their preference programs: minimum content standards, case-by-case policy development, or
a substantially equivalent alternative.
To assist procuring agencies in establishing their preference programs, when EPA
designates an item, it examines these statutory options and recommends the approach it
believes to be the most effective for purchasing the designated item. Procuring agencies may
elect either to adopt EPA's recommended approach or to develop their own approaches,
provided that, in accordance with section 402 of the Executive Order, the selected approach
meets or exceeds EPA's recommendations.
1. Minimum Content Standards
The first approach specified in RCRA section 6002(i)(3) is the establishment of
minimum content standards. RCRA section 6002(i)(3)(B) requires that procuring agencies
establish minimum content standards requiring the maximum amount of recovered materials
content available for that item, without jeopardizing the intended end use of the item.
To assist procuring agencies with establishing their minimum content standards, EPA
recommends recovered materials content levels, where appropriate, for most of the items it
designates. EPA notes that under RCRA section 6002(i), it is the procuring agency's
responsibility to establish minimum content standards, white EPA provides recommendations
regarding the levels of recovered materials in the designated items. To make it clear that
EPA does not establish minimum content standards for other agencies, EPA will no longer
refer to its recommendations as "minimum content standards," as was done in previous
guidelines. Instead, EPA will refer to its recommendations as "recovered materials content
levels," consistent with RCRA section 6002(e) and Executive Order 12873.
As required by E.O. 12873, EPA changed its approach to establishing recovered
materials content levels. For items designated in previous guidelines, with the exception of
retread tires, EPA recommended one recovered materials content level that represented the
national minimum levels for procuring agencies to use when requesting designated items.
EPA is now recommending recovered materials content ranges within which the items are
available. EPA recommends that procuring agencies use these ranges, in conjunction with
their own research into the recovered materials content of items available to them, to
establish their minimum content standards. In some instances, EPA will recommend one
level (e.g., 100 percent recovered materials), rather than a range, because the item is
universally available at the recommended level. The methodology that EPA uses to establish
recovered materials content ranges for the items that the Agency designates is described in
2. Case-by-Case Policy Development
The second approach specified in RCRA section 6002(i)(3) is case-by-case policy
development. RCRA section 6002(i)(3)(A) describes case-by-case policy development as `a