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Barry McVay's FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH

DATE: January 19, 2000

FROM: Barry McVay, CPCM

SUBJECT: Comprehensive Guideline for Procurement of Products Containing Recovered Materials and Recovered Materials Advisory Notice III (RMAN III)

SOURCE: Federal Register, January 19, 2000, Vol. 65, No. 12, pages 3069 and 3082

AGENCIES: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

ACTION: Final Rule

SYNOPSIS: EPA is amending the May 1, 1995, Comprehensive Procurement Guideline (CPG), to designate 18 new items that are or can be made with recovered materials: carpet cushion; flowable fill; railroad grade crossing surfaces; park benches and picnic tables; playground equipment; food waste compost; plastic lumber landscaping timbers and posts; solid plastic binders; plastic clipboards; plastic file folders; plastic clip portfolios; plastic presentation folders; sorbents (that is, absorbents and adsorbents); industrial drums; awards and plaques; mats; signage; and manual-grade strapping. Once EPA designates an item, any procuring agency that uses appropriated federal funds to procure that item must purchase the item containing the highest percentage of recovered materials practicable.

The accompanying RMAN III contains recommended recovered materials content levels for these items and provides other purchasing recommendations.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The CPG implements Section 6002 of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and Section 502 of Executive Order 13101 of September 14, 1998, Greening the Government Through Waste Prevention, Recycling, and Federal Acquisition, which require EPA to designate items that are or can be made with recovered materials and to recommend practices that procuring agencies can use to procure them. In the May 1, 1995, CPG, EPA codified the RCRA Section 6002 procurement requirements for the convenience of procuring agencies so they could find all of the RCRA Section 6002 procurement provisions, as well as EPA's item designations, in one location. These requirements are in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 247, Comprehensive Procurement Guideline for Products Containing Recovered Materials.

Also, see the coverage in Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Subpart 23.4, Use of Recovered Materials, and the proposed rewrite of FAR Subpart 23.4 and FAR Subpart 23.7, Contracting for Environmentally Preferable and Energy-Efficient Products and Services, in the September 23, 1999, Federal Register (page 51655).

DATES: This final rule is effective January 19, 2001. The recommendations in RMAN III for purchasing the 18 newly designated items are effective January 19, 2001. The revised recommendations in RMAN III for purchasing items previously designated in CPG I and II are effective January 19, 2000.

ADDRESSES: Documents related to this notice are available for viewing in the RCRA Information Center (RIC), which is located at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Crystal Gateway One, 1235 Jefferson Davis Highway, Ground Floor, Arlington, VA 22202. Some of the supporting materials are available electronically at http://www.epa.gov/cpg.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general information, contact the RCRA Hotline at 800-424-9346 or TDD: 800-553-7672 (hearing impaired) (in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, call 703-412-9810 or TDD: 703-412-3323). For technical information on individual item designations, contact Terry Grist, 703-308-7257.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: Section 6002 of RCRA requires EPA to designate items that are or can be made with recovered materials and to recommend practices to help "procuring agencies" meet their obligations for procuring the designated items. RCRA requires that when a "procuring agency" purchases an EPA-designated item, the agency must purchase that item made of the highest percentage of recovered materials practicable. Under RCRA Section 6002, a "procuring agency" is defined as any federal agency, any state or local agency using appropriated federal funds for a procurement, or any contractor who procures these items for work under covered contracts. The requirements of Section 6002 apply to procuring agencies that use at least a portion of federal funds to procure over $10,000 worth of a designated product in a given year.

Executive Order 13101 establishes the procedures EPA must follow when implementing RCRA Section 6002. Section 502 of Executive Order 13101 directs EPA to issue a CPG that designates items that are or can be made with recovered materials. At the same time EPA promulgates the CPG, it must publish its recommended procurement practices in a related RMAN, which must provide recommendations for the content of recovered materials in the designated items. Executive Order 13101 directs EPA to update the CPG every two years and to issue RMANs periodically to reflect changing market conditions.

The original CPG (CPG I) was published on May 1, 1995. It established eight product categories, designated 19 new items, and consolidated five earlier item designations. At the same time, EPA published the first RMAN (RMAN I). On November 13, 1997, EPA published CPG II, which designated an additional 12 items. At the same time, EPA published RMAN II. Paper Products RMANs were issued on May 29, 1996, and June 8, 1998.

On August 26, 1998, EPA proposed to designate 19 additional items (CPG III) and a draft RMAN III. Forty commenters (including federal agencies, state agencies, local governments, product manufacturers, trade associations, and product users) responded to the proposed CPG III and draft RMAN III. With this final rule, EPA is designating 18 of the items (EPA proposed designating nylon carpet with backing containing recovered materials, but EPA is not now designating this item until additional research is conducted because "significant developments have occurred in the carpet industry with respect to the use of recovered materials in nylon carpet backing and the fiber facing").

The 18 newly designated items are (by category):

EPA estimates that this rule will apply to 35 federal agencies, all 56 states and territories, 1,900 local governments, and approximately 1,000 contractors.

The final RMAN III contains recommended recovered materials content levels for these 18 newly designated, and it also contains revised recovered materials content recommendations for several items previously designated in CPG I and II (with recommended recovered materials content levels in RMAN I and II): steel shower and restroom dividers/partitions, steel recycling containers and waste receptacles, and the steel components of traffic barricades and delineators (all these items contain recovered steel). While the recommendations for purchasing the 18 newly designated items are effective January 19, 2001, the revised recommendations for the previously designated items are effective January 19, 2000.

EPA has developed lists of manufacturers and vendors of these designated items, and has updated the lists of the 36 previously designated items. All these lists will be updated periodically as new sources are identified and product information changes. The lists are available through EPA's web site at http://www.epa.gov/cpg. Procuring agencies should contact the manufacturers or vendors directly to discuss their specific needs and to obtain detailed information on the availability and price of recycled products meeting their needs.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Barry McVay at 703-451-5953 or by e-mail to BarryMcVay@FedGovContracts.com.

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