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.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

In late September 2018, Northwestern University announced a new bioengineering project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) under their joint program called the Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI). Led by Michael Jewett, professor of chemical and biological engineering, the project aims to combine innovative bioengineering and biotechnology to develop biofuels and bioproducts. It is expected that through the capture of syngas from industrial manufacture companies, before they are released into the atmosphere, biofuel feedstock will be produced. The team intends to develop a cellular factory that will have the ability to metabolize a biofuel by reversing the biochemical process that creates fatty acids from bacteria. The project’s budget (funded by DOE and USDA) is $1.6 million based on a three-year contract.

Tags: DOE, USDA, Biofuel

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On September 27, 2018, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced its approval of amendments to the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). The LCFS has been in place since 2011, in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Under the original program, the standard required a ten percent reduction in the carbon intensity of transportation fuels in California by 2020. In 2017 only, the LCFS has successfully led to the replacement of billions of gallons of petroleum and natural gas with renewable and sustainable transportation fuels. Despite its success, however, the approved amendments to the LCFS aim to make the program more flexible and comprehensive. Under the new amendments, the LCFS sets new requirements to the reduction in carbon intensity and added credits for alternative aviation fuels. The LCFS now requires a 20 percent reduction in carbon intensity by 2030, parallel to California’s overall 2030 target in climate change reduction. Additional changes also include the restructuration of rebate programs for utility vehicles into one single pool and a new protocol for carbon capture and storage. For further details on the new LCFS, click here.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

Scientists at Indiana University -- Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) partnered on the publication of a study with researchers at Huazong Agricultural University in Wuhan, China, and researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  The study focuses on formerly undiscovered properties of a flower known as Orychophragmus violaceus. Also known as the February orchid, O. violaceus differs from other plant seeds in that it contains unusual fatty acid compounds that had not previously been identified. Bioorganic chemist Robert Minto and researcher Alisen Teitgen, at IUPUI, discovered that the biosynthesis of these fatty acid compounds’ partial cycle leads to more cycles afterward. These properties from the February orchid seed oils lead to higher reduction in friction and wear, and can withstand higher temperature stability, which could make this oil a superior and environmentally friendly lubricant.


 

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has included a new data portal on its website to promote greater transparency on small refineries exemptions to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Criticized in the past for its lack of transparency, EPA’s new RFS data portal also provides previously undisclosed information on Renewable Identification Number (RIN) transactions, renewable fuel volume production, average RIN prices, and RIN transaction volumes. The data available dates back to July 1, 2010, which is when EPA started collecting the information provided. EPA intends to update the data portal on a monthly basis.

Tags: EPA, Biofuel, RFS, RIN

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On September 25, 2018, the U.S. House of Representatives passed without objection the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness And Advancing Innovation Act of 2018. Introduced on July 16, 2018, by Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN), this Act reauthorizes certain programs under the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act, and amends the Public Health Service Act and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Amongst these reauthorized programs are the federal biodefense programs and agencies which include the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, as well as the BioShield Special Reserve Fund, which impact the biotechnology industry. Industry stakeholders positively responded to the passing of this Act, including the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), a member of the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®), who congratulated the House in a released statement.


 

Borrowing from William Shakespeare … WHAT’S IN A NAME? That which we call a biobased chemical. By any other name would stand as sustainable. And yet, it is the mere name of the biobased chemical that hinders its ability to go to market!

Did you know that the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is interpreted and applied in ways that often cause new biobased chemicals and their derivatives to be subject to stringent premarket review by EPA? This review often results in the application of restrictions that are not applicable to older chemical substances already in commerce. This lack of consistency results in regulatory and commercial challenges for new biobased chemical products that hamper commercialization pathways and invite considerable delays to market entry. This oddity of the current EPA naming system results in newer biobased technologies that offer the same, if not greater, benefits than existing chemicals now being commercialized. Any company or organization intending to market biobased products -- whether they come from plants, algae, or industrial waste -- should be aware of this situation and join the effort to create a more sensible regulatory approach.

As a company focused on creating chemistry for a sustainable future, we invite your organization to join BRAG as a member in 2019. BRAG is a group of international and well respected member organizations and companies engaged in the development of biobased or renewable chemical products. BRAG members recognize the importance of advocacy, education, and communication.

BRAG is helping its members understand and comply with the application of TSCA to their products and operations, educating regulatory officials on biobased chemical production and the application of TSCA to these products, and developing strong and compelling advocacy platforms to ensure the robust commercialization and growth of biobased and renewable chemical feedstocks. No other biobased chemical industry consortium focuses on TSCA in this way or on biobased chemical commercialization and associated regulatory inequities. Because BRAG is managed by B&C® Consortia Management, L.L.C. (BCCM), a group that has regulatory compliance advisors, legal counsel, and science policy experts available for consultation and strategy development, we have the legal, technical, and management capacity to identify, develop, and implement successfully strategic plans to modify current EPA approaches or policies.

BRAG is expanding its membership to include more companies that have already been or may be adversely impacted by EPA’s current policies. As the leader in TSCA compliance issues, BRAG provides strength in numbers, which allows for more efficient engagement with EPA on these critical issues for less cost.

For further information, contact Ligia Duarte Botelho at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Tags: BRAG, TSCA

 
Tags: Biofuel

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On September 11, 2018, Bloomberg Environment Insights published a three-part article series, written by Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®), on the impact of the new Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Section 5 and its implementation. Despite the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) overall timely and balanced efforts in the implementation of TSCA, EPA’s approach to TSCA Section 5 implementation has proved itself less successful. With emphasis on how EPA’s approach to Section 5 has impeded the commercialization of sustainable chemical technologies, this three-part series delves into the various challenges presented by TSCA on the biobased and biotechnology markets. The obstacles discussed in the articles, ironically, often extend the market presence of less sustainable chemicals rather than allowing for the expansion of more sustainable technologies. The three articles can be accessed here: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
Tags: BNA, Insight, TSCA

 
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