[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 67 (Tuesday, April 7, 2020)]
[Pages 19473-19474]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-07193]



[FRL-10007-05-OLEM; EPA-HQ-OLEM-2019-0589]

Existing Comprehensive Procurement Guideline Designations and 
Recovered Materials Advisory Notice Recommendations: Request for 

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice and request for comments.


SUMMARY: Buying products with recycled content fosters the diversion of 
materials from the solid waste stream and promotes the use of these 
materials in the manufacture of new products, strengthening the United 
States' recycling system. Congress required the issuance of procurement 
guidelines in Section 6002 of the Resource Conservation and Recovery 
Act (RCRA). Section 6002 requires the Environmental Protection Agency 
(EPA or the Agency) to designate items that are or can be made with 
recovered materials and to recommend practices for procurement of such 
items. EPA has designated 61 items in eight product categories in a 
Comprehensive Procurement Guideline (CPG) and has issued recycled-
content recommendations and procurement specifications for these items 
in a series of Recovered Materials Advisory Notices (RMANs) published 
in the Federal Register. EPA last updated the CPG/RMANs in 2007. Today, 
the Agency is seeking comment concerning the list of CPG-designated 
items and recommendations issued in the associated RMANs.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before July 6, 2020.

ADDRESSES: You may send comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-
OLEM-2019-0589, by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov/ 
(our preferred method). Follow the online instructions for submitting 
     Mail: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA Docket 
Center, OLEM Docket, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, 
Washington, DC 20460.
     Hand Delivery/Courier: EPA Docket Center, WJC West 
Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004. 
The Docket Center's hours of operations are 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., 
Monday-Friday (except Federal Holidays).
    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket ID 
No. for this action, EPA-HQ-OLEM-2019-0589. Comments received may be 
posted without change to https://www.regulations.gov/, including any 
personal information provided. For detailed instructions on sending 
comments and additional information, see the ``Public Participation'' 
heading of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ksenija Janjic, Resource Conservation 
and Sustainability Division, Office of Resource Conservation and 
Recovery (5306P), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania 
Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (703) 347-0376; 
email address: [email protected].


I. Background

    Section 6002 of the Solid Waste Disposal Act, as amended by the 
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA) and the Hazardous 
and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984, established the government ``buy-
recycled'' program that seeks to harness the federal purchasing power 
to stimulate the demand for products made with recovered materials. The 
statute requires EPA to issue guidelines to be used by procuring 
agencies to buy products with recovered material content. Section 
1004(17) defines ``procuring agency'' to include any Federal or State 
agency using appropriated Federal funds for a procurement as well as 
any person contracting with any such agency with respect to work 
performed under the contract. The EPA must designate items that are or 
can be made with recovered materials and must also recommend practices 
to assist procuring agencies in meeting their obligations. Once an item 
is designated by EPA, procuring agencies that use appropriated federal 
funds to purchase the item are required to purchase the item composed 
of the highest percentage of recovered materials practicable.
    Within one year after EPA designates a CPG item, federal agencies 
must revise their procurement specifications to require the use of 
recovered materials to the maximum extent possible without jeopardizing 
the intended end-use of the item (Section 6002(d)(2)). Federal agencies 
responsible for drafting or reviewing specifications must also review 
all their product specifications to eliminate both provisions 
prohibiting the use of recovered materials and requirements specifying 
the exclusive use of virgin materials (Section 6002(d)(1)). For each 
item designated by EPA, procuring agencies are further required to 
develop an affirmative procuring program, which sets forth the agency's 
policies and procedures for implementing the requirements of RCRA 
section 6002 (Section 6002(i)). Finally, the Office of Federal 
Procurement Policy must implement the statute requirements and 
coordinate the purchasing policy with other federal procurement 
policies in order to maximize the use of recovered materials (Section 
    Executive Order (E.O.) 12873, entitled ``Federal Acquisition, 
Recycling, and Waste Prevention'' established a bifurcated, two-part 
process for EPA to use when developing and issuing the procurement 
guidelines for items containing recovered materials, as required by 
RCRA section 6002(e). The first part, the Comprehensive Procurement 
Guideline (CPG), involved designating items that are or can be made 
with recovered materials, which is an activity requiring a rulemaking, 
including the formal notice-and-comment rulemaking procedures. CPGs are 
therefore, codified in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The 
second part involves issuing recommendations to procuring agencies on 
purchasing the items designated in CPGs. These recommendations are 
issued in Recovered Materials Advisory Notices (RMANs) and published in 
the notice section of the Federal Register (FR) for public comment but 
are not codified in the Code of Federal Regulations.

[[Page 19474]]

Subsequent E.O.s continued to require the preferred purchasing of 
recycled content products, as required by statutory mandates. Between 
1995 and 2007, EPA issued five CPGs designating 61 items in eight 
distinct product categories. With each group of proposed items, EPA 
also published recommendations on purchasing designated items in RMANs. 
The recommendations published in the RMANs were developed based on 
information on commercially available items with recovered materials 
and their associated specifications.
    The process established in E.O. 12873 that provides for publication 
of an RMAN in the FR for public comment without its being codified in 
the Code of Federal Regulations, fulfills the statutory intent and 
requirements of RCRA Section 6002. Procuring agencies can obtain 
information on the availability and sourcing of designated items for 
use in developing procurement programs to meet their obligations under 
the statute. Furthermore, because the established process is more 
flexible than a rulemaking process, RMAN can be issued more 
expeditiously as well as revised easily to reflect development of new 
technologies and/or changes in commercial availability of items.

II. Request for Comment

    Today, EPA requests comments on the existing five CPGs and the five 
corresponding RMANs. These five CPGs and RMANs pertain to 61 items in 
the following eight product categories:

     Paper and Paper Products;
     Vehicular Products;
     Construction Products;
     Transportation Products;
     Park and Recreation Products;
     Landscaping Products;
     Non-paper Office Products; and,
     Miscellaneous Products.

A. Topic Areas

    EPA is seeking comment, relating to the following topics:
    Topic 1: Designated Items
     Based on procuring agencies purchases, are the right items 
     Do the items currently designated represent items that 
procuring agencies purchase?
     Should items be deleted, added or modified? Why?
    Topic 2: Recommendations for the Designated Items Including 
Recovered Material Content and Specifications
     Are the recommended recovered content levels/ranges 
    [cir] If not, please provide appropriate levels.
     Are the specifications published in RMANs appropriate?
    [cir] If not, please provide appropriate specifications.
    Commenters should provide ample justification and background 
information for their comments in order to ensure appropriate 
consideration of the commenter's recommendations.

B. Where To Find Documents

    The individual FR notices that were published to designate the CPG 
items and provide RMAN recommendations, as well as the supporting 
technical information, can be accessed from the table entitled Federal 
Register Notices Related to the Guidelines for Procurement of Products 
Containing Recovered Materials, at https://www.epa.gov/smm/regulatory-background-comprehensive-procurement-guideline-program-cpg. Existing 
notices are also available under Docket Details for this Docket, ID No. 
EPA-HQ-OLEM-2019-0589, at https://www.regulations.gov.

III. Public Participation

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OLEM-2019-
0589, at https://www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), or the 
other methods identified in the ADDRESSES section. Once submitted, 
comments cannot be edited or removed from the docket. The EPA may 
publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit 
electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business 
Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted 
by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be 
accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the 
official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish 
to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment 
contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, 
cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission 
methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or 
multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective 
comments, please visit https://www.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets. For example, commenters should provide ample justification and 
background information for their comments to ensure appropriate 
consideration of the commenter's views.

IV. Follow-Up Actions

    The EPA plans to review all comments received and determine next 
steps. Any future revisions to the CPG or RMANs will be noticed in the 
Federal Register. Action with respect to a CPG will be made through the 
notice-and-comment rulemaking. EPA will also make every attempt to 
alert the public when an action is forthcoming via multiple official 
social media platforms.

    Dated: March 31, 2020.
Peter Wright,
Assistant Administrator, Office of Land and Emergency Management.
[FR Doc. 2020-07193 Filed 4-6-20; 8:45 am]