods for Density and Specific 
Gravity (Relative Density) of Plastics by Displacement;
     ASTM D638--Standard Test Method for Tensile Properties of 
Plastics;
     ASTM D4060--Standard Test Method for Abrasion Resistance 
of Organic Coatings by the Taber Abraser; and
     ASTM D2240--Standard Test Method for Rubber Property--
Durometer Hardness.
Test Methods--General Cleaners
     ATCC Biosafety Level 1--Minimal potential for causing 
diseases in humans, plants, animals, and aquatic life.
    USDA attempted to gather data on the potential market for microbial 
cleaners within the Federal government using the procedure described in 
the section on aircraft and boat cleaners. These attempts were largely 
unsuccessful. However, most Federal agencies routinely operate, or 
contract for the operation of, facilities that include drains and 
wastewater systems that require periodic cleaning. In addition, many 
Federal agencies engage in the types of cleaning operations where 
general purpose cleaners are used for cleaning oily or greasy surfaces. 
Thus, they have a need for products such as microbial cleaners. 
Designation of microbial 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 95 microbial cleaners. Analyses of the environmental and 
human health benefits and the life-cycle costs of two products (one 
drain maintenance product and one general cleaner) were performed using 
the BEES analytical tool. The results of those analyses are presented 
in the background information for Round 10, which can be found on the 
BioPreferred Web site.
7. Paint Removers (Minimum Biobased Content 41 Percent)
    Paint removers are products formulated to loosen and remove paint 
from painted surfaces.
    USDA identified 29 manufacturers of 42 biobased paint removers. The 
29 manufacturers do not necessarily include all manufacturers of 
biobased paint removers, merely those identified during USDA 
information gathering activities. Information supplied by these 
manufacturers 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 in order to designate a 
product category for Federal preferred procurement. 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 paint 
removers within the Federal government as discussed in the section on 
aircraft and boat cleaners. These attempts were largely unsuccessful. 
However, many Federal agencies use, and procure services that use, 
paint removers in the construction, renovation, and maintenance of 
facilities and equipment. Thus, they have a need for paint removers and 
for services that require the use of paint removers. Designation of 
paint 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 nine paint removers. Analyses of the environmental and 
human health benefits and the life-cycle costs of biobased paint 
removers were performed for four products using the BEES analytical 
tool. The results of those analyses are presented in the background 
information for Round 10, which can be found on the BioPreferred Web 
site.
8. Water Turbine Bearing Oils (Minimum Biobased Content 46 Percent)
    Water turbine bearing oils are lubricants that are specifically 
formulated for use in the bearings found in water turbines.
    USDA identified four manufacturers and suppliers of six water 
turbine bearing oils. These four manufacturers and suppliers do not 
necessarily include all manufacturers and suppliers of water turbine 
bearing oils, 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 12 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 12 test methods identified by manufacturers are:
Test Methods
     ASTM D665 Standard Test Method for Rust-Preventing 
Characteristics of Inhibited Mineral Oil in the Presence of Water;
     ASTM D2619 Standard Test Method for Hydrolytic Stability 
of Hydraulic Fluids (Beverage Bottle Method);
     ASTM D892 Standard Test Method for Foaming Characteristics 
of Lubricating Oils;
     ASTM D5864 Standard Test Method for Determining Aerobic 
Aquatic Biodegradation of Lubricants or Their Components;
     DIN 51354-1--Testing of lubricants; FZG gear test rig; 
general working principles;
     American Petroleum Institute Ashless GL-3 Lubricant with 
light EP effect for transmissions and non-hypoid gear drives;
     API GL-3 Automotive Gear Lubricant Service Categories;
     ISO 46 Designates Oil Viscosity Grade;
     OECD 201 Algal Growth Inhibition Test;
     OECD 202 Acute Immobilization Test and Reproduction Test;
     OECD 203 Fish Acute Toxicity Test; and
     OECD 301B Guideline for Testing of Chemicals, Ready 
Biodegradability: Modified Sturm Test.
    USDA attempted to gather data on the potential market for water 
turbine bearing oils within the Federal

[[Page 72665]]

government as discussed in the section on aircraft and boat cleaners. 
These attempts were largely unsuccessful. However, many Federal 
agencies are responsible for maintaining water supply systems and 
routinely procure water turbine bearing oils, or contract with services 
that procure these products. Thus, they have a need for water turbine 
bearing oils and for services that require the use of water turbine 
bearing oils. Designation of water turbine bearing oils 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 one water turbine bearing oils. Analyses of the 
environmental and human health benefits and the life-cycle costs of 
biobased water turbine bearing oils were performed for one product 
using the BEES analytical tool. The results of those analyses are 
presented in the background information for Round 10, which can be 
found on the BioPreferred Web site.

C. New Subcategories Proposed for Designation

    On May 14, 2008, USDA finalized the designation of several product 
categories including one for composite panels (73 FR 27954) and one for 
greases (73 FR 27974). Each of these product categories included 
subcategories. Since that time, USDA has obtained additional 
information on products within these two product categories and is now 
proposing to add one new subcategory within each of the two product 
categories.
1. Composite Panels--Countertops (Minimum Biobased Content 89 Percent)
    Composite panels--countertops are engineered products that are flat 
panels designed to serve as horizontal work surfaces in locations such 
as kitchens, break rooms or other food preparation areas, bathrooms or 
lavatories, and workrooms.
    USDA identified 27 manufacturers and suppliers of 52 biobased 
composite panels--countertops products. These 27 manufacturers and 
suppliers do not necessarily include all manufacturers and suppliers of 
biobased composite panels--countertops 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 12 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 12 
test methods identified by manufacturers are:
Test Methods
     ASTM D256--Standard Test Methods for Determining the Izod 
Pendulum Impact Resistance of Plastics;
     ASTM D3023--Standard Practice for Determination of 
Resistance of Factory-Applied Coatings on Wood Products to Stains and 
Reagents;
     ASTM D570--Standard Test Method for Water Absorption of 
Plastics;
     ASTM D635--Standard Test Method for Rate of Burning and/or 
Extent and Time of Burning of Plastics in a Horizontal Position;
     ASTM D638--Standard Test Method for Tensile Properties of 
Plastics;
     ASTM D648--Standard Test Method for Deflection Temperature 
of Plastics Under Flexural Load in the Edgewise Position;
     ASTM D695--Compressive Strength, Tensile, Modulus of 
Elasticity;
     ASTM D785 Standard Test Method for Rockwell Hardness of 
Plastics and Electrical Insulating Materials;
     ASTM D790 Standard Test Methods for Flexural Properties of 
Unreinforced and Reinforced Plastics and Electrical Insulating 
Materials;
     ASTM G122--Standard Test Method for Evaluating the 
Effectiveness of Cleaning Agents;
     ASTM E84--Standard Test Method for Surface Burning 
Characteristics of Building Materials; and
     ASTM D4060--Standard Test Method for Abrasion Resistance 
of Organic Coatings by the Taber Abraser.
    USDA attempted to gather data on the potential market for composite 
panels--countertops within the Federal government as discussed in the 
section on aircraft and boat cleaners. These attempts were largely 
unsuccessful. However, many Federal agencies use, and procure services 
that use, countertops in the construction, renovation, and maintenance 
of residential, medical, and office facilities. Thus, they have a need 
for countertops and for services that require the use of countertops. 
Designation of composite panels--countertops 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 20 composite panels--countertops products. This 
information is presented in the background information for Round 10, 
which can be found on the BioPreferred Web site.
2. Greases--Wheel Bearing and Chassis (Minimum Biobased Content 50 
Percent)
    Wheel bearing and chassis greases are lubricants that meet ASTM 
D4950 Standard Classification as GC and LB (wheel bearing and chassis). 
These greases are for mild to severe duty wheel bearing and chassis 
applications commonly found in automotive, truck, heavy duty, 
industrial and agricultural applications. Common applications include 
disc and drum brakes, wheel bearings, trailer bearings, chassis parts 
and industrial equipment and machinery. These greases are also used 
where there is a broad temperature requirement and where they may be 
subject to high pressure or heavy load.
    USDA identified six manufacturers and suppliers of eight biobased 
wheel bearing and chassis greases. These six manufacturers and 
suppliers do not necessarily include all manufacturers and suppliers of 
biobased wheel bearing and chassis greases, 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 10 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 10 test methods identified 
by manufacturers are:
Test Methods
     ASTM D1742--D1742 Standard Test Method for Oil Separation 
from Lubricating Grease During Storage;
     ASTM D217--D217 Standard Test Methods for Cone Penetration 
of Lubricating Grease;
     ASTM D2265--D2265 Standard Test Method for Dropping Point 
of Lubricating Grease Over Wide Temperature;
     ASTM D2266--D2266 Standard Test Method for Wear Preventive 
Characteristics of Lubricating Grease (Four-Ball Method);
     ASTM D2270--D2270 Standard Practice for Calculating 
Viscosity Index

[[Page 72666]]

From Kinematic Viscosity at 40 and 100 [deg]C;
     ASTM D2509--D2509 Standard Test Method for Measurement of 
Load-Carrying Capacity of Lubricating Grease (Timken Method);
     ASTM D2596--D2596 Standard Test Method for Measurement of 
Extreme-Pressure Properties of Lubricating Grease (Four-Ball Method);
     ASTM D3233--D3233 Standard Test Methods for Measurement of 
Extreme Pressure Properties of Fluid Lubricants (Falex Pin and Vee 
Block Methods);
     ASTM D445--D445 Standard Test Method for Kinematic 
Viscosity of Transparent and Opaque Liquids (and Calculation of Dynamic 
Viscosity); and
     ASTM D92--D92 Standard Test Method for Flash and Fire 
Points by Cleveland Open Cup Tester.
    USDA attempted to gather data on the potential market for wheel 
bearing and chassis greases within the Federal government as discussed 
in the section on aircraft and boat cleaners. These attempts were 
largely unsuccessful. However, many Federal agencies use, and procure 
services that use, wheel bearing and chassis greases in the maintenance 
of vehicles and equipment. Thus, they have a need for wheel bearing and 
chassis greases and for services that require the use of wheel bearing 
and chassis greases. Designation of wheel bearing and chassis greases 
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 seven wheel bearing and chassis greases. This information 
is presented in the background information for Round 10, which can be 
found on the BioPreferred Web site.

D. 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. However, in selecting 
the proposed minimum biobased content for each product category, USDA 
also considered the biobased content of several products for which 
manufacturers have requested certification to use the USDA Certified 
Biobased Product label. USDA considered these data points to be valid 
and useful in setting the proposed minimum biobased content because the 
labeling program specifies that the reported biobased content must be 
determined by a third-party testing entity that is ISO 9001 conformant. 
Thus, the biobased content data presented in the following paragraphs 
includes test results from the labeling portion of the BioPreferred 
program as well as the test results from all of the product samples 
that were submitted for analysis under the Federal biobased products 
preferred procurement program.
    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 proposed designated 
product category.
1. Aircraft and Boat Cleaners
    Twenty eight biobased aircraft and boat cleaners have been tested 
for biobased content using ASTM D6866.\3\ The biobased contents of 15 
biobased aircraft cleaners range from 14 percent to 100 percent, as 
follows: 14, 29, 51, 59, 74, 79, 80, 81, 94, 94, 97, 98, 98, 99, and 
100 percent. Because there is a significant break between the 29 
percent product and the 51 percent product, USDA considered the need to 
create another subcategory within this product category. However, USDA 
found that there was not sufficient information on the performance or 
applicability of the two products with the 14 and 29 percent biobased 
content to justify creating a subcategory based on those products. 
Because the biobased contents of the remaining 13 products are somewhat 
uniformly distributed between 50 and 100 percent with no obvious gaps 
or breaks in the data, USDA is proposing to set the minimum biobased 
content for aircraft cleaners at 48 percent, based on the product with 
a tested biobased content of 51 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Thirteen biobased boat cleaners have been tested for biobased 
content using ASTM D6866. The biobased contents of these 13 biobased 
boat cleaners range from 2 percent to 98 percent, as follows: 2, 3, 4, 
41, 42, 43, 53, 74, 79, 82, 94, 97, and 98 percent. Because the 
biobased contents of three of the products are extremely low, USDA did 
not consider setting the minimum biobased content for the subcategory 
based on these

[[Page 72667]]

products. The biobased contents of 4 of the remaining 10 products fall 
within the narrow range of 41 percent to 53 percent. USDA believes 
these products are representative of those within the subcategory and 
is proposing to set the minimum biobased content for boat cleaners at 
38 percent, based on the product with a tested biobased content of 41 
percent.
2. Automotive Care Products
    Seven biobased automotive care products have been tested for 
biobased content using ASTM D6866. The biobased contents of these seven 
biobased automotive care products range from 17 percent to 100 percent, 
as follows: 17, 41, 78, 79, 94, 98, and 100 percent. Because there is a 
significant break between the values for the two products with the 
lowest biobased contents and the five products with the highest 
biobased contents, USDA considered the need to subcategorize this 
product category. However, USDA found that there was not sufficient 
information on the performance or applicability of the two products 
with the lowest biobased contents to justify creating a subcategory 
based on those products. Because the biobased contents of the remaining 
five products are within a narrow range, USDA is proposing to set the 
minimum biobased content for automotive care products at 75 percent, 
based on the product with a tested biobased content of 78 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.
3. Engine Crankcase Oils
    Eleven biobased engine crankcase oils have been tested for biobased 
content using ASTM D6866. The biobased contents of these eleven 
biobased engine crankcase oils range from 2 percent to 53 percent, as 
follows: 2, 2, 21, 30, 31, 36, 37, 37, 50, 51, and 53 percent. Because 
the biobased contents of two of the products are extremely low and the 
biobased contents of the remaining nine products are all within the 
range of 21 to 53 percent, USDA is proposing to set the minimum 
biobased content for engine crankcase oils at 18 percent, based on the 
product with a tested biobased content of 21 percent.
4. Gasoline Fuel Additives
    Three biobased gasoline fuel additives have been tested for 
biobased content using ASTM D6866. The biobased contents of these three 
biobased gasoline fuel additives are 20, 95, and 97 percent. USDA did 
not find any performance or applicability features that would justify 
setting the minimum biobased content on the 20 percent biobased 
product. USDA is, therefore, proposing to set the minimum biobased 
content for this product category at 92 percent, based on the product 
with the lowest biobased content of the other two products tested.
    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.
5. Metal Cleaners and Corrosion Removers
    Twenty five biobased metal cleaners and corrosion removers have 
been tested for biobased content using ASTM D6866. The biobased 
contents of these 25 biobased metal cleaners and corrosion removers are 
as follows: for corrosion removers, 14, 74, 79, 90, 91, 91, 91, 91, 92, 
92, 96, 97, 98, and 98 percent; for stainless steel cleaners, 12, 78, 
79, 81, 83, 92, and 96 percent; for other metal cleaners, 19, 59, 79, 
and 98 percent. USDA is proposing to set the minimum biobased content 
for the corrosion removers subcategory at 71 percent, based on the 
product with the tested biobased content of 74 percent. USDA found no 
justification for setting the minimum based on the 14 percent biobased 
product and all of the remaining tested products are between 74 and 98 
percent biobased. For the stainless steel cleaners subcategory, USDA 
found no unique performance features that would justify setting the 
minimum based on the product with the one tested biobased content of 12 
percent. USDA is, therefore, proposing to set the minimum biobased 
content at 75 percent, based on the product with the tested biobased 
content of 78 percent. USDA also found no reason to set the minimum for 
the other metal cleaners subcategory based on the product with the 
tested biobased content of 19 percent. Therefore, the proposed minimum 
biobased content for this subcategory is 56 percent, based on the 
product with the tested biobased content of 59 percent.
6. Microbial Cleaning Products
    Forty biobased microbial cleaners have been tested for biobased 
content using ASTM D6866. The biobased contents of these 40 biobased 
microbial cleaners are as follows: for drain maintenance products, 48, 
51, 51, 53, 53, 53, 70, 74, 74, 74, 80, 91, 94, 95, and 98 percent; for 
wastewater maintenance products, 47, 53, 53, 58, 59, 70, 74, 95, 96, 
and 99 percent; and for general cleaners, 19, 27, 53, 53, 54, 69, 73, 
74, 81, 91, 95, 96, 98, 99, and 100 percent.
    For the drain maintenance and the wastewater subcategories, the 
test results cover a wide range but are fairly evenly distributed, with 
several products having biobased contents in the 50 percent range. USDA 
is, therefore, proposing to set the minimum biobased content for 
microbial cleaners at 45 percent for drain maintenance products and 44 
percent for wastewater maintenance products based on the products with 
the lowest biobased content within each data set. For general cleaners, 
there is a significant gap between the 27 and the 53 percent products. 
USDA found no unique performance characteristics that justify setting 
the minimum biobased content based on the 19 percent or the 27 percent 
products. The remaining products are fairly even distributed between 53 
and 100 percent. Thus, USDA is proposing to set the minimum biobased 
content at 50 percent for the general cleaners subcategory, based on 
the product with the tested biobased content of 53 percent.
7. Paint Removers
    Eight biobased paint removers have been tested for biobased content 
using ASTM D6866. The biobased contents of these eight biobased paint 
removers range from 24 to 100 percent, as follows: 24, 30, 44, 55, 63, 
87, 100, and 100 percent. USDA found no performance or applicability 
claims to justify setting the minimum biobased content for this product 
category based on the 24 or 30 percent products. Because three of the 
remaining six products have biobased contents within a narrow range of 
from 44 to 63 percent, USDA is proposing to set the minimum biobased 
content for paint removers at 41 percent, based on the product with a 
tested biobased content of 44 percent.
8. Water Turbine Bearing Oils
    One of the biobased water turbine bearing oils has been tested for 
biobased content using ASTM D6866. The biobased content of this 
biobased water turbine bearing oil is 49 percent. USDA believes that 
this one product is typical of available biobased products within this 
product category and is proposing to set the minimum biobased content 
for this product category at 46 percent.
    USDA will continue to gather information on products within this 
product category, and if sufficient supporting information becomes 
available, will consider establishing

[[Page 72668]]

subcategories based on formulation, performance, or applicability.
9. Composite Panels--Countertops
    Seven biobased composite panels--countertops have been tested for 
biobased content using ASTM D6866. The biobased contents of these seven 
biobased countertops range from 18 to 100 percent, as follows: 18, 18, 
44, 92, 95, 100, and 100 percent. USDA found no performance or 
applicability claims to justify setting the minimum biobased content 
for this product category based on the two 18 percent products or the 
44 percent product. Because four of the remaining five products have 
biobased contents within a narrow range of from 92 to 100 percent, USDA 
is proposing to set the minimum biobased content for the countertops 
subcategory of composite panels at 89 percent, based on the product 
with a tested biobased content of 92 percent.
10. Greases--Wheel Bearing and Chassis
    Five biobased wheel bearing and chassis greases have been tested 
for biobased content using ASTM D6866. The biobased contents of these 
five biobased greases range from 53 to 90 percent, as follows: 53, 54, 
54, 63, and 90 percent. Because four of the five products have biobased 
contents within a narrow range of from 53 to 63 percent, USDA is 
proposing to set the minimum biobased content for the wheel bearing and 
chassis greases subcategory at 50 percent, based on the product with a 
tested biobased content of 53 percent.

E. 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 
or subcategory 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 
products within the designated product categories or subcategories. 
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 and subcategories 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 and 
subcategories take effect one year after promulgation of the final 
rule. The one-year period provides these agencies with ample time to 
evaluate the economic and technological feasibility of biobased 
products for a specific use and to revise the specifications 
accordingly. However, some agencies may be able to complete these 
processes more expeditiously, and not all uses will require extensive 
analysis or revision of existing specifications. Although it is 
allowing up to one year, USDA encourages procuring agencies to 
implement the procurement preferences as early as practicable for 
procurement actions involving any of the designated product categories 
or subcategories.

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

    The background information used to develop this proposed rule 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 10 Designation 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 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 and Executive 
Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

    Executive Order 12866, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563, 
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 eight designated product categories. 
These efforts were largely unsuccessful. Therefore,

[[Page 72669]]

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 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: 321999 (all other wood product manufacturing), 
324191 (petroleum lubricating oil and grease manufacturing), 325510 
(paint and coating manufacturing), and 325612 (polish and other 
sanitation goods manufacturing). USDA obtained information on these 
four NAICS categories from the U.S. Census Bureau's Economic Census 
database. USDA found that the Economic Census reports about 4,270 
companies within these 4 NAICS categories and that these companies own 
a total of about 4,860 establishments. Thus, the average number of 
establishments per company is about 1.14. The Census data also reported 
that of the 4,860 individual establishments, about 4,850 (99 percent) 
have fewer than 500 employees. USDA also found that the overall average 
number of employees per company among these industries is about 30 and 
that the petroleum lubricating oil and grease industry has the highest 
average number of employees per company with an average of almost 50. 
Thus, nearly all of the businesses fall within the Small Business 
Administration's definition of a small business (less 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

[[Page 72670]]

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 these 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 12988: Civil Justice Reform

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

E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

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

F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

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

G. Executive Order 12372: Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs

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

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

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

I. Paperwork Reduction Act

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

J. E-Government Act Compliance

    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 product category. 
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 part 3201 as follows:

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. Amend Sec.  3201.19 by adding paragraphs (a)(6) and (b)(6) and 
revising paragraph (c) to read as follows:


Sec.  3201.19  Composite panels.

    (a) * * *
    (6) Countertops. Engineered products designed to serve as 
horizontal work surfaces in locations such as kitchens, break rooms or 
other food preparation areas, bathrooms or lavatories, and workrooms.
    (b) * * *
    (6) Countertops--89 percent.
    (c) Preference compliance dates. (1) No later than May 14, 2009, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for those qualifying biobased composite panels 
specified in paragraphs (a)(1) through (5) of this section. By that 
date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased composite panels.
    (2) 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 those qualifying biobased composite 
panels specified in paragraph (a)(6) of this section. By that date, 
Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or reviewing 
specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that the relevant 
specifications require the use of biobased composite panels.
* * * * *
    3. Amend Sec.  3201.31 by:
    a. Revising paragraph (a)(2)(v);
    b. Adding paragraph (a)(2)(vi);
    c. Revising paragraph (b)(5);
    d. Adding paragraph (b)(6); and
    e. Revising paragraph (c).
    The revisions and additions read as follows:


Sec.  3201.31  Greases.

    (a) * * *

[[Page 72671]]

    (2) * * *
    (v) Wheel bearing and chassis greases. Lubricants that meet ASTM 
D4950 Standard Classification as GC and LB (wheel bearing and chassis) 
and that are formulated for mild to severe duty wheel bearing and 
chassis applications commonly found in automotive, truck, heavy duty, 
industrial and agricultural applications.
    (vi) Greases not elsewhere specified. Lubricants that meet the 
general definition of greases as defined in paragraph (a)(1) of this 
section, but are not otherwise covered by paragraphs (a)(2)(i) through 
(v) of this section.
* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (5) Wheel bearing and chassis grease--50 percent.
    (6) Greases not elsewhere specified--75 percent.
    (c) Preference compliance dates. (1) No later than May 14, 2009, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for those qualifying biobased greases specified 
in paragraphs (a)(2)(i) through (iv) and (vi) of this section. By that 
date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased greases.
    (2) 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 those qualifying biobased greases 
specified in paragraph (a)(2)(v) of this section. By that date, Federal 
agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or reviewing 
specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that the relevant 
specifications require the use of biobased greases.
* * * * *
    4. Add Sec. Sec.  3201.100 through 3201.107 to subpart B to read as 
follows:

Sec.
3201.100 Aircraft and boat cleaners.
3201.101 Automotive care products.
3201.102 Engine crankcase oil.
3201.103 Gasoline fuel additives.
3201.104 Metal cleaners and corrosion removers.
3201.105 Microbial cleaning products.
3201.106 Paint removers.
3201.107 Water turbine bearing oils.


Sec.  3201.100  Aircraft and boat cleaners.

    (a) Definition. (1) Aircraft and boat cleaners are products 
designed to remove built-on grease, oil, dirt, pollution, insect 
reside, or impact soils on both interior and exterior of aircraft and/
or boats.
    (2) Aircraft and boat cleaners for which Federal preferred 
procurement applies are:
    (i) Aircraft cleaners. Cleaning products designed to remove built-
on grease, oil, dirt, pollution, insect reside, or impact soils on both 
interior and exterior of aircraft.
    (ii) Boat cleaners. Cleaning products designed to remove built-on 
grease, oil, dirt, pollution, insect reside, or impact soils on both 
interior and exterior of boats.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content for all 
aircraft and boat cleaners 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) Aircraft cleaners--48 percent.
    (2) Boat cleaners--38 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 aircraft and boat 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 aircraft and boat 
cleaners.


Sec.  3201.101  Automotive care products.

    (a) Definition. Products such as waxes, buffing compounds, 
polishes, degreasers, soaps, wheel and tire cleaners, leather care 
products, interior cleaners, and fragrances that are formulated for 
cleaning and protecting automotive surfaces.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 75 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 automotive 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 automotive care 
products.


Sec.  3201.102  Engine crankcase oils.

    (a) Definition. Lubricating products formulated to provide 
lubrication and wear protection for four-cycle gasoline or diesel 
engines.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 18 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 engine crankcase oils. 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 engine crankcase 
oils.
    (d) Determining overlap with an EPA-designated recovered content 
product. Qualifying products within this item may overlap with the EPA-
designated recovered content product: Re-refined lubricating oils. USDA 
is requesting that manufacturers of these qualifying biobased products 
provide information on the USDA Web site of qualifying biobased 
products about the intended uses of the product, information on whether 
or not the product contains any recovered material, in addition to 
biobased ingredients, and performance standards against which the 
product has been tested. This information will assist Federal agencies 
in determining whether or not a qualifying biobased product overlaps 
with EPA-designated re-refined lubricating oil products and which 
product should be afforded the preference in purchasing.

    Note to paragraph (d):  Engine crankcase oils 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.  3201.103  Gasoline fuel additives.

    (a) Definition. Chemical agents added to gasoline to increase 
octane levels, improve lubricity, and provide engine cleaning 
properties to gasoline-fired engines.

[[Page 72672]]

    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 92 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 gasoline fuel additives. 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 gasoline fuel 
additives.


Sec.  3201.104  Metal cleaners and corrosion removers.

    (a) Definition. (1) Products that are designed to clean and remove 
grease, oil, dirt, stains, soils, and rust from metal surfaces.
    (2) Metal cleaners and corrosion removers for which Federal 
preferred procurement applies are:
    (i) Corrosion removers. Products that are designed to remove rust 
from metal surfaces through chemical action.
    (ii) Stainless steel cleaners. Products that are designed to clean 
and remove grease, oil, dirt, stains, and soils from stainless steel 
surfaces.
    (iii) Other metal cleaners. Products that are designed to clean and 
remove grease, oil, dirt, stains, and soils from metal surfaces other 
than stainless steel.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content for all 
metal cleaners and corrosion removers 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) Corrosion removers--71 percent.
    (2) Stainless steel cleaners--75 percent.
    (3) Other metal cleaners--56 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 metal cleaners and corrosion 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 metal cleaners 
and corrosion removers.


Sec.  3201.105  Microbial cleaning products.

    (a) Definition. (1) Cleaning agents that use microscopic organisms 
to treat or eliminate waste materials within drains, plumbing fixtures, 
sewage systems, wastewater treatment systems, or on a variety of other 
surfaces. These products typically include organisms that digest 
protein, starch, fat, and cellulose.
    (2) Microbial cleaning products for which Federal preferred 
procurement applies are:
    (i) Drain maintenance products. Products containing microbial 
agents that are intended for use in plumbing systems such as sinks, 
showers, and tubs.
    (ii) Wastewater maintenance products. Products containing microbial 
agents that are intended for use in wastewater systems such as sewer 
lines and septic tanks.
    (iii) General cleaners. Products containing microbial agents that 
are intended for multi-purpose cleaning in locations such as 
residential and commercial kitchens and bathrooms.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content for all 
microbial cleaning products 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) Drain maintenance products--45 percent.
    (2) Wastewater maintenance products--44 percent.
    (3) General cleaners--50 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 microbial cleaning 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 microbial cleaning 
products.


Sec.  3201.106  Paint removers.

    (a) Definition. Products formulated to loosen and remove paint from 
painted surfaces.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 41 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 paint 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 paint removers.


Sec.  3201.107  Water turbine bearing oils.

    (a) Definition. Lubricants that are specifically formulated for use 
in the bearings found in water turbines.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 46 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 water turbine bearing oils. 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 water turbine 
bearing oils.

    Dated: November 26, 2012.
Gregory L. Parham,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Administration, U.S. Department of 
Agriculture.
[FR Doc. 2012-29093 Filed 12-4-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-93-P