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

On August 1, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced an open meeting of the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee under the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008.  83 Fed. Reg. 37490.  The Committee will meet on August 22, 2018, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (EDT) and on August 23, 2018, from 8:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (EDT).  The purpose of these meetings is to promote research and development (R&D) that leads to the production of biobased fuels and products.  Agenda items include updates on biomass R&D from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  National laboratories and federal agencies will also be presenting their work on the Bioeconomy Initiative and on prospects and hurdles in the biobased plastics R&D field.  The meeting is open to the public for observation or oral statements on any agenda items.  Written statements will be accepted by the Committee any time before or after the meeting takes place.  To attend the meetings, contact Dr. Mark Elless at 202-568-6501, or via e-mail at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) at least five business days prior to the meeting.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On May 29, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced it was seeking nominations for candidates to fill vacancies on the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee (Committee).  The Federal Register notice states that:

The committee members may serve two, three-year terms and committee membership must include: (A) An individual affiliated with the biofuels industry; (B) an individual affiliated with the biobased industrial and commercial products industry; (C) an individual affiliated with an institution of higher education that has expertise in biofuels and biobased products; (D) 2 prominent engineers or scientists from government (non-federal) or academia that have expertise in biofuels and biobased products; (E) an individual affiliated with a commodity trade association; (F) 2 individuals affiliated with environmental or conservation organizations; (G) an individual associated with state government who has expertise in biofuels and biobased products; (H) an individual with expertise in energy and environmental analysis; (I) an individual with expertise in the economics of biofuels and biobased products; (J) an individual with expertise in agricultural economics; (K) an individual with expertise in plant biology and biomass feedstock development; (L) an individual with expertise in agronomy, crop science, or soil science; and (M) at the option of the points of contact, other members.  

Further, nominations this year are needed for the following categories: “(I) An individual with expertise in the economics of biofuels and biobased products; (H) an individual with expertise in energy and environmental analysis; and (J) an individual with expertise in agricultural economics.”  The deadline for nominations is June 30, 2018.


 

On August 8, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced an open meeting of the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee in the Federal Register. The purpose of the meeting is to develop advice and guidance promoting research and development (R&D) for biofuel and bioproducts production. A tentative agenda includes:

  • Update on U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Biomass R&D Activities
     
  • Update on DOE, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), and Biomass R&D Activities
     
  • Overview of the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI)
     
  • Presentations on Advanced Biodigester Systems
     
  • Overview of OSTP and Its Role on the Biomass Board

The meeting will be held in Madison, WI, on August 17, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. (CT) and August 18, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. (CT). A meeting summary will be provided for public review online.


 

On May 25, 2016, DOE published a Notice For Solicitation of Nominations in the Federal Register to fill vacancies on the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee (Committee). The Committee advises DOE and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on technical and direction issues related to the Biomass Research and Development Initiative. The Committee meets quarterly, typically for two days at a time, in Washington, D.C. and other locations. This round of applications is focused on individuals with a commodity trade association affiliation, an expertise in agricultural economics, or expertise in process engineering related to biorefineries or biobased coproducts that enable fuel production. Nominations are due June 30, 2016, via e-mail to Elliott Levine at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), or overnight delivery service to:

Elliott Levine
Designated Federal Officer for the Committee
U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Mail Stop EE-3B
1000 Independence Avenue. S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20585

 

On February 24, 2016, DOE published a notice of an open meeting of the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee in the Federal Register. The Committee is meeting to develop advice and guidance that promotes research and development leading to the production of biobased fuels and biobased products. The agenda also includes updates on federal biomass research and development activities and budgets. The meeting will be held on March 8, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. and March 9, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel. Members of the public are welcome to attend the meeting and make oral statements regarding any item on the agenda. To attend or make a statement, contact 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) at least five business days prior to the meeting.


 

On May 21, 2015, Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the Sustainable Chemistry Research and Development Act of 2015 (S. 1447). The legislation is intended to help coordinate and expand the many different programs that have been enacted across the federal government to promote and assist the development of sustainable chemistry that reduces risks to human health and benefits the environment. The bill would create a federal Interagency Work Group (IWG), lead by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), that would work with a diverse Advisory Council (AC) to develop and implement a strategy to advance sustainable chemistry. This would streamline existing federal activities that promote the development of sustainable chemistry through grants and prize competitions. The Act does not create any regulatory components or authorize new spending by taking advantage of programs that are already in place and making them more efficient.

The bill calls for an examination of methods that the government could use to provide additional incentives and would require the IWG to track the amount spent on sustainable chemicals by the federal government and include those amounts in a report to Congress and the Government Accountability Office. The report will also analyze the progress that has been made and evaluate future strategies to ensure that efforts are not duplicated and interagency coordination is streamlined. The overarching goal of the IWG and the AC will be to produce a national strategy and implementation plan for sustainable chemistry that will advance research, development, technology, commercialization, education, and training within two years of the start of the program.


 

On May 19, 2014, two U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) notices were published in the Federal Register. The first is a notice of an open meeting of the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee (Committee). The Committee advises DOE and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on the Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI) and priority technical biomass research and development (R&D) needs, and makes recommendations to the Biomass Research and Development Board. The meeting is scheduled to take place on June 5, 2014, from 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., and June 6, 2014, from 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Omni Shoreham, 2500 Calvert Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008. A copy of the notice is available online.


To attend the meeting and/or to make oral statements regarding any of the items on the agenda below, you must contact Elliott Levine at 202-586-1476 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and Roy Tiley at 410-997-7778 ext. 220 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) at least five business days prior to the meeting.


The purpose of the meeting is to provide advice and guidance that promotes R&D leading to the production of biobased fuels and biobased products. The agenda is expected to include the following:

* Update on USDA Biomass R&D Activities;

* Update on DOE Biomass R&D Activities;

* Update on the BRDI;

* Update on the DOE Loan Program Solicitations;

* Update on the BioEconomy Initiative;

* Overview of the BioEconomy Initiative Analysis;

* Feedstocks panel on fuels from corn stover; and

* An overview and application of the USDA Feedstock Readiness Level Tool.


The second notice is a solicitation for nominations for candidates to fill vacancies on the Committee. Nominations must be submitted by June 9, 2014. A detailed description of the Committee and the nomination process is provided in the notice, which is available online.


By law, the Committee must include, among others, an individual affiliated with the biofuels industry and an individual affiliated with the biobased industrial and commercial products industry. According to the notice, while nominations will be accepted for other categories, nominations this year are needed for the following categories in order to address the Committee's needs: (E) an individual affiliated with a commodity trade association; (F) individuals affiliated with environmental or conservation organizations; (J) an individual with expertise in agricultural economics; (K) an individual with expertise in plant biology and biomass feedstock development; and (M) at the option of the points of contact, other members.