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 and Margaret R. Graham

On May 18, 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) published a notice in the Federal Register announcing the dates it would be hosting three public meetings to provide the public with an opportunity to offer comments on the proposed revisions to its regulations regarding the importation, interstate movement, and environmental release of certain genetically engineered (GE) organisms.  82 Fed. Reg. 22802.  USDA has stated that it is updating its regulations “in response to advances in genetic engineering and [its] accumulated experience in implementing the current regulations, as well as [to] reduce the burden on regulated entities.”  The dates and locations for the public meetings are:

  • June 6, 2017, at the APHIS Center for Animal Welfare in Kansas City, Missouri;
  • June 13, 2017, at the University of California, Davis Conference Center, Davis, California; and
  • June 16, 2017, at the USDA Center at Riverside, Riverdale, Maryland. 

APHIS will be accepting comments on the proposed revisions until June 19, 2017, in Docket ID No. APHIS-2015-0057-0001Registration is available online.  The meetings will be webcast for those unable to attend in person.


 

On November 4, 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy announced an open meeting of the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee. The meeting is intended to develop guidance promoting the research and development (R&D) of biobased fuel and product production. In addition to an opportunity for members of the public to make oral statements, the meeting will cover an update on U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and DOE biomass R&D activities, an update on the Biomass Research and Development Initiative, and the California Perspective on Biofuels and Energy. The meeting will occur on November 18, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and November 19, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. To attend or make oral statements, send an e-mail to Elliott Levine at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and Roy Tiley at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) by November 12, 2015.


 

On August 25, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a notice in the Federal Register announcing a Public Meeting and Opportunity for Public Comment on Considerations for Risk Assessment of Genetically Engineered Algae. The public meeting, entitled "Workshop for Public Input on Considerations for Risk Assessment of Genetically Engineered Algae," is intended to receive public input and comments on the data needs of EPA to support risk assessments of biotechnology products using genetically engineered algae and cyanobacteria under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Feedback from the workshop will also be used to update the EPA guidance document "Points to Consider in the Preparation of TSCA Biotechnology Submissions for Microorganisms."

The public workshop will be held on September 30, 2015, from 8:00 a.m. to noon (EDT) in Washington D.C., and will also be available online for registered participants. Advance registration will close on September 25, 2015, and written comments are due by October 31, 2015. More information regarding the workshop is available in Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.'s (B&C®) memorandum EPA Schedules Workshop on Considerations for Risk Assessment of Biotechnology Algae.


 

On February 17, 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) published in the Federal Register a Notice of Open Meeting for the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee (the Committee). The Committee plans to meet on March 5, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and March 6, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C. The agenda includes updates on the Biomass Research and Development Initiative, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and DOE Biomass R&D Activities, the DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office Funding Opportunity Announcements, and the Committee's plan for 2015. To attend the meeting, contact Elliott Levine and Roy Tiley by February 26, 2015. Minutes of the meeting will be available within 60 days of the meeting at the Biomass Research & Development Meetings Page.