The Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG) helps members develop and bring to market their innovative biobased and renewable chemical products through insightful policy and regulatory advocacy. BRAG is managed by B&C® Consortia Management, L.L.C., an affiliate of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.
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By Lynn L. Bergeson

On September 9, 2019, the House of Representatives returned to work after a six-week August recess and passed a package of energy-related bills. By a roll call vote of 295 to 114, the House approved a bill (H.R. 1768) that would extend the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act through 2024. The vote would keep alive an EPA program that takes older diesel-powered equipment off the market. House lawmakers also approved: H.R. 1420 to improve energy efficiency in federal buildings; H.R. 2114 to provide states with financial and technical support on energy security; and H.R. 1760 that would require the Department of Energy (DOE) to create a uranium program.

Tags: Energy

 
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By Lynn L. Bergeson

On September 10, 2019, the House Small Business Subcommittee on Rural Development, Agriculture, Trade, and Entrepreneurship held a hearing on the clean energy economy. In a notice, the Subcommittee stated that there are growing opportunities for small companies, including farmers, to respond to energy challenges through new and innovative solutions. The clean energy economy covers many industries that are dominated by small businesses, including construction, agriculture, and renewable energy sectors. The Committee explored the economic opportunities for small businesses that come through efforts to address unpredictable weather patterns, reduce fossil fuel consumption, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and increase energy efficiency. Witnesses shared how small businesses are growing and creating well-paying jobs within clean energy sectors, as well as what they need to continue to succeed. Testifying before the committee were Lynn Abramson, President, Clean Energy Business Network; Thomas Brooks, General Manager, Western Dubuque Biodiesel LLC; Michael Williams, Deputy Director, BlueGreen Alliance; and David Spigelmyer, President, Marcellus Shale Coalition. Hearing information, witness testimony, and an archived webcast of the hearing are available online.


 
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The Product Stewardship Society (PSS) Board of Directors inducted Lynn L. Bergeson as President during its annual board meeting preceding the Product Stewardship conference being held in Columbus, Ohio, September 10-12, 2019. Ms. Bergeson, Managing Partner of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®), will serve as President through 2021. Ms. Bergeson has served on the PSS Board of Directors since 2015.

PSS is an affiliate of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA®), launched in 2012 to drive the product stewardship profession forward by providing resources, professional development, and networking opportunities that serve the needs of professionals globally. PSS and AIHA announced in late 2018 the joint development of an ANSI-certified product stewardship credential, and progress toward the launch of the test-based credential continues in 2019. PSS recently published Professional Practices of Product Stewardship, a first-of-its-kind textbook providing deep insight into core areas of product stewardship, including product risk management, product life cycle management, management of product compliance and liability, and product stewardship strategy and program management. Other PSS publications include Realizing the Full Business Value of Product Stewardship, for which Ms. Bergeson authored the chapter “Legal Considerations Relating to Tort and Product Liability Law,” and Core Competencies for the Product Stewardship Professional. All publications are available on the PSS website.

Lynn L. Bergeson is also Vice Chair of the International Bar Association (IBA) Agricultural Law Section, Vice Chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources Committee on Pesticides, Chemical Regulation, and Right-to-Know, and a former Chair of the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources. Ms. Bergeson is consistently recognized among the elite practitioners of chemical regulatory law by Best Lawyers, Super Lawyers, and The Washingtonian, among others. Chambers and Partners USA 2019 edition, where she was ranked Band 1, notes Ms. Bergeson’s “stellar reputation in the environment space”and quotes clients as saying: “If you need advice in the chemical regulatory arena, there is no better choice than Lynn.”Ms. Bergeson is also President of The Acta Group (Acta®), B&C’s scientific and regulatory consulting arm with offices in Washington, D.C., the United Kingdom, and Belgium, and President of B&C® Consortia Management, L.L.C. (BCCM), which helps the chemical industry form consortia to achieve shared research, testing, and regulatory goals.

Tags: PSS, Bergeson

 

 
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By Lynn L. Bergeson

On September 5, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science announced an open meeting of the Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee (BERAC). The purpose of the meeting will be to provide advice to the Office of Science Director on various technical issues that occur in the development and implementation of the Biological and Environmental Research Program. Tentative agenda topics listed by DOE include news from the Office of Science and the Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER); workshop briefing and research topic discussions; a report from the Biological Systems Science and Climate and Environmental Science Divisions; science talks; and an opportunity for public comment, among other topics. The meeting will take place in North Bethesda, MD, on October 24, 2019, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (EDT) and on October 25, 2019, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (EDT).

Tags: DOE

 
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By Lynn L. Bergeson and Ligia Duarte Botelho, M.A.

On September 3, 2019, Medium published an article by U.S. Senator and 2020 Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren where she outlines her plan for achieving 100 percent clean energy. Highlighting the fact that the United States is the world’s largest historical carbon polluter, Warren claims that the United States has a “special responsibility to lead the way” in the clean energy movement. As an original supporter of the Green New Deal, which outlines a plan to achieve zero-net domestic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030, Warren continues her public campaign calling for large and sustainable structural changes to decarbonize key sectors of the U.S. economy. In her article, Warren challenges other Presidential candidates to do the same in demonstrating commitment to clean energy through the decarbonization of electricity, vehicles, and buildings. Warren expands her argument by stating that a federal investment of $3 trillion will leverage additional trillions in private investment and create millions of jobs in addition to achieving:

  • 100 percent zero-carbon pollution for all new commercial and residential buildings by 2028;
     
  • 100 percent zero emissions for all new light-duty passenger vehicles, medium-duty trucks, and all buses by 2030; and
     
  • 100 percent renewable and zero-emission energy in electricity generation by 2030.

To achieve the goals outlined above, Warren states that there is no time to waste and that changes must begin now, including the readjustment of the U.S. economic approach to assure communities of color and other underserved populations are not left behind. As part of her campaign, Warren further delves into measures she would take as President to achieve these goals. Among these measures are the establishment of high standards for utilities; the creation of a Federal Renewable Energy Commission; federal subsidies to speed clean energy adoption; greater interstate and regional coordination; and the use of federal investment and policy to accelerate the transition. Warren further outlines her plan in her article, concluding by stating that should she win the election, she will “take bold action to confront the climate change crisis, starting on day one.”


 
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By Lynn L. Bergeson

On August 30, 2019, the National Chicken Council submitted a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) expressing concerns with the proposed required volume obligations (RVO) for 2020 combined with the recent waiver that will increase the use of ethanol-15 (E15) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Representing companies that produce and process over 95 percent of the chicken in the United States, the National Chicken Council’s concerns are related to its broiler production, which comprises the largest single user of corn not operating under RFS. In its letter, the National Chicken Council claims that under RFS since 2007, broiler producers have faced $68.5 billion in higher feed costs for the production of broiler meat.  Calling for greater efforts to create a more sustainable approach under RFS, Mike Brown’s, National Chicken Council President, concluding statements express the view that both the proposed RVOs for 2020 and the waiver allowing for E15 sales year-round are overly aggressive. These measures, according to the letter, are also overly reliant on corn-based ethanol, stating that it is likely to cause disruptions to the feed supply in the U.S.

Tags: RFS, E15

 
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On September 11, 2019, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. (EDT), the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) will host a webinar titled “Genetic Engineering: The Good, The Bad, and The Necessary.” The webinar is designed to cover the vast possibilities offered by genetic engineering in a world where regulatory officials face increasing pressure to guarantee global food security. Along with the many possibilities associated with genetic engineering, however, there are great concerns about the environmental, health, and ethical implications of it. Webinar panelists will discuss many of these possibilities and concerns.

Tags: ELI, GE

 

 
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By Lynn L. Bergeson

On August 23, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released annual market reports on data and trends in wind technologies, costs, installations, prices, and performance through 2018. The reports cover three sectors: offshore, distributed wind, and utility-scale land-based. According to Under Secretary of Energy, Mark W. Menezes, onshore wind installations continue to proliferate across the United States. Demonstrating support for the Trump Administration, Menezes stated that it has been “proven that we can pursue renewable energy advancements and deployment, particularly wind energy resources, which are predicted to surpass other sources of renewable power generation this year [2019].” During 2018, the utility-scale land-based wind sector had 7,588 megawatts (MW) installed with record low costs and prices. Prepared by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the 2018 Wind Technologies Market Report found that wind industry employment is at an all-time high and provides 6.5% of the nation’s electricity.

Tags: DOE, Wind

 
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By Lynn L. Bergeson

On August 27, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced via the Federal Register, proposed revisions to its pesticide tolerance crop grouping regulations. These regulations allow the establishment of tolerances for multiple related crops based on data from a representative set of crops. EPA is proposing the revision of one commodity definition and the addition of three new commodity definitions. In addition, EPA’s proposal includes an amendment to the herbs and spices crop group currently provided in Crop Group 19. The crops in current Crop Group 19: Herbs and Spices Group will be separated into two new crop groups: Crop Group 25: Herb Group and Crop Group 26: Spice Group. These revisions aim to increase the utility and benefit of the crop grouping system for producers and other commercial agriculture stakeholders. Over the next several years, a series of crop group updates is expected. Comments are due on October 28, 2019.

Tags: EPA, Pesticide

 
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By Lynn L. Bergeson

The United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recently published a report titled The State of the World’s Aquatic Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, which is the first ever of its kind and focuses on farmed aquatic species and their wild relatives within national jurisdictions. The report builds the information and knowledge base required for action at the national, regional, and international levels sustainably to conserve, use, and develop aquatic genetic resources for food and agriculture. With contributions from more than 90 countries, the report portrays the broad range of aquatic organisms farmed and fished around the globe, the various technologies used, the status of existing programs, the roles of key stakeholders, and the main national and international policies and networking mechanisms at play. In its report, FAO highlights challenges for the responsible management of aquatic genetic resources, which include a need for the acceleration of genetic improvement of key aquaculture species and the development of strong policies and governance systems.

Tags: UN, FAO

 

 
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By Lynn L. Bergeson

On August 15, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced approximately $40 million in funding for 29 projects to advance the H2@Scale concept.  H2@Scale is a concept that explores the potential for wide-scale hydrogen production and utilization in the United States to enable resiliency of the power generation and transmission sectors while also aligning diverse domestic industries, competitiveness, and job creation. Funded through DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and the Office of Nuclear Energy, the 29 selected projects will advance hydrogen storage and infrastructure technologies.

Tags: DOE, Hydrogen, EERE

 
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By Lynn L. Bergeson

On August 16, 2019, DOE Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes announced funding for new and innovative advanced vehicle technologies research. DOE’s EERE is providing $59 million to 43 projects dedicated to advanced batteries and electric drive systems, co-optimized engine and fuel technologies, materials for more efficient power trains, and alternative fuels and new energy-efficient mobility systems.

Tags: DOE, EERE

 
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