In effort to curb impacts to our climate and to meet the current administration’s priorities, DoD, GSA, and NASA released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) which would propose a new Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) or rule change that would require all contractors to report their greenhouse gas emissions for federally funded contracts. This comes after another NPRM on the same issue of emissions from FHWA.
The NPRM is in response to the Administration’s Executive Order issued on December 8, 2021, Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Federal Sustainability. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a memorandum stating, “the FAR Council should leverage existing third-party standards and systems, including the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) Recommendations, the CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project) reporting system, and Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) criteria, or equivalents, to develop regulatory amendments promoting contractor attention regarding reduced carbon emissions and Federal sustainability.” The proposed FAR rule change would require different expanded requirements to what is current being developed by other state and federal agencies using Environmental Produce Declarations (EPD). Under the proposed rule change contractors would be required to submit their greenhouse gas (GHG) emission with offers for work. In some cases, major project contractors may be responsible for reporting subcontractor and other products GHG emissions or their offer could be considered non-responsive.
ACPA’s White Paper on Sustainability makes the case for concrete’s relevancy with sustainability and resiliency objectives, while also explaining the role of Environmental Product Declarations to concrete paving contractors. ACPA has worked with agencies for many years promoting sustainability and now on EPD implementation, but the proposed rule is a departure and adds confusion to the course already set. ACPA is concerned implementation of the rule adds a level of responsibility, complexity, and could be costly on bidding federal work. If the change is made it could frustrate the progress already made and cost the industry millions. ACPA is filing comments and will continue to protect contractors with the agencies while also promoting concrete as a sustainable option. ACPA has reached out to a network of stakeholders, including the engineering community, agencies, and broader contractor community to assess the impact and help push back on the latest proposal. Comments are now due February 13 after a 30-day extension supported by ACPA was announced.