Skip to Content

Proposed Rule

EPAAR Prescription and Solicitation Provision-EPA Green Meetings and Conferences

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble Start Printed Page 8143

AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

EPA is proposing to revise the EPA Acquisition Regulation (EPAAR) Subparts 1523 and 1552 to establish policy and procedures for acquiring environmentally preferable meeting and conference services. This proposed EPAAR revision will add a prescription and solicitation provision that Agency employees will be required to use when soliciting quotes or offers for meeting and conference space and services. The solicitation provision will require meeting and conference venues to provide EPA with information about environmentally preferable features and practices in use at their facilities. As stated in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), environmentally preferable products and services are those “that have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose.” The intent of this rule is to ensure that environmental preferability is considered in each purchase of commercial meeting and conference services, which furthers the EPA mission to protect human health and the environment.

This action revises the EPAAR, but does not impose any new requirements on Agency contractors. The procedure will require Agency employees to request information from prospective meeting venues about their environmentally preferable (green) practices for consideration in the award decision, thus encouraging the industry to adopt more of these practices so that we will be more likely to do business with them. This rule imposes no requirement or standard that a facility must meet in order to do business with us.

DATES:

Interested parties should submit comments in writing on or before March 26, 2007.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OARM-2007-0102, by one of the following methods:

  • http://www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
  • Email: oei.docket@epa.gov.
  • Mail: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode: 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460. Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OARM-2007-0102.
  • Hand Delivery: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, OEI Docket, EPA/DC, EPA West, Room B102, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OARM-2007-0102. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov or e-mail. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an e-mail comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov your e-mail address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. For additional information about EPA's public docket visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/​epahome/​dockets.htm.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Tiffany Schermerhorn, Policy, Training and Oversight Division, Office of Acquisition Management, Mail Code 3802R, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460; e-mail address: schermerhorn.tiffany@epa.gov, telephone (202) 564-9902.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. General Information

The proposed EPAAR additions are necessary so that the Agency can ensure that environmental preferability is considered in all purchases of commercial meeting and conference services. The new solicitation provision will not impose a substantial additional burden on meeting venues since they currently submit quotes or offers to the Agency in response to solicitations for meeting and conference services, and the rule will allow the information to be obtained electronically or orally when appropriate to the acquisition. The EPAAR changes are consistent with the FAR.

II. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

A. Executive Order 12866

It has been determined that this rule is not a “significant regulatory action” under the terms of Executive Order 12866 and is therefore not subject to OMB review.

B. Paperwork Reduction Act

This action does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. This rule does not impose any new information collection or other requirements on Agency contractors. Collection of information from prospective contractors via Agency solicitation is covered under existing active clearances OMB 9000-0136, Commercial Item Acquisitions—FAR Sections Affected: Part 12; 52.212-1 and 52.212-3, a Federal Acquisition Regulation clearance, in the case of commercial item simplified acquisitions; and OMB 2030-0006, Invitations for Bids and Request for Proposals (IFBs and RFPs), an EPA clearance, in the case of sealed bid or negotiated procurements. These clearances allow information to be collected from a quoter or offeror with the purpose of evaluating its capabilities for performing the contract requirements. In the case of this regulation, one of EPA's requirements is to purchase environmentally preferable meeting and conference services to the greatest extent practicable, so we will need to solicit from each facility a technical description of environmentally preferable measures it has in place.

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) generally requires an agency to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to notice and comment Start Printed Page 8144rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act or any other statute unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Small entities include small businesses, small organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions.

For purposes of assessing the impacts of today's rule on small entities, small entity is defined as: (1) A small business as defined by the Small Business Administration's (SBA) regulations at 13 CFR 121.201; (2) a small governmental jurisdiction that is a government of a city, county, town, school district or special district with a population of less than 50,000; and (3) a small organization that is any not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field.

After considering the economic impacts of today's proposed rule on small entities, I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This proposed rule will not impose any new requirements on small entities.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 1523 and 1552

End List of Subjects Start Signature

Dated: February 16, 2007.

John C. Gherardini, III,

Acting Director, Office of Acquisition Management.

End Signature

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, chapter 15 of title 48 Code of Federal Regulations, parts 1523 and 1552 are proposed to be amended as follows:

Start Part

PART 1523—ENVIRONMENTAL, CONSERVATION, OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY, AND DRUG-FREE WORKPLACE

1. The authority citation for 48 CFR part 1523 continues to read as follows:

Start Authority

Authority: Sec. 205(c), 63 Stat. 390, as amended, 40 U.S.C. 486(c).

End Authority

2. Add Subpart 1523.7 to read as follows.

Subpart 1523.7—Contracting for Environmentally Preferable Products and Services
1523.703
Policies and procedures.
1523.703-1
Acquisition of environmentally preferable meeting and conference services.

Subpart 1523.7—Contracting for Environmentally Preferable Products and Services

Policies and procedures.
Acquisition of environmentally preferable meeting and conference services.

(a) Scope. This section establishes policy and procedures for acquiring environmentally preferable meeting and conference services. For purposes of this section, the term “contracting officer” refers to any EPA employee with purchasing authority. For the purposes of this section, the term “meeting and conference services” refers to any purchase by an EPA employee of the use of off-site commercial facilities for an EPA event, whether the event is a meeting, conference, training session, or other purpose.

(b) Policy. Contracting officers must purchase environmentally preferable meeting and conference services to the greatest extent practicable. Environmental preferability is defined at FAR 2.101. Environmental preferability shall be considered in all purchases of meeting and conference services.

(c) Procedures for micropurchases. The contracting officer shall request information on environmentally preferable features and practices from each meeting and conference services vendor solicited using the provision or language substantially the same as the provision at 1552.223-71.

(d) Procedures for purchases exceeding micropurchase threshold. The contracting officer shall request information on environmentally preferable features and practices from each meeting and conference services vendor using the provision or language substantially the same as the provision at 1552.223-71, and shall notify vendors that basis for award will be best valued with price and other factors considered. Environmental preferability must be considered among the other factors. The contracting officer shall determine the relative importance of price and other factors as appropriate to the acquisition.

(e) Contractor support for meetings and conferences. A contract, order, work assignment or purchasing agreement that includes contractor support for meeting and conference planning and logistics must include a green meeting and conference requirement. The contracting officer shall ensure language is included in the tasking document work statement that requires the contractor to use the provision at 1552.223-71, or language approved by the contracting officer that is substantially the same as the provision, when soliciting quotes or offers for meeting and conference services on behalf of the EPA.

(f) Solicitation Provision. The contracting officer shall insert the provision or language substantially the same as the provision at 1552.223-71, EPA Green Meetings and Conferences, in solicitations for meeting and conference services. Contracting officers issuing an oral solicitation must also use the provision, though it may be provided to the vendor orally or electronically. Contractors soliciting quotes or offers for meeting and conference services on behalf of EPA shall use the provision, or language approved by the contracting officer that is substantially the same as the provision.

3. The authority citation for 48 CFR part 1552 continues to read as follows:

Start Authority

Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; Sec. 205(c), 63 Stat. 390, as amended, 40 U.S.C. 486(c); and 41 U.S.C. 418b.

End Authority
End Part Start Part

PART 1552—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES

4. Add § 1552.223-71 to read as follows.

EPA Green Meetings and Conferences.

As prescribed in 1523.703-1, insert the following provision or language substantially the same as the provision in solicitations for meetings and conference services.

EPA Green Meetings and Conferences (XXX 2007)

(a) The mission of the EPA is to protect human health and the environment. We expect that all Agency meetings and conferences will be staged using as many environmentally preferable measures as possible. Environmentally preferable means products or services that have a lesser or reduced effect on the environment when compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose.

(b) As a potential meeting or conference provider for EPA, we require information about environmentally preferable features and practices your facility will have in place for the EPA event described in the solicitation.

(c) The following list is provided to assist you in identifying environmentally preferable measures and practices used by your facility. More information about EPA's Green Meetings initiative may be found on the Internet at http://www.epa.gov/​oppt/​greenmeetings/​. Information about EPA Start Printed Page 8145voluntary partnerships may be found at http://www.epa.gov/​partners/​index.htm.

(1) Do you have a recycling program? If so, please describe.

(2) Do you have a linen/towel reuse option that is communicated to guests?

(3) Do guests have easy access to public transportation or shuttle services at your facility?

(4) Are lights and air conditioning turned off when rooms are not in use? If so, how do you ensure this?

(5) Do you provide bulk dispensers or reusable containers for beverages, food and condiments?

(6) Do you provide reusable serving utensils, napkins and tablecloths when food and beverages are served?

(7) Do you have an energy efficiency program? Please describe.

(8) Do you have a water conservation program? Please describe.

(9) Does your facility provide guests with paperless check-in & check-out?

(10) Does your facility use recycled or recyclable products? Please describe.

(11) Do you provide training to your employees on these green initiatives? Please describe.

(12) What other environmental initiatives have you undertaken, including any environment-related certifications you possess, EPA voluntary partnerships in which you participate, support of a green suppliers network, or other initiatives? Include “Green Meeting” information in your quotation so that we may consider environmental preferability in selection of our meeting venue.

End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E7-3114 Filed 2-22-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6560-50-P