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May 08, 2007


FARM ENERGY: Energy does not usually come to mind in discussions of agriculture, but times have changed. This year, the chairmen of both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees have said that energy is likely to be a primary driver in the 2007 farm bill reauthorization. The ethanol and energy provisions in farm bill may help or hinder feedstock shift from corn to cellulose.


More Ethanol: Biorefinery owners have much to gain in farm bill reauthorization.

Today, farm energy means corn, and corn-based ethanol has redrawn the U.S. farm landscape. Both chairmen, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Representative Collin C. Peterson (D-MN), hope to pass a farm bill that walks a thin line between developing noncorn cellulosic ethanol without upsetting the current buoyant corn market, which has so greatly benefited farmers and rural communities. Every half-dozen or so years, Congress takes up a farm bill. The first was in 1933; the most recent, in 2002, was the first bill to carry specific energy provisions. In the next farm bill, which legislators hope to pass this year, energy and ethanol will most certainly play a big role. Chemical & Engineering News, 05/07/07, pp. 50-52.

May 10, 2005

Nanoscale Materials Hazards

NANOTECH MEETING: The EPA will conduct a public meeting on nanoscale materials to discuss a potential voluntary pilot program for certain nanoscale materials and the information needed to adequately inform the conduct of the pilot program. Nanoscale materials are chemical substances containing structures in the length scale of approximately 1 to 100 nanometers, and may have different molecular organizations and properties than the same chemical substances in a larger size. Some of the nanoscale materials are new chemical substances subject to notification requirements under ยง5 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and, therefore, are subject to review for potential human health and environmental risks before they are manufactured and enter commerce. Other nanoscale materials are existing chemical substances that may enter commerce without notification to EPA. EPA is considering a potential voluntary pilot program for such nanoscale materials. To that end, EPA is requesting comments at the public meeting on: (1) The scope and purpose of a voluntary pilot program for nanoscale materials that are existing chemical substances, (2) kinds of information that are relevant to the evaluation of potential risks from exposure to nanoscale materials, (3) chemical characterization and nomenclature of nanoscale materials for regulatory purposes, and (4) identification of interested stakeholders. These comments will inform EPA on possible approaches to protect human health and the environment from exposure to such chemical substances. The meeting will be held on June 23, 2005, at the Washington Plaza, 10 Thomas Circle, NW, Washington, DC 20005. Requests to attend the meeting may be submitted to Flora Chow, Chemical Control Division (7405M), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (202) 564-8983; e-mail address: [email protected]. 70 FR 24574-24576 (05/10/05).

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