Rules and Regulations
Federal Acquisition Regulation Part 23
Federal Acquisition Regulation Part 23—Environment, Energy and Water Efficiency, Renewable Energy Technologies, Occupational Safety, and Drug-Free Workplace
Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 23 prescribes acquisition policies and procedures supporting the Government’s program for protecting and improving the quality of the environment, and to foster markets for sustainable technologies, materials, products, and services.
- Reducing or preventing pollution;
- Managing efficiently and reducing energy and water use in Government facilities;
- Using renewable energy and renewable energy technologies;
- Acquiring energy-efficient and water-efficient products and services, environmentally preferable (including EPEAT-registered, and non-toxic and less toxic) products, products containing recovered materials, non-ozone depleting products, and biobased products;
- Requiring contractors to identify hazardous materials;
- Requiring contractors to comply with agency environmental management systems. FAR Part 23 has evolved over time to direct Federal agencies in the procurement of environmentally sound products including biobased, energy efficient, and EPEAT-registered products.
Federal Acquisition Regulation: Environmentally Sound Products
In 1997, the FAR issuing agencies adopted a rule that amended the FAR to clearly reflect the government's preference for the acquisition of environmentally-sound and energy-efficient products and services, and to establish an affirmative procurement program favoring items containing the maximum practicable content of recovered materials. The rule also implemented policies for procurement of items for which EPA has designated minimum recovered material content.
Federal Acquisition Regulation; Biobased Products Preference Program
In 2007, the FAR issuing agencies published a final rule that amended the FAR to require that a procurement preference be afforded biobased products within items designated by the Secretary of Agriculture.
Designation of Biobased Items for Federal Procurement
In 2008, the U.S. Department of Agriculture published three final rules designating 27 biobased products for Federal preferential procurement. The products include a variety of personal and facility cleaning products, additional greases, oils, and lubricants, construction products, and other items.
Federal Acquisition Regulation; FAR Case 2006-008, Implementation of Section 104 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005
In 2007, the FAR issuing agencies published a final rule that amended the FAR to address implementation of Section 104 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. This amendment requires all federal acquisitions of energy consuming-products and all contracts for energy-consuming products require ENERGY STAR or Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) designated products.
Federal Acquisition Regulation; FAR Case 2006-030, Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT)
In 2009, the FAR issuing agencies published a final rule that amended the FAR to require use of EPEAT when acquiring personal computer products such as desktops, notebooks/laptops, and monitors pursuant to the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and Executive Order 13423.
Federal Acquisition Regulation; FAR Case 2005-039, Use of Products Containing Recovered Materials in Service and Construction Contracts
In 2008, the FAR issuing agencies published a final rule amending the FAR to clarify language on the use of products containing recovered materials, pursuant to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976, and Executive Order 13101.
48 CFR 223.73 – Minimizing the Use of Materials Containing Hexavalent Chromium
In May 2011, the DoD issued a final rule amending Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to prohibit defense contracts from including specifications or standards that result in the use of CrVI . The DFARS is in support of the April 8, 2009 memorandum from the Under Secretary of Defense, Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (OSD AT&L) entitled “Minimizing the Use of Hexavalent Chromium” that establishes a policy for the minimizing CrVI use throughout DoD.
Through the DFARS, CrVI is effectively banned from new defense acquisitions. New acquisitions cannot contain “more than 0.1 percent hexavalent chromium by weight in any homogeneous material in the deliverable or construction material where proven substitutes are available that provide acceptable performance for the application”13. There are a few exceptions to the prohibition including the use of CrVI when authorized by a decision maker no lower than a general, flag officer, or member of the Senior Executive Service from the Program Executive Office (PEO) or equivalent level. The second exception is for legacy systems and related parts, subsystems, and components that already contain CrVI.
The DFARS rule is significant because it restricts program managers from specifying CrVI in acquisitions and directly impacts the DoD supply chain. The DFARS requirements became effective as of May 5, 2011.