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Biobased Products Act (AR Code 25-37-101 & 102)
Provides that each state agency that procures to give preference in making procurement decisions to items composed of the highest percentage of biobased products if they are: 1) practicable, and 2) consistent with maintaining a satisfactory level of competition. Some of the key elements of the program include:
- The program must be developed using federal guidelines that designate biobased products that qualify for preferred procurement under USDA’s BioPreferred program, as authorized by section 9002 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, 7 U.S.C. § 8102.
- Provide direct or indirect access to information regarding items identified or certified by federal rules, as they existed on January 1, 2005, that are or can be produced with biobased products and whose procurement by procuring agencies will carry out the objectives of this section;
- Set forth recommended practices with respect to the procurement of biobased products and items containing biobased materials; and Provide direct or indirect access to information on availability, relative price, performance, and environmental and public health benefits of biobased materials and items.
California’s Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) program requires the procurement of goods and services to have a reduced impact on human health and the environment. The state has developed a best practices manual and developed “Buy Green” purchasing standards that incorporate performance and environmental requirements to meet state environmental purchasing goals.
The state of Colorado developed an EPP policy in compliance with state Executive Order D2015-013. One of the specific strategies stated in the policy is the use of “agricultural biobased products,” including use in fuels for vehicles and construction products made from plant-based materials.
Connecticut’s statewide contract for Painting Supplies requires that specialty cleaning products must meet at least one environmental standard (e.g., USDA’s BioPreferred program, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Design for the Environment (Safer Choice), Green SealTM Certifications).
When a State contract is to be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder, an otherwise qualified bidder who will fulfill the contract through the use of biobased products may be given preference over other bidders unable to do so, provided that the cost included in the bid of biobased products is not more than 5% greater than the cost of products that are not biobased. A biobased product is defined as a product designated under USDA’s BioPreferred program.
Indiana statute requires state governmental bodies and educational institutions to purchase biobased products under certain conditions. A biobased product is defined as, “an item designated by the United States Department of Agriculture as a biobased product for federal procurement under Section 9002 of the federal Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002.”
- Biobased products must be available at the time of the purchase
- It must be economically feasible to purchase the biobased product
- The purchase of biobased products is not inappropriate because of 1) federal regulations or policy in matters involving the federal government, or 2) the special requirements of scientific uses.
The state of Iowa annually appropriates funds, in cooperation with the Iowa economic development authority, for support of a biosciences innovation ecosystem in the area of bio-based chemicals, digital agriculture, vaccines, and medical devices. Funding is provided to both Iowa State University and the University of Iowa.
The state of Maine established its EPP program in November 2004. The program has several strategies including considering several environmental factors in making best value (as defined in statute) determinations on purchases.
The Maryland Green Purchasing Committee has statutory authority to establish environmentally preferable specifications for environmentally preferable products or services (EPP), to be adopted by State agencies. Biobased products are included in the statutory definition of environmentally preferable. There are certain exceptions to the law. State agencies are required to report annually on their purchases of EPP as a percentage of their gross purchases.
Massachusetts’ Environmentally Preferable Products (EPP) program was established by Executive Order 509 and encourages and prioritizes the procurement of goods that are grown, manufactured, transported, and handled in a sustainable manner.
The state of Michigan established a purchasing preference program to give preference to biobased products whose content was sourced in Michigan when making purchases. A biobased product is defined as a product granted the US Department of Agriculture certified biobased product label under USDA’s BioPreferred program.
For companies to take advantage of the Renewable Chemical Production Incentive Program, chemicals must be at least 51 percent biobased. Manufacturing facilities must also (a) be located within Minnesota, (b) source from Minnesota 80 percent of the biomass used to produce a renewable chemical (there are exceptions for facilities located near the state border), and (c) produce a minimum of 250,000 pounds of chemicals per quarter to enter the program. Production payments range from $0.03 per pound of chemical produced from cellulosic sugar, starch, oil, or animal fat to $0.06 per pound of chemical produced from cellulosic biomass.
New Jersey Executive Order 76, issued in January 2006, directs state agencies to purchase environmentally preferable cleaning products. Green cleaning products are identified as having biobased ingredients instead of petroleum-based ingredients and their use is encouraged whenever possible. A number of state contracts call for the use of green products or services.
Sustainable Jersey, a nonprofit organization that works with local municipalities in their sustainability programs, offers a certification program that gives points for the implementation of a variety of sustainable practices, including the use of biobased products in municipal contracts for goods and services.
The state of New Mexico gives a tax deduction under its Compensating Tax for the value of biomass materials used for processing into biopower, biofuels or biobased products. The law defines biobased products as “products created from plant- or crop-based resources such as agricultural crops and crop residues, forestry, pastures and rangelands that are normally made from petroleum.”
NMSA Section 7-9-98
New York state has established some environmental and sustainability programs, including a “Green Cleaning Program.” The Program establishes policies, approved green cleaning products, and best practices for green cleaning products procured by the state.
Executive Order No. 4 establishes the basis for green procurement lists and specifications for purchasing by state agencies of New York. It also establishes requirements for developing sustainability and environmental stewardship programs by state agencies. A list of approved specifications for product categories is located here.
The Bioscience Innovation Grant Program awards funds to support biotechnology innovation and commercialization in North Dakota. The supports biotechnology innovation and commercialization in areas including crop genetics, biofuels, biomaterials, biosensors, and biotechnology in relation to food, nutrition, animals, humans, equipment, medical and health products and services, medical diagnostics, medical therapeutics, and farm-based pharmaceuticals.
Ohio’s law requires the state Department of Administrative Services (Department) and other state agencies to give preference to and purchase biobased products. It requires the Director of the Department to establish a biobased product preference program. Some of the key elements of the program include:
- References the USDA’s BioPreferred program in its definition of a biobased product. The state statue defines a biobased product as, “a product determined by the United States Secretary of Agriculture to be a commercial or industrial product, other than food or feed, that is composed, in whole or significant part, of biological products, renewable domestic agricultural materials, or forestry materials or is an intermediate ingredient or feedstock.”
The law generally requires the Department and other state agencies, when purchasing equipment, material, or supplies, to purchase biobased products in accordance with the program, and requires the Director of Transportation and educational institutions of the state to comply with the program even though those entities have purchasing authority separate from the Department of Administrative Services under continuing law.
- Exceptions: If the Director finds that the product: (1) is not available within a reasonable period of time, (2) fails to meet certain performance standards, or (3) is available only at an unreasonable price (“unreasonable price” is defined in statute).
- For any biobased product offered under the program, a vendor is required to certify that the product meets the biobased content requirements for the designated item.
- Requires a state institution of higher education to purchase designated items in accordance with procedures established by the institution.
- Exempts the purchase of motor vehicle fuel, heating oil, or electricity from the program’s requirements.
This Executive Order, issued April 2012, established the Oregon Green Chemistry Innovation Initiative. It directed state agencies to build awareness of the benefits of the use of green chemistry; to develop best practices for environmentally preferable purchasing of goods and services; to consider new or existing programs for state investment funds and loan and grant programs; to revise state purchasing and procurement practice to include specific guidelines designed to establish preferences for products designed and manufactured in a manner that is consistent with the principles of green chemistry. This EO led to the development of the State’s Green Chemistry Procurement Guidelines.
There are a number of sustainability policies and activities in place in Oregon designed to meet the state’s sustainability goals. These include guidelines for green building and sustainable construction, resources for drought conditions, and agency sustainability plans.
This Management Directive, effective since 2014, requires state agencies who purchase goods and services to, within one year after a product is placed on the USDA Bio-Based Products List (USDA’s BioPreferred program), and each year thereafter, estimate agency purchases of products on the list and report agency purchases of such products to the state Department of General Services.
State Biobased Purchasing (SD Statute 5-18A-30)
The state of South Dakota allows a state purchasing agency to give preference to the purchase of supplies manufactured from recycled or biobased materials if the bids are within five percent of the lowest bid offering nonrecycled or nonbiobased materials. The state defines biobased as, “any materials composed wholly or in a significant part of biological products including renewable agricultural materials or forestry materials.”
As part of its Environmental Safety and Occupational Health Criteria for custodial cleaning chemicals, the state of Vermont lists the purchase of biobased products as desirable product criteria.
For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2010, but before January 1, 2021, a taxpayer is allowed a credit for each new green job created within the Commonwealth by the taxpayer. The amount of the annual credit for each new green job is $500 for each annual salary that is $50,000 or more. Each taxpayer qualifying under this section is allowed the credit for up to 350 green jobs.
“Green job” means employment in industries relating to the field of renewable, alternative energies, including the manufacture and operation of products used to generate electricity and other forms of energy from alternative sources that include hydrogen and fuel cell technology, landfill gas, geothermal heating systems, solar heating systems, hydropower systems, wind systems, and biomass and biofuel systems.
In Washington, Executive Order 02-03 requires state agencies to establish sustainability objectives and prepare biennial Sustainability Plans. These plans must support the State’s long-term procurement goals, which include the expansion of markets for environmentally preferable products and services and a shift to nontoxic, recycled, and remanufactured materials in purchasing and construction. Executive Order 05-01 directs state agencies to achieve sustainability goals.
Washington statute requires that in determining the lowest responsive and responsible bidder, an agency may consider best value criteria, including whether the bid considers human health and environmental impacts. The state also provides an EPP Resource Guide for state & local purchasing.