Long-awaited rules to encourage government procurement of biobased products, as required by the 2002 Farm Bill, finally have begun to emerge from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The first group of items designated by USDA to be accorded preference in all federal purchases includes mobile equipment hydraulic fluids and penetrating lubricants. More items will be added quickly to the list in coming months, it says.
The final rule, published in the March 16 Federal Register, set thresholds for the biobased content of the products and addressed comments from earlier proposals. To qualify for the preferred procurement status, the minimum biobased content for mobile equipment hydraulic fluids must be 44 percent, and for penetrating lubricants 68 percent.