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Rule Seeks to Minimize DoD's Use of Hexavalent Chromium

The Department of Defense has issued a final rule that amends the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement by implementing requirements for minimizing the use of materials containing hexavalent chromium in items acquired by DoD. Hexavalent chromium is a chemical that has been used in numerous DoD weapons systems and platforms due to its corrosion protection properties, but it is a known carcinogen. The DFARS Case 2009-D004 final rule codifies an April 8, 2009, memorandum issued by the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics) addressing the serious human health and environmental risks related to the use of hexavalent chromium. The memorandum directed DoD personnel to certify that no acceptable alternative exists before using any material containing hexavalent chromium on a new system and directed the Defense Acquisition Regulation Council to develop a clause for defense contracts that prohibits the use of materials containing hexavalent chromium in all future procurements unless specifically approved by the government.

New Provisions

This final rule implements the policy memorandum by creating DFARS Subpart 223.73, consisting of DFARS 223.7300 through DFARS 223.7306, and a new clause, DFARS 252.223-7008. These provisions generally prohibit the delivery of items containing hexavalent chromium in a concentration greater than 0.1 percent by weight in any homogeneous material under DoD contracts unless there is no acceptable alternative. Changes to the proposed version of the rule (70,020.262) revise DFARS 223.7303 to clarify that hexavalent chromium may be used in manufacturing or testing of an article, as long as it will not appear as hexavalent chromium in the final product; clarify the exceptions at DFARS 223.7304 regarding the repair or replacement of legacy systems; and remove from the new clause a paragraph addressing liability. The rule adds to the DFARS companion resource, Procedures, Guidance and Information, at PGI 223.7305, a requirement for the contracting officer to ensure that the appropriate authorizations from the program executive office are included in the solicitation and contract. The effective date of the final rule is May 5, 2011. For the text of the rule, see 70,016.641.




(The news featured above is a selection from the news covered in the Government Contracts Report Letter, which is published weekly and distributed to subscribers of the Government Contracts Reporter. )


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