[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 132 (Tuesday, July 10, 2018)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 31841-31850]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-14594]



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Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains regulatory documents 
having general applicability and legal effect, most of which are keyed 
to and codified in the Code of Federal Regulations, which is published 
under 50 titles pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 1510.

The Code of Federal Regulations is sold by the Superintendent of Documents. 

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Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 132 / Tuesday, July 10, 2018 / Rules 
and Regulations

[[Page 31841]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Office of Procurement and Property Management

7 CFR Part 3201

RIN 0599-AA27


Designation of Product Categories for Federal Procurement

AGENCY: Office of Procurement and Property Management, USDA.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is amending the 
Guidelines for Designating Biobased Products for Federal Procurement to 
add 12 sections that designate product categories within which biobased 
products will be afforded Federal procurement preference by Federal 
agencies and their contractors.

DATES: This rule is effective August 9, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karen Zhang, USDA, Office of 
Procurement and Property Management, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, 
Washington, DC 20250; email: biopreferred_support@amecfw.com; phone 
(202) 401-4747. 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. Discussion of Public Comments
IV. Summary of Changes
V. 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
    K. Congressional Review Act

I. Authority

    These product categories are designated under the authority of 
section 9002 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (the 
2002 Farm Bill), as amended by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act 
of 2008 (the 2008 Farm Bill), and further amended by the Agricultural 
Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill), 7 U.S.C. 8102. (Section 9002 of the 
2002 Farm Bill, as amended by the 2008 and the 2014 Farm Bills, is 
referred to in this document as ``section 9002''.)

II. Background

    As part of the BioPreferred Program, USDA published, on January 13, 
2017, a proposed rule in the Federal Register (FR) for the purpose of 
designating a total of 12 product categories for the preferred 
procurement of biobased products by Federal agencies (referred to 
hereafter in this FR notice as the ``preferred procurement program''). 
This proposed rule can be found at 82 FR 4206. This rulemaking is 
referred to in this preamble as Round 11 (RIN 0599-AA24).
    The term ``product category'' is used as a generic term in the 
designation process to mean a grouping of specific products that 
perform a similar function. As originally finalized, the Guidelines 
included provisions for the designation of product categories that were 
composed of finished, consumer products such as mobile equipment 
hydraulic fluids, penetrating lubricants, or hand cleaners and 
sanitizers.
    The 2008 and 2014 Farm Bills directed USDA to expand the scope of 
the Guidelines to include the designation of product categories 
composed of intermediate ingredients and feedstock materials. 
Specifically, the 2008 Farm Bill stated that USDA shall ``designate 
those intermediate ingredients and feedstocks that are or can be used 
to produce items that will be subject'' to the Federal preferred 
procurement program. The term ``intermediate ingredient and feedstock'' 
is defined in the Farm Bill as ``a material or compound made in whole 
or in significant part from biological products, including renewable 
agricultural materials (including plant, animal, and marine materials) 
or forestry materials, that are subsequently used to make a more 
complex compound or product.'' The term ``intermediates'' is used in 
the titles of the product categories being designated today to 
distinguish these categories from the finished, consumer products 
previously designated by USDA. Although the Federal government does not 
typically purchase large quantities of intermediate ingredients and 
feedstock materials, designating such materials represents a means to 
identify and include finished products made from such designated 
materials in the Federal preferred procurement program. In the proposed 
rule, USDA proposed designating the following 12 product categories for 
the preferred procurement program: Intermediates--Plastic Resins; 
Intermediates--Chemicals; Intermediates--Paint and Coating Components; 
Intermediates--Textile Processing Materials; Intermediates--Foams; 
Intermediates--Fibers and Fabrics; Intermediates--Lubricant Components; 
Intermediates--Binders; Intermediates--Cleaner Components; 
Intermediates--Personal Care Product Components; Intermediates--Oils, 
Fats, and Waxes; and Intermediates--Rubber Materials.
    This final rule designates the proposed product categories within 
which biobased products will be afforded Federal procurement 
preference. USDA has determined that each of the product categories 
being designated under this rulemaking meets the necessary statutory 
requirements; that they are being produced with biobased products; and 
that their procurement will carry out the following objectives of 
section 9002: to improve demand for 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

[[Page 31842]]

biobased products for products derived from imported oil and natural 
gas.
    When USDA designates by rulemaking a product category for preferred 
procurement under the BioPreferred Program, manufacturers of all 
products under the umbrella of that product category that meet the 
requirements to qualify for preferred procurement can claim that status 
for their products. To qualify for preferred procurement, a product 
must be within a designated product category and must contain at least 
the minimum biobased content established for the designated product 
category. With the designation of these specific product categories, 
USDA invites the manufacturers and vendors of qualifying products to 
provide information on the product, contacts, and performance testing 
for posting on its BioPreferred website, http://www.biopreferred.gov. 
Procuring agencies will be able to utilize this website as one tool to 
determine the availability of qualifying biobased products under a 
designated product category. Once USDA designates a product category, 
procuring agencies are required generally to purchase biobased products 
within the designated product category where the purchase price of the 
procurement product exceeds $10,000 or where the quantity of such 
products or of functionally equivalent products purchased over the 
preceding fiscal year equaled $10,000 or more.
    Minimum Biobased Contents. The minimum biobased contents being 
established with this rulemaking are based on products for which USDA 
has biobased content test data. USDA obtains biobased content data in 
conjunction with product manufacturer's applications for certification 
to use the USDA Certified Biobased Product label. Products that are 
certified to display the label must undergo biobased content testing by 
an independent, third party testing lab using ASTM D6866, ``Standard 
Test Methods for Determining the Biobased Content of Solid, Liquid, and 
Gaseous Samples Using Radiocarbon Analysis''. These test data become 
part of the BioPreferred Program database and their use in setting the 
minimum biobased content for designated product categories results in a 
more efficient process for both the Program and manufacturers of 
products within the product categories.
    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 (or recycled) 
materials. Because this rule designates intermediate ingredient product 
categories rather than categories of finished, consumer-use products, 
USDA does not believe that there is a direct overlap between these 
categories and CPG categories. However, if such an overlap situation is 
discovered, 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.
    Federal Government Purchase of Sustainable Products. The Federal 
government's sustainable purchasing program includes the following 
three mandatory 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.
    Other Preferred Procurement Programs. Federal procurement officials 
should also note that many 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 SourceAmerica (formerly known as the National 
Industries for the Severely Handicapped) offer products and services 
for preferred procurement by Federal agencies. A search of the 
AbilityOne Program's online catalog (www.abilityone.gov) indicated that 
the types of intermediate ingredient product categories being 
designated in this final rule are not available through the AbilityOne 
Program. USDA notes, however, that if such materials are offered at 
some point in the future, their procurement 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 are categorized within a product category being 
designated; performance standards used by Federal agencies evaluating 
products to be procured; and warranty information used by manufacturers 
of end user equipment and other products with regard to biobased 
products.

III. Discussion of Public Comments

    USDA solicited comments on the proposed rule for 90 days ending on 
April 13, 2017. USDA received eight comments by that date. Four of the 
comments were from manufacturers of biobased products, and four were 
from trade associations. The comments are presented below, along with 
USDA's responses, and are shown under the product categories to which 
they apply.

General Process Comments

    Comment: One commenter believes that the scope of the proposed 
intermediate categories is too broad and that the proposed categories 
are too widely defined. The commenter recommends categorizing 
intermediates based on functional use descriptions. Further, the 
commenter notes that by defining intermediates according to their 
function in finished products, USDA can refine the minimum percent 
biobased content required for each group.
    Response: USDA agrees that the scope of many of the proposed 
intermediate ingredient product categories is broad. That is by design. 
There were, however, several factors that had to be considered in 
creating the product categories. USDA first considered the primary 
rationale for the designation of these intermediate ingredients. 
Section 9002 directs USDA to designate intermediate ingredients and 
also to designate finished products made from those intermediate 
ingredients. The designation of intermediate ingredients as proposed 
was intended to facilitate the future designation of the finished 
products that are made from the intermediate ingredients. USDA believes 
that the designation of finished products made from intermediate 
ingredients will provide a significant boost in the market for these 
products. The Federal government is not expected to purchase 
significant quantities of intermediate materials even after they are 
designated for the preferred procurement.
    USDA also had to consider the potentially conflicting goals of 
keeping the proposed number of intermediate

[[Page 31843]]

ingredient product categories reasonable while creating a mechanism for 
the subsequent designation of as many finished product categories as 
possible. The decision was made that one way to accomplish this was to 
define many of the intermediate ingredient product categories broadly. 
One example of this is the proposed category of ``intermediate 
ingredients--plastic resins.'' There are numerous types of biobased 
plastic resins either already in use or under development. These resins 
are then used to make a vast number of biobased plastic finished 
products. USDA chose to propose a product category that included 
essentially all plastic resins to be as inclusive as possible.
    Another significant factor that affected USDA's decision-making 
when creating the intermediate ingredient product categories was the 
availability of product data. USDA created more specific product 
categories where data were available to support creating those 
categories. For example, USDA had data supporting the designation of 
categories specifically for biobased ingredients that are used in the 
manufacturing of finished products in the textiles, lubricants, 
cleaners, and personal care industries. Thus, the decision was made to 
go with a broad definition in hopes that most, if not all, biobased 
chemicals that are used as intermediate ingredients would be covered.
    Finally, USDA points out that the BioPreferred Program has 
traditionally created product categories that are defined by their 
function and intends to continue to do so when creating product 
categories for the finished products that are made from the 
intermediate ingredients being designated in this rulemaking. USDA has 
taken the approach that for the designation of intermediate 
ingredients, however, the designation of broadly defined categories is 
more reasonable and more inclusive than attempting to create a very 
large number of function-specific categories.
    Comment: One commenter recommends that a validation study be 
performed to better understand the ranges of inaccuracies of the test 
method, ASTM D6866, across a number of intermediates and products.
    Response: USDA relies on ASTM and the relevant stakeholder 
committee to confirm the validity of the test method. ASTM D6866 
underwent a review and revision during 2016, and USDA is confident that 
the method yields results that are reliable.
    Comment: One commenter supports the designation of intermediate 
product categories and encourages USDA to develop a more efficient 
mechanism for adding future new product categories. The commenter 
acknowledges that the Federal government may not acquire significant 
amounts of biobased intermediates, but the commenter believes that 
having product categories that cover renewable chemicals used in final 
products allows for greater flexibility in the acquisition of biobased 
products and easier identification of biobased products that would 
qualify as biobased under the Program.
    Further, the commenter notes that the development of biobased 
products and renewable chemicals is occurring at a rapid pace. Thus, 
the commenter encourages USDA to explore opportunities to streamline 
the process of designating new product categories.
    Response: USDA appreciates the commenter's support for the proposed 
designation of intermediate ingredient product categories. USDA agrees 
that innovation is constantly occurring in the biobased products 
industry; the development of these biobased intermediate ingredients, 
and the products made from them, is progressing rapidly. The process of 
designating new product categories is one that USDA is constantly 
seeking to improve. USDA will continue to evaluate changes to the 
Program that have the potential to streamline the process for 
designating product categories.
    Comment: One commenter supports the purpose and implementation of 
the USDA BioPreferred Program and acknowledges the challenge of 
identifying the wide range of biobased intermediate ingredients and 
feedstock materials. The commenter encourages USDA to carefully review 
the technical information it receives regarding finished products that 
are being made from these intermediates or feedstocks. The commenter 
believes that after reviewing this technical information, USDA may want 
to consider adjusting the definitions, setting subcategories, or 
adjusting the minimum biobased content requirements for the twelve 
proposed intermediates categories.
    The commenter also supports the use of subcategories at the 
finished product level and not at the intermediate ingredient or 
feedstock material level. Further, the commenter believes USDA should 
consider the need to create subcategories to allow for variations in 
the minimum biobased content of different end use products. When 
setting the minimum biobased content for finished products, the 
commenter encourages USDA to verify that there are products within a 
given category or subcategory that are commercially available.
    The commenter believes that the designation of intermediate 
categories will have a positive impact on many small businesses that 
are now using or would like to use biobased materials in their finished 
products.
    The commenter also believes that the designation of intermediate 
ingredients and feedstocks will allow small businesses easy access to 
useable information on the types and categories of biobased materials 
that are available for use in finished products. The commenter states 
that the use of biobased materials is one way for small businesses to 
distinguish themselves in both the government and private sector 
marketplaces.
    The commenter also supports and encourages USDA to continue and 
expand outreach efforts as stated in the Federal Register.
    Response: USDA thanks the commenter for their support of the 
BioPreferred Program and for their suggestions on technical 
considerations such as revising the definitions, creating 
subcategories, and adjusting the minimum biobased contents of the 
intermediate ingredient product categories. USDA is aware that the 
information used to support the designation of these intermediate 
ingredient product categories is often a small sample of the universe 
of knowledge related to a specific biobased technology or material. As 
additional information becomes available, USDA will evaluate the need 
to revise or adjust the technical components of the rulemaking (such as 
definitions, subcategories, and minimum biobased content requirements). 
If such revisions or adjustments are found to be warranted, USDA will 
undertake a new rulemaking to amend the Guidelines as needed. In the 
case of upcoming rulemakings to designate finished products, USDA will 
continue to gather and evaluate technical information from the biobased 
products industry to support the decisions that go into the rulemaking.
    USDA appreciates the support for the approach of defining product 
categories at the finished product level as opposed to the intermediate 
ingredient level. As discussed earlier, USDA believes that broad 
definitions of the intermediate ingredient product categories and, 
subsequently, more specific functional definitions at the finished 
product category level is a reasonable approach.
    USDA also appreciates the commenter's statements regarding the 
positive impact of the BioPreferred

[[Page 31844]]

Program and biobased products on the industry's small businesses.
Intermediates--Plastic Resins
    Comment: One commenter suggests that the proposed definition be 
amended to include polymers.
    Response: Although the name of the product category was not 
changed, USDA has revised the proposed definition of this product 
category to include the term ``polymers.''
    Comment: One commenter supports designating the proposed 
intermediates--plastic resins category. The commenter believes that the 
proposal to certify intermediates has the potential to streamline the 
certification process for future finished products.
    Response: USDA thanks the commenter for their support of the 
proposed designation of the intermediate ingredients product 
categories.
    Comment: One commenter believes the minimum biobased content should 
be set at 17%. The commenter states that there are commercial plastic 
films available that contain 20% biobased content, and these films are 
stronger than films made from petro-based resins. The commenter 
believes that setting the minimum biobased content at 17% could have a 
significant positive impact by encouraging more recycling of films and 
bags.
    Response: USDA did not revise the proposed minimum biobased content 
for this product category. As discussed in the Preamble to the proposed 
rule, USDA has data from over 60 manufacturers who make about 150 
biobased plastic resins. These resins are used to make a wide variety 
of finished products. The biobased contents of the resins in the 
database range from 25 percent to 100 percent. USDA believes that 
setting the minimum biobased content requirement for this product 
category at 22 percent is reasonable. USDA also points out that the 
product mentioned by the commenter (plastic film) is already included 
in the designated product category ``Films'' found in Sec.  3201.27. 
The Films product category includes subcategories for semi-durable 
films and non-durable films and the minimum biobased content 
requirements are 45 percent and 85 percent, respectively.
Intermediates--Chemicals
    Comment: One commenter states that the proposed intermediates--
chemicals category is too widely defined as it includes reactants, 
building block chemicals, secondary chemicals, and chemicals with 
specific functional properties. Moreover, the commenter believes that 
the proposed minimum of 22 percent gives no incentive for chemical 
producers to increase biobased content. The commenter recommends that 
USDA instead categorize by function, which will allow for increased 
minimums for several functional classes.
    Response: As discussed in previous responses, USDA believes that 
creating more specific definitions based on the product's function is 
more appropriate for the finished products made from intermediate 
ingredients. USDA also believes that the goal of including as many 
renewable chemicals in the Program as possible is best met by being 
more inclusive when designating the intermediate ingredient product 
categories. USDA also believes that for the broadly defined product 
category setting the minimum biobased content at the proposed 22 
percent level is appropriate and that competition among manufacturers 
will tend to drive the actual biobased contents higher than the 
required minimum. Maintaining the level at 22 percent will also allow 
many chemical producers to participate in the Program while they make 
technological improvements that increase the biobased content rather 
than excluding them from the Program as they strive for improvement. 
USDA also believes that it is appropriate to set more specific minimum 
biobased content requirements at the finished product level. The 
consumers of finished products are expected to be the motivating force 
that encourages manufacturers to increase the biobased content of the 
products they make and hope to sell. USDA believes that the most 
reasonable approach is to include a wide range of intermediate 
ingredients in the Program and then let the demand for finished 
products with high biobased contents encourage advances in intermediate 
ingredients.
    Comment: One commenter suggests that the proposed definition be 
amended to include viscosity reducers, rheology modifiers, adhesion 
agents, polyols, and polymers.
    Response: The definition, as proposed, was not intended to be an 
all-inclusive list. USDA agrees with the commenter that the materials 
they listed are reasonable additions to the proposed definition and has 
revised the final definition to include them. However, USDA points out 
that the list is still not considered to be all-inclusive. It is likely 
that biobased intermediate ingredients exist that are not specifically 
included in the definition and it is USDA's intention that they be 
eligible for preferred procurement under the Program.
Intermediates--Paint and Coating Components
    Comment: One commenter suggests that the proposed definition be 
amended to include humectants/open time additives, coalescent alkyd 
latex resins, and polymers.
    Response: The definition, as proposed, included examples of the 
types of components intended to be covered by the product category and 
was not intended to be an all-inclusive list. USDA agrees with the 
commenter that the materials they listed are reasonable additions to 
the proposed definition and has revised the final definition to include 
them. However, USDA points out that the list is still not considered to 
be all-inclusive. It is likely that biobased intermediate ingredients 
exist that are not specifically included in the definition and it is 
USDA's intention that they be eligible for preferred procurement under 
the Program.
Intermediates--Foams
    Comment: One commenter states that foams are used in a wide variety 
of products, and as such, there is a wide variety of foams with 
biobased contents that have been developed to meet the performance 
needs of the foam containing products. The commenter believes that the 
proposed intermediates--foams category is one for which USDA should 
establish subcategories based on the types of end uses and 
corresponding performance requirements of the foams. Further, the 
commenter believes that USDA should set minimum biobased contents for 
these subcategories, noting that the proposed 22% minimum for 
intermediates--foams will be too high for some applications.
    Response: USDA thanks the commenter for their input regarding this 
proposed product category. USDA also agrees that this product category 
certainly includes a wide variety of products used to make a large 
number of finished products. As the commenter pointed out, USDA 
requested information from intermediate ingredient manufacturers on 
finished products made from their intermediates. Unfortunately, for the 
product category intermediates-foams, no additional information was 
provided. USDA is, therefore, finalizing this product category as 
proposed; however, USDA is continuing the process of gathering data to 
support the upcoming designation of finished products make from these 
designated intermediate ingredients. As additional product data are 
obtained and evaluated, USDA will consider

[[Page 31845]]

revisions or adjustments that may need to be made in this (and all 
other) intermediate ingredient product categories. Such revisions could 
include creating subcategories, clarifying changes to the definitions, 
or adjustments to the required minimum biobased content.
Intermediates--Binders
    Comment: One commenter suggests that the proposed definition be 
amended to include ``binders are generally polymers or polymer 
precursors (such as epoxies) and include the polymeric materials used 
to formulate coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers.'' The 
commenter also believes that the proposed definition should include 
adhesives and glues that are finished products.
    Response: USDA has revised the proposed definition to include the 
phrase recommended by the commenter. As discussed earlier, USDA agrees 
that including examples in the definitions may provide more clarity but 
cautions that such examples are not intended to be all-inclusive or to 
restrict the definition so that it only applies to those examples.
    USDA disagrees with the commenter's suggestion to revise the 
proposed definition so that it includes finished product adhesives and 
glues. These types of products will be included in the upcoming 
rulemaking that designates finished products made from designated 
intermediate ingredients.
Intermediates--Cleaner Components
    Comment: One commenter notes that the proposed intermediates--
cleaner components category includes a wide range of substances that 
perform very different functions in cleaning products. The commenter 
further states that this definition does not include an exhaustive list 
of cleaning ingredients.
    Response: As discussed in previous responses, USDA has 
intentionally established intermediate ingredient product categories 
that are very broad in scope. The commenter is also correct that the 
definitions do not attempt to include exhaustive lists of materials 
that are covered by the definition. Examples of the types of materials 
that fit within the definition are provided in most cases. Because of 
the continuing technological advances within the biobased products 
industry, USDA does not believe it is reasonable to attempt to create 
exhaustive or all-inclusive lists of materials that could result in the 
exclusion of materials still under development.
Intermediates--Personal Care Product Components
    Comment: One commenter states that the personal care product 
industry and the cleaning industry use many of the same ingredients. 
Thus, the commenter believes that the proposed intermediates--personal 
care product components category overlaps with the proposed 
intermediates--cleaner components category and is redundant.
    Response: USDA agrees that there is a strong probability that some 
intermediate ingredients may be used in both the personal care product 
components and the cleaner components categories. Because many of the 
intermediate ingredient materials being designated are very basic, 
multi-purpose chemicals, their use in multiple finished product 
categories is expected. There are also expected to be some ingredients 
that are unique to one category or the other. USDA believes that 
creating these intermediate ingredient product categories (and others 
with potential overlapping materials) will ultimately make the process 
of cataloging product information simpler for the BioPreferred Program 
and will make it easier for manufacturers of finished products, Federal 
procuring officials, and the consuming public, to identify and locate 
biobased products that are available to them.
Intermediates--Oils, Fats and Waxes
    Comment: One commenter notes that the proposed minimum biobased 
content is lower than the content found naturally in oils, fats, and 
waxes.
    Response: USDA evaluated data on 24 intermediate ingredient 
materials within this category. These materials ranged in biobased 
content from 68 percent to 100 percent. The proposed 65 percent minimum 
biobased content was based on the sample with the lowest biobased 
content. Raw materials that are 100 percent fats and oils derived from 
animals and plants would be expected to be essentially 100 percent 
biobased. However, it is likely that many of the products that would 
fall into this category have been modified, blended, or in some way 
altered in the process of extracting or refining them. It is also 
likely that the commercial products that are produced within this 
category are a combination of ingredients, not all of which may be 100 
percent biobased. Because of these possibilities, USDA has not changed 
the minimum biobased content proposed for this product category.
    Comment: One commenter suggests that the proposed definition be 
amended to include proteins and carbohydrates.
    Response: USDA has not revised the proposed definition because the 
term ``oils, fats, and waxes'' is believed to be sufficiently broad to 
cover the materials that are expected to be found in this product 
category. Also, proteins and carbohydrates are, generally, chemically 
different from oils, fats, and waxes. Oils, fats, and waxes are 
typically made up of long carbon chains where proteins and 
carbohydrates have a lower carbon to non-carbon molecule ratio. USDA 
believes that the types of intermediate ingredient materials derived 
from proteins and carbohydrates are more likely to be included in the 
intermediate--chemicals product category.
New Categories
    Comment: One commenter suggests designating a product category for 
``can liners.'' The commenter notes that the Federal government uses a 
large number of can liners and that can liners are typically made from 
non-biobased materials. Thus, the commenter believes that there would 
be significant benefit in designating a ``can liners'' category in the 
next round.
    Another commenter believes that it is important to have a product 
category designation for FSC code 4253 Hazardous Material Spill 
Containment and Clean-up Equipment.
    Response: USDA thanks the commenters for their interest in the 
BioPreferred Program and their suggestions regarding possible new 
product categories. The product categories suggested by these 
commenters will be evaluated along with the potential categories of 
finished products made from designated intermediate ingredients. USDA 
plans to propose a rulemaking action that will identify those 
categories selected for possible designation and the public will be 
invited to submit comments.

IV. Summary of Changes

    After consideration of the public comments received in response to 
the proposed rule, USDA made several changes in the final rule. These 
changes are summarized below.
    In the final rule, USDA has revised the definition of the 
categories intermediates--plastic resins, intermediates--chemicals, 
intermediates--paint and coating components, and intermediates--binders 
as explained in the following paragraph. These changes were made to 
clarify or add examples of intermediates that can be included in each 
of these categories.

[[Page 31846]]

    The definition for the intermediate--plastic resins category has 
been revised to include the term ``polymers.'' The definition for the 
intermediates--chemicals category has been revised to list additional 
materials such as viscosity reducers, rheology modifiers, adhesion 
agents, polyols, and polymers. Additional examples of paint and coating 
components, such as humectants, open time additives, and polymers, have 
been added to the definition of the intermediates--paint and coating 
components category. The intermediates--binders category definition has 
been revised to expand on the types of chemicals that typically make up 
binders. Additionally, the definition has been expanded to include 
examples of materials that binders can be used to formulate. The 
definition for this category has been revised to include the phrase 
``binders are generally polymers or polymer precursors (such as 
epoxies) and include the polymeric materials used to formulate 
coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers.''

V. 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.''
    This final 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 
this final rule. As discussed in the preamble to the proposed 
rulemaking, USDA made extensive efforts to obtain information on the 
Federal agencies' usage within the 12 designated product categories. 
These efforts were largely unsuccessful. Therefore, attempts to 
determine the economic impacts of this final 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 biobased 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 this final rule. Consideration 
was also given to the fact that agencies may choose not to procure 
designated items due to unreasonable price.
1. Summary of Impacts
    This final rule is expected to have both positive and negative 
impacts to individual businesses, including small businesses. USDA 
anticipates that the biobased preferred procurement program will 
provide additional opportunities for businesses and manufacturers to 
begin supplying products under the 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 this final rule. The final 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 Final Rule
    The designation of these 12 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, 
this final rule can result in expanding and strengthening markets for 
biobased materials used in these product categories.
3. Costs of the Final Rule
    Like the benefits, the costs of this final 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 designation of these 
product categories to determine whether its actions would have a 
significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. Because 
the 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 
final rule 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 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

[[Page 31847]]

biobased products and to energize emerging markets for those products. 
Because the program is focused on innovative developments within the 
biobased products industry, which is still in its infancy, 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 this 
industry is still materializing. As such, USDA anticipates that 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 designated for Federal preferred procurement in this 
rule are expected to be included under the following NAICS codes: 
324191 (petroleum lubricating oil and grease manufacturing), 325320 
(pesticide and other agricultural chemicals manufacturing), 325411 
(medicinal and botanical manufacturing), 325412 (pharmaceutical 
preparation manufacturing), 325510 (paint and coating manufacturing), 
325612 (polish and other sanitation goods manufacturing), and 325620 
(toilet preparation manufacturing). USDA obtained information on these 
seven NAICS categories from the U.S. Census Bureau's Economic Census 
database. USDA found that the Economic Census reports about 4,756 
companies within these 7 NAICS categories and that these companies own 
a total of about 5,374 establishments. Thus, the average number of 
establishments per company is about 1.13. The Census data also reported 
that of the 5,374 individual establishments, about 5,228 (97.3 percent) 
have fewer than 500 employees. USDA also found that the overall average 
number of employees per company among these industries is about 92 and 
that the pharmaceutical preparation manufacturing segment (with an 
average of about 250) is the only segment reporting an average of more 
than 100 employees per company. Thus, nearly all of the businesses meet 
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 designated in this rulemaking are 
not typical consumer products widely used by the general public and by 
industrial/commercial establishments that are not subject to this 
rulemaking. Thus, USDA believes that the number of small businesses 
manufacturing non-biobased products within the product categories being 
designated and selling significant quantities of those products to 
government agencies affected by this rulemaking will be relatively low. 
Also, this final 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 final 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 final 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 final 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 final 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 final 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 final rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to 
warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment. Provisions of this 
final 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 final 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 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

    This final 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 final 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

[[Page 31848]]

general, to provide the public the option of submitting information or 
transacting business electronically to the maximum extent possible. 
USDA allows for posting information voluntarily submitted by 
manufacturers or vendors on the products they intend to offer for 
preferred procurement under each designated product category at http://www.biopreferred.gov. For information pertinent to E-Government Act 
compliance related to this rule, please contact Karen Zhang at (202) 
401-4747.

K. Congressional Review Act

    The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added by the 
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally 
provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating 
the rule must submit a rule report, that includes a copy of the rule, 
to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the 
United States. USDA has submitted a report containing this rule and 
other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of 
Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior 
to publication of the rule in the Federal Register.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 3201

    Biobased products, Procurement.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Department of 
Agriculture is amending 7 CFR chapter XXXII as follows:

CHAPTER XXXII--OFFICE OF PROCUREMENT AND PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

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

0
1. The authority citation for part 3201 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 8102.


0
2. Add Sec. Sec.  3201.108 through 3201.119 to subpart B to read as 
follows:

Sec.
3201.108 Intermediates--Plastic Resins.
3201.109 Intermediates--Chemicals.
3201.110 Intermediates--Paint and Coating Components.
3201.111 Intermediates--Textile Processing Materials.
3201.112 Intermediates--Foams.
3201.113 Intermediates--Fibers and Fabrics.
3201.114 Intermediates--Lubricant Components.
3201.115 Intermediates--Binders.
3201.116 Intermediates--Cleaner Components.
3201.117 Intermediates--Personal Care Product Components.
3201.118 Intermediates--Oils, Fats, and Waxes.
3201.119 Intermediates--Rubber Materials.


Sec.  3201.108  Intermediates--Plastic Resins.

    (a) Definition. Intermediates--Plastic Resins are materials that 
are typically viscous liquids with the ability to harden permanently 
and may exist in liquid or solid (powder or pellets) states. 
Intermediates--Plastic Resins may be used in a variety of finished 
products neat, consisting of a single resin or polymer, or a 
homogeneous blend of two or more neat resins or polymers, or a 
composite, containing two or more distinct materials such as fiber-
reinforced resins. Additionally, Intermediates--Plastic Resins may be 
used in finished products as additives such as plasticizers, pigments, 
thermal stability agents, or impact modifiers.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 22 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 July 10, 2019, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased Intermediates--Plastic 
Resins. By that date, Federal agencies responsible for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for products to be procured shall ensure that 
the relevant specifications require the use of biobased Intermediates--
Plastic Resins.


Sec.  3201.109  Intermediates--Chemicals.

    (a) Definition. Intermediates--Chemicals are those used as 
reactants for organic synthesis reactions rather than for their 
functional properties in a chemical mixture; those used as building 
block chemicals and secondary chemicals such as glycerol, succinic 
acid, propanediol, and monomers such as lactic acid and propylene; 
those used for specific functional properties during manufacturing of 
other products such as pH regulators, flocculants, precipitants, 
neutralizing agents, emulsifiers, viscosity reducers, rheology 
modifiers, adhesion agents, detergents, wetting agents, foaming agents, 
or dispersants; those that are added to end-use products for their 
specific functional properties including polyols, polymers, and 
solvents for thinning and drying applications but excluding solvents 
used for cleaning; and those used for dyes, pigments, and scents 
including flavorings for non-food products such as lip balm.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 22 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 July 10, 2019, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased Intermediates--
Chemicals. By that date, Federal agencies responsible for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for products to be procured shall ensure that 
the relevant specifications require the use of biobased Intermediates--
Chemicals.


Sec.  3201.110  Intermediates--Paint and Coating Components.

    (a) Definition. Intermediates--Paint and Coating Components are 
ingredients used to formulate finished waterborne or solvent borne 
paint and coating products. Examples of Intermediates--Paint and 
Coating Components include binders, pigments, thickeners, curing 
agents, modifiers, humectants, open time additives, alkyd latex resins, 
polymers, polyols, reactive oligomers, or reactive diluents.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 22 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 July 10, 2019, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased Intermediates--Paint and 
Coating Components. By that date, Federal agencies responsible for 
drafting or reviewing specifications for products to be procured shall 
ensure that the relevant specifications require the use of biobased 
Intermediates--Paint and Coating Components.


Sec.  3201.111  Intermediates--Textile Processing Materials.

    (a) Definition. Intermediates--Textile Processing Materials are 
used to treat or finish textiles for the purposes of altering textile 
characteristics such as color, fading, wrinkle resistance, texture, or 
moisture management.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 22 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a

[[Page 31849]]

percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the 
finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than July 10, 2019, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased Intermediates--Textile 
Processing Materials. By that date, Federal agencies responsible for 
drafting or reviewing specifications for products to be procured shall 
ensure that the relevant specifications require the use of biobased 
Intermediates--Textile Processing Materials.


Sec.  3201.112  Intermediates--Foams.

    (a) Definition. Intermediates--Foams are dry polymer foams used for 
non-construction purposes, such as cushions for furniture.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 22 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 July 10, 2019, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased Intermediates--Foams. By 
that date, Federal agencies responsible for drafting or reviewing 
specifications for products to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased Intermediates--
Foams.


Sec.  3201.113  Intermediates--Fibers and Fabrics.

    (a) Definition. Intermediates--Fibers and Fabrics encompasses plant 
and animal fibers, fibers made from plant-derived polymers that are not 
yet formed into more complex products such as carpet or fabrics, 
fabrics made from natural fibers, fabrics made from synthetic fibers, 
or fabrics made from a blend of the two. These materials are used to 
manufacture finished products such as clothing, upholstery, or drapes.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 25 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 July 10, 2019, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased Intermediates--Fibers 
and Fabrics. By that date, Federal agencies responsible for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for products to be procured shall ensure that 
the relevant specifications require the use of biobased Intermediates--
Fibers and Fabrics.


Sec.  3201.114  Intermediates--Lubricant Components.

    (a) Definition. Intermediates--Lubricant Components are ingredients 
that used specifically to formulate finished lubricant products. 
Examples of Intermediates--Lubricant Components include base oils, base 
fluids, additives, or friction modifiers.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 44 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 July 10, 2019, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased Intermediates--Lubricant 
Components. By that date, Federal agencies responsible for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for products to be procured shall ensure that 
the relevant specifications require the use of biobased Intermediates--
Lubricant Components.


Sec.  3201.115  Intermediates--Binders.

    (a) Definition. Intermediates--Binders are materials used to 
provide cohesiveness throughout an entire finished product. Binders are 
generally polymers or polymer precursors (such as epoxies) and include 
the polymeric materials used to formulate coatings, adhesives, 
sealants, and elastomers. The product category does not include 
adhesives and glues that are finished products used to attach the 
surfaces of two or more distinct and separate components to one 
another.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 47 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 July 10, 2019, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased Intermediates--Binders. 
By that date, Federal agencies responsible for drafting or reviewing 
specifications for products to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased Intermediates--
Binders.


Sec.  3201.116  Intermediates--Cleaner Components.

    (a) Definition. Intermediates--Cleaner Components are intermediate 
ingredients used specifically for formulating finished cleaning 
products. Examples of Intermediates--Cleaner Components include 
chelating agents, surfactants, hydrotropes, fatty acids, or solvents.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 55 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 July 10, 2019, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased Intermediates--Cleaner 
Components. By that date, Federal agencies responsible for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for products to be procured shall ensure that 
the relevant specifications require the use of biobased Intermediates--
Cleaner Components.


Sec.  3201.117  Intermediates--Personal Care Product Components.

    (a) Definition. Intermediates--Personal Care Product Components are 
ingredients used to formulate finished personal care products. Examples 
of Intermediates--Personal Care Product Components include surfactants, 
oils, humectants, emollients, or emulsifiers.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 62 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 July 10, 2019, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased Intermediates--Personal 
Care Product Components. By that date, Federal agencies responsible for 
drafting or reviewing specifications for products to be procured shall 
ensure that the relevant specifications require the use of biobased 
Intermediates--Personal Care Product Components.


Sec.  3201.118  Intermediates--Oils, Fats, and Waxes.

    (a) Definition. Intermediates--Oils, Fats, and Waxes include raw or 
modified fats and oils derived from plants or animals.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product

[[Page 31850]]

must have a minimum biobased content of at least 65 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 July 10, 2019, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased Intermediates--Oils, 
Fats, and Waxes. By that date, Federal agencies responsible for 
drafting or reviewing specifications for products to be procured shall 
ensure that the relevant specifications require the use of biobased 
Intermediates--Oils, Fats, and Waxes.


Sec.  3201.119  Intermediates--Rubber Materials.

    (a) Definition. Intermediates--Rubber Materials are used in 
finished products such as rubber gloves, vehicle tires, footwear, 
sports apparel and equipment, bedding and pillow foams, tubing, 
catheters, gasketing, or cosmetic adhesives and bases.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 96 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 July 10, 2019, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased Intermediates--Rubber 
Materials. By that date, Federal agencies responsible for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for products to be procured shall ensure that 
the relevant specifications require the use of biobased Intermediates--
Rubber Materials.

Donald K. Bice,
Deputy Assistant Secretary For Administration, U.S. Department of 
Agriculture.
[FR Doc. 2018-14594 Filed 7-9-18; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-TX-P