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DOD, GSA, and NASA Issues Federal Acquisition Regulation Requirement for Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool

June 25, 2014



Targeted News Service

WASHINGTON, June 25 -- The U.S. Department of Defense, General Services Administration, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration published the following rule in the Federal Register:

[FAC 2005-75; FAR Case 2013-016; Item I; Docket 2013-0016, Sequence 1] Federal Acquisition Regulation; EPEAT Items

A Rule by the Defense Department, the General Services Administration, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration on 06/24/2014

Publication Date: Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Agencies: General Services Administration

Department of Defense

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Entry Type: Rule

Action: Interim Rule.

Document Citation: 79 FR 35859

Page: 35859 -35864 (6 pages)

CFR: 48 CFR 11

48 CFR 23

48 CFR 2

48 CFR 39

48 CFR 52

48 CFR 7

RIN: 9000-AM71

Document Number: 2014-14376

Shorter URL: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-14376

Action

Interim Rule.

Summary

DoD, GSA, and NASA are issuing an interim rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement changes in the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT(TM)) registry.

DATES:

Effective Date: June 24, 2014.

Comment Date: Interested parties should submit written comments to the Regulatory Secretariat on or before August 25, 2014 to be considered in the formulation of a final rule.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments identified by FAC 2005-75, FAR Case 2013-016, by any of the following methods:

Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching for "FAR Case 2013-016" Select the link "Comment Now" that corresponds with "FAR Case 2013-016." Follow the instructions provided at the "Comment Now" screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and "FAR Case 2013-016" on your attached document.

Fax: 202-501-4067.

Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat (MVCB), ATTN: Ms. Flowers, 1800 F Street NW., 2nd floor, Washington, DC 20405.

Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite FAC 2005-75, FAR Case 2013-016, in all correspondence related to this case. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Edward N. Chambers, Procurement Analyst, at 202-501-3221 for clarification of content. For information pertaining to status or publication schedules, contact the Regulatory Secretariat at 202-501-4755. Please cite FAC 2005-75, FAR Case 2013-016.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

This interim rule revises the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to expand the Federal requirement to procure EPEAT(TM)-registered products beyond personal computer products to cover imaging equipment (i.e., copiers, digital duplicators, facsimile machines, mailing machines, multifunction devices, printers, and scanners) and televisions and modify the existing FAR requirements to recognize the revised standard applicable to computer products.

In April 2006, the IEEE 1680 TM Standard for the Environmental Assessment of Personal Computer Products, was published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Inc., a 140-year-old, ANSI-accredited standards development organization. In July 2006, the EPEAT(TM) Product Registry was launched, providing a listing of products that conformed to this standard. In 2007, President Bush issued Executive Order 13423 (signed January 24, 2007, and published in the Federal Register at 72 FR 3920 on January 26, 2007), which required Federal agencies to satisfy at least 95 percent of their requirements for electronic products with EPEAT(TM)-registered electronic products unless there was not an EPEAT(TM) standard for such product. EPEAT(TM) requirements were added to the FAR by the final rule of FAR Case 2006-030 (published in the Federal Register at 74 FR 2740 on January 15, 2009).

President Obama issued Executive Order 13514 (signed October 5, 2009, and published in the Federal Register at 74 FR 52117 on October 8, 2009) supporting the procurement of EPEAT(TM)-registered products, with one procurement exception added for the acquisition of weapon systems.

The IEEE has finalized a revised version of the 1680 TM standard, which contains the process for the conformity assessment to the IEEE 1680 TM family of standards. Currently, this family consists of the following:

IEEE 1680.1 TM, the specific environmental performance criteria for personal computer products.

IEEE 1680.2 TM, the specific environmental performance criteria for imaging equipment.

IEEE 1680.3 TM, the specific environmental performance criteria for televisions.

The latter two standards were finalized in 2012 and added to the EPEAT(TM) registry in 2013.

The FAR implementation of EPEAT(TM) requirements, to date, has been limited to the original product category, i.e., personal computer products. The addition of the new EPEAT(TM) product categories requires amendments to FAR subpart 23.7 to fully implement the EPEAT(TM) acquisition requirement.

II. Discussion and Analysis

The FAR, as currently written, does not facilitate full implementation of E.O.s 13423 and 13514. While FAR 23.103 requires that Federal agencies shall advance sustainable acquisition by ensuring that 95 percent of new contract actions for the supply of products and for the acquisition of services (including construction) require that the products are environmentally preferable (e.g., EPEAT-registered, or non-toxic or less toxic alternatives), there has been only one corresponding contract clause, for personal computer products.

The changes being made to the FAR include definitions for the relevant electronic products for computer products, imaging equipment, and televisions. In addition to including new definitions associated with imaging equipment and televisions, the FAR definitions for personal computer products are revised to harmonize with those in IEEE 1680.1 TM. The FAR text explains at 23.704 that EPEAT(TM)-registered electronic products are designated bronze-, silver-, or gold-registered. The reference to the 95 percent purchasing requirement that had been included in FAR 23.704(c) is removed in this revision because the overall 95 percent sustainable acquisition goal at FAR 23.103(a) makes it unnecessary to repeat the goal for EPEAT(TM). The language on applicability at FAR 23.704(a)(2) is revised to use wording similar to that used in the energy-efficiency rule at FAR 23.200 without changing the substance. The exceptions that had been located at FAR 23.704(c) are revised for clarity and relocated to FAR 23.704(a).

The format for the clause prescriptions, at FAR 23.705(b), (c), and (d), are conformed to the format used for the clause prescription at FAR 23.206 (for FAR 52.223-15, Energy Efficiency in Energy-Consuming Products). This was done for the purposes of consistency and clarity.

The interim rule includes three contract clauses, one each for computer products, imaging equipment, and televisions. The clauses require acquisition of products with at least the minimum, or bronze-registered, designation. Each of the clauses has one alternate, which purchasers can use when the requirement is for silver- or gold-registered products.

Other amendments made by the interim rule add the current references and clarify the requirements in this area. The definition of "facsimile" at FAR 2.101 is deleted at FAR 2.101 for several reasons. Primarily, DoD, GSA and NASA wanted to ensure that the faxing process could not be confused with "facsimile machine," as that term is now defined at FAR 23.701. Further, while "facsimile" is used over 90 times in the FAR, its proper use is defined in the two clauses at FAR 52.214-31, Facsimile Bids, and 52.215-5, Facsimile Proposals. There is no value added by having a definition in part 2 of the FAR.

[*Federal RegisterVJ 2014-06-24]

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