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General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation; Identification of Products That Have Environmental Attributes

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCIES:

General Services Administration (GSA), Office of Acquisition Policy.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The General Services Administration (GSA) is amending the General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation (GSAR) by revising the clause concerning identification of energy-efficient office equipment and supplies containing recovered materials or other environmental attributes for consistency with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and issuance of Executive Order 13101, Greening the Government Through Waste Prevention, Recycling, and Federal Acquisition, and Executive Order 13123, Greening the Government Through Efficient Energy Management.

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DATES:

Effective Date: September 2, 2003.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ms. Laurie Duarte, Regulatory Secretariat, Room 4035, GS Building, Washington, DC 20405, (202) 501-4225, for information pertaining to status or publication schedules. For clarification of content, contact Ms. Laura Auletta, GSA Acquisition Policy Division, at (202) 208-7279. Please cite GSAR case 2002-G506.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

GSAR 538.273(a)(3) is revised to reflect the new clause title for GSAR clause 552.238-72, “Identification of Products that have Environmental Attributes.” The clause has been revised to update environmental definitions and to reflect language consistent with the FAR and with Executive Orders 13101 and 13123. GSA published a proposed rule, Identification of Energy-Efficient Office Equipment and Supplies Containing Recovered Materials or Other Environmental Attributes, in the Federal Register at 65 FR 44508, July 18, 2000. One respondent submitted comments in response to the proposed rule. GSA considered the comments in developing the final rule by revising the clause 552.238-72 to make editorial changes for consistency and clarification with respect to the definition of “energy-efficient product.” The clause was also revised to clarify the requirement to identify products designated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in their Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines (CPGs) that meet EPA purchasing recommendations for recovered and post-consumer material content. These specifically designated products should be identified separate from the umbrella category of products containing recovered materials. The rule includes information on attaching icons to product offerings in GSA Advantage! to indicate specific environmental attributes.

B. Executive Order 12866

This is not a significant regulatory action and, therefore, was not subject to review under Section 6(b) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, dated September 30, 1993. This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804.

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The General Services Administration certifies that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq. These environmental attributes are salient characteristics of the products offered and, therefore, are well known to vendors who market to Government customers required or encouraged to purchase products with specific environmental attributes. Therefore, the identification of such attributes in the offer and other marketing materials such as brochures, catalogs, websites, and GSA Advantage! does not constitute a significant economic impact.

D. Paperwork Reduction Act

The revised clause at 552.238-72, Identification of Products that have Environmental Attributes, contains an information collection requirement subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.). However, the revisions to the clause made by this rule do not affect the information collection requirement approved previously by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and assigned OMB Control Number 3090-0262.

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List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 538 and 552

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Dated: August 26, 2003.

David A. Drabkin,

Deputy Associate Administrator, Office of Acquisition Policy.

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Therefore, GSA amends

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1. The authority citation for

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Authority: 40 U.S.C. 121(c).

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PART 538—FEDERAL SUPPLY SCHEDULE CONTRACTING

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2. Amend section 538.273 by revising paragraph (a)(3) to read as follows:

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Contract clauses.

(a) * * *

(3) 552.238-72, Identification of Products that have Environmental Attributes.

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PART 552—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES

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3. Amend section 552.212-72 by revising the date of the clause; and in paragraph (b) by revising entry 552.238-72 to read as follows:

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Contract terms and conditions required to implement statutes or Executive Orders applicable to GSA acquisition of commercial items.
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Contract Terms and Conditions Required to Implement Statutes or Executive Orders Applicable to GSA Acquisition of Commercial Items (Sept 2003)

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(b) * * *

__552.238-72 Identification of Products that have Environmental Attributes

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4. Revise section 552.238-72 to read as follows:

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Identification of products that have environmental attributes.

As prescribed in 538.273(a)(3), insert the following clause:

Identification of Products That Have Environmental Attributes (Sept. 2003)

(a) Several laws, Executive orders, and Agency directives require Federal buyers to purchase products that are less harmful to the environment, when they are life cycle cost-effective (see FAR Subpart 23.7). The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) requires contractors to highlight environmental products under Federal Supply Service schedule contracts in various communications media (e.g., publications and electronic formats).

(b) Definitions. As used in this clause—

Energy-efficient product means a product that—

(1) Meets Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency criteria for use of the ENERGY STAR® trademark label; or

(2) Is in the upper 25 percent of efficiency for all similar products as designated by the Department of Energy's Federal Energy Management Program.

GSA Advantage! is an on-line shopping mall and ordering system that provides customers with access to products and services under GSA contracts.

Other environmental attributes refers to product characteristics that provide environmental benefits, excluding recovered materials and energy and water efficiency. Several examples of these characteristics are biodegradable, recyclable, reduced pollutants, ozone safe, and low volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Post-consumer material means a material or finished product that has served its intended use and has been discarded for disposal or recovery, having completed its life as a consumer item. Post-consumer material is part of the broader category of “recovered material.” The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed a list of EPA-designated products in their Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines (CPGs) to provide Federal agencies with purchasing recommendations on specific products in a Recovered Materials Advisory Notice (RMAN). The RMAN contains recommended recovered and post-consumer material content levels for the specific products designated by EPA (40 CFR part 247 and http://www.epa.gov/​cpg/​).Start Printed Page 52129

Recovered materials means waste materials and by-products recovered or diverted from solid waste, but the term does not include those materials and by-products generated from, and commonly reused within, an original manufacturing process (Executive Order 13101 and 42 U.S.C. 6903(19) and http://www.epa.gov/​cpg/​). For paper and paper products, see the definition at FAR 11.301 (42 U.S.C. 6962(h)).

Remanufactured means factory rebuilt to original specifications.

Renewable energy means energy produced by solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass power.

Renewable energy technology means—

(1) Technologies that use renewable energy to provide light, heat, cooling, or mechanical or electrical energy for use in facilities or other activities; or

(2) The use of integrated whole-building designs that rely upon renewable energy resources, including passive solar design.

(c)(1) The offeror must identify products that—

(i) Are compliant with the recovered and post-consumer material content levels recommended in the Recovered Materials Advisory Notices (RMANs) for EPA-designated products in the CPG program (http://www.epa.gov/​cpg/​);

(ii) Contain recovered materials that either do not meet the recommended levels in the RMANs or are not EPA-designated products in the CPG program (see FAR 23.401 and http://www.epa.gov/​cpg/​);

(iii) Are energy-efficient, as defined by either ENERGY STAR® and/or FEMP's designated top 25th percentile levels (see ENERGY STAR® at http://www.energystar.gov/​ and FEMP at http://www.eere.energy.gov/​femp/​procurement/​);

(iv) Are water-efficient;

(v) Use renewable energy technology;

(vi) Are remanufactured; and

(vii) Have other environmental attributes.

(2) These identifications must be made in each of the offeror's following mediums:

(i) The offer itself.

(ii) Printed commercial catalogs, brochures, and pricelists.

(iii) Online product website.

(iv) Electronic data submission for GSA Advantage! submitted via GSA's Schedules Input Program (SIP) software or the Electronic Data Inter-change (EDI). Offerors can use the SIP or EDI methods to indicate environmental and other attributes for each product that is translated into respective icons in GSA Advantage!.

(d) An offeror, in identifying an item with an environmental attribute, must possess evidence or rely on a reasonable basis to substantiate the claim (see 16 CFR part 260, Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims). The Government will accept an offeror's claim of an item's environmental attribute on the basis of—

(1) Participation in a Federal agency-sponsored program (e.g., the EPA and DOE ENERGY STAR® product labeling program);

(2) Verification by an independent organization that specializes in certifying such claims; or

(3) Possession of competent and reliable evidence. For any test, analysis, research, study, or other evidence to be “competent and reliable,” it must have been conducted and evaluated in an objective manner by persons qualified to do so, using procedures generally accepted in the profession to yield accurate and reliable results.

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[FR Doc. 03-22239 Filed 8-29-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6820-BR-P