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NATIVE LATEX COMMERCIALIZATION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Act

OF 1978

Act of November 4, 1978, Public Law 95–592, 92 Stat. 2529,

7 U.S.C. 178 et seq.

AN ACT To amend the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965

to authorize a program of research, development, and demonstration of guayule rubber production and manufacture as an economic development opportunity for the Southwestern States

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That this Act may be cited as the “Native Latex Commercialization and Economic Development Act of 1978".

SEC. 2. (a) Congress recognizes that natural latex rubber is a commodity of vital importance to the economy, the defense, and the general well-being of the Nation. The United States is totally dependent upon foreign sources for its supplies of natural (Hevea) latex, which total about one million tons per year. Synthetic rubber, manufactured from petroleum feedstocks, cannot be substituted for natural rubber.

(b) Congress further recognizes that certain plant species of the genus Parthenium (Guayule), native to Texas and the Republic of Mexico, as well as other plants, are known to contain commercial quantities of extractable rubber. During World War II, through research carried out by the Secretary of Agriculture in the Emergency Rubber Project, the United States demonstrated that Parthenium latex is a promising and realistic substitute for Hevea latex.

(c) Congress further recognizes that additional research and development are needed, especially into methods for increasing latex yields, before commercialization of native Parthenium latex or other hydrocarbon-containing plants by private industry is feasible.

(d) Congress further recognizes that the development of a domestic natural rubber industry, based on Parthenium and other hydrocarboncontaining plants, would not only relieve the Nation's dependence upon foreign latex sources but also convey substantial economic benefits to peoples living in arid and semiarid regions of the United States. Such an industry would comprise the agricultural production of the hydrocarbon-containing plants and the development of commercial processing and manufacturing facilities to extract the latex and other products.

(e) Congress further recognizes that ongoing research into the commercialization of native latex has been conducted by the Department of Agriculture and by the Department of Commerce through the regional commissions and that these research efforts should be continued and expanded.

(f) It is the policy of the Congress, therefore, to provide for the development and demonstration of economically feasible means of

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culturing and manufacturing Parthenium and other hydrocarboncontaining plants for the extraction of natural rubber and other products to benefit the Nation and promote economic development. Sec. 3,1 As used in this Act

(a) The term “State” means each of the fifty States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

(b) The term “Secretaries” means the Secretary of Agriculture and/or the Secretary of Commerce acting each separately or jointly.

(c) The term "commercialization" means the stage in the development or advancement of a technology at which point private enterprise is willing to invest in a full-scale production facility.

(d) The term “native” means hydrocarbon-containing plants which may be cultured in North America, especially members of the genus Parthenium known as Guayule.

(e) “Regional Commissions” means the Regional Action Planning Commissions established pursuant to title V of the Public

Works and Economic Development Act of 1965. SEC. 4.2 (a) There is hereby established a Joint Commission on Guayule Research and Commercialization, hereinafter referred to as the Joint Commission. The function of the Joint Commission shall be to assist the Secretaries in carrying out the purposes of this Act.

(b) The Joint Commission shall consist of the following members: Three individuals designated by the Secretary of Agriculture from among the staff of his Department; three individuals designated by the Secretary of Commerce at least two of whom shall be Federal Cochairmen of Regional Commissions engaged in the support of native latex research, development, demonstration, or commercialization activities and one of whom shall be selected from among the members of his Department; a representative of the Bureau of Indian Affairs of the Department of the Interior; and a representative of the National Science Foundation,

(c) The Joint Commission shall be headed by a Chairman. The Secretary of Agriculture shall designate one of the two members from his Department to serve as Joint Commission Chairman during the first two-year period following the enactment of this Act, and the Secretary of Commerce shall designate one of the two members from his Department as Joint Commission Chairman during the second two-year period following the enactment of this Act. And the same process of designating Joint Commission Chairmen shall be followed in ensuing years.

(d) The Secretaries may delegate to the Joint Commission one or more of their responsibilities under this Act and transfer to the Joint Commission funds appropriated to carry out the purposes of this Act as they deem appropriate to achieve the purposes of this Act, and the Joint Commission is authorized to carry out such functions and expend such funds to achieve the purposes of the Act. (e) The Joint Commission shall

(1) develop a plan establishing goals, timetables, and tasks to be undertaken in carrying out the purposes of this Act; 17 U.S.C. 178a. *7 C.S.C. 178b.

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(2) establish broad policy for implementing the plan carrying out the purposes of this Act;

(3) establish criteria for evaluating and awarding contracts for research, development, and demonstration projects; and

(4) review and advise the Secretaries with respect to grants, contracts, and other project expenditures. (f) The Secretaries are authorized to provide without reimbursement such administrative support services, including the detail of staff personnel not to exceed a total of five persons from each Department, as the Joint Commission may need to carry out its functions.

(g) One year after the enactment of this Act, and each year thereafter, the Joint Commission shall provide to the Congress a report on the implementation of the Act. Such report shall (1) recommend specific directions for further research, development, and other work, and (2) recommend funding levels for various elements of the overall project.

(h) To the maximum extent possible, the Secretaries and the Joint Commission shall seek the advice of the scientific, engineering and business communities with respect to the activities carried out under this Act. The Secretaries and the Commission shall specifically seek the advice of persons with expertise in appropriate fields of agricultural research in land grant colleges and other universities, in State agricultural experiment stations, and in other appropriate organizations; and persons with expertise in rubber manufacturing and commerce in private enterprise and other appropriate organizations.

SEC. 5.3 The Secretary of Agriculture shall conduct, sponsor, promote, and coordinate basic and applied research, technology development, and technology transfer leading to effective and economical methods for large-scale culturing of plantations and the extraction of latex from Parthenium or other hydrocarbon-containing plants. Such research shall include, but not be limited to

(a) carrying out extensive seed collections from wild plants in Texas, Mexico, and other areas and borrowing or purchasing seeds from other sources;

(b) developing a stockpile of Parthenium seeds, such stockpile to be appropriately classified and stored at a suitable facility;

(c) carrying out breeding and selection programs for the purpose of improving latex yields, expanding insect and disease resistance, and broadening the ranges of drought and cold tolerance of the Parthenium plant;

(d) establishing a system of experimental plantings in arid and semiarid regions of the United States having suitable climatic and soil conditions for the culture of Parthenium;

(e) carrying out specific studies on the effects of irrigation on plant growth and latex yield and survival potential;

(f) developing equipment needed to carry out nursery operations, planting, cultivating, harvesting, transporting the crop, and other necessary agricultural activities;

(g) further refining present extraction technologies and future extraction technologies, including technologies which utilize solar energy; and

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37 U.S.C. 178c.

(h) establishing and maintaining a bank of all pertinent research data on native latex including extant United States Government publications and records from the emergency rubber project. Such data shall be made available to other Federal and State agencies and private persons who are interested or involved

in native latex research, development, or manufacture. Sec. 6.* The Secretary of Commerce is authorized and directed to initiate and carry out research, technology development, technology transfer, and demonstration projects to test and demonstrate the economic feasibility of the manufacture and commercialization of natural rubber from Parthenium or other hydrocarbon-containing plants. Such research may be carried out through the Regional Commissions or otherwise and shall include but not be limited to

(a) conducting research and development on extraction and processing techniques;

(b) economic analysis of the production of native latex, including usable byproducts;

(c) studying the environmental, social, and economic impacts of the commercial development of native latex;

(d) evaluating the commercial marketability of Parthenium and rubber derived from other hydrocarbon-containing plants;

(e) further refining present extraction and manufacturing technologies and future extraction and manufacturing technologies, including technologies which utilize solar energy; and

(f) developing pertinent material and records on manufacturing of natural rubber which shall be available to other Federal and State agencies and private persons, who are interested in or

involved in natural rubber development, or manufacture. Sec. 7. The Secretaries, in consultation with the Secretary of State, are authorized and encouraged to enter into cooperative projects with the Government of Mexico in order to accomplish appropriate aspects of the research and development provided for in this Act. Such cooperative projects should include, but not be limited to, projects to determine the economic feasibility of latex extraction and processing.

Sec. 8.6 The Secretaries are authorized to accept financial or other assistance from any State or public agency to aid in carrying out the provisions of this Act and to enter into contracts with respect to such assistance and to enter into agreements with any State or public agency for the purpose of demonstrating, transferring, or applying results of research or methods of economic development relating to native latex.

Sec. 9.? In carrying out the provisions of this Act, the Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to

(a) make grants to States, education institutions, scientific organizations, and the Indian tribes as defined in the Indian SelfDetermination and Education Assistance Act (Public Law 93– 638, 25 U.S.C. 450), and enter into contracts with such institutions and organizations and with industrial or engineering firms;

(b) acquire the services of biologists, agronomists, foresters, geneticists, chemists, engineers, economists, and other personnel by (c) utilize the facilities of Federal and State scientific laboratories;

contract or otherwise; +7 U.S.C. 178d.

57 U.S.C. 178e. +7 U.S.C. 1788. 17 U.S.C. 178g.

(d) establish and operate necessary facilities and plantations to carry out the continuous research, testing, development, and programing necessary to effectuate the purposes of this Act;

(e) acquire secret processes, technical data, inventions, patent applications, patents, licenses, land and interest in land (including water rights), facilities, and other property or rights by purchase, license, lease, or donation;

(f) assemble and maintain pertinent and current literature and publications, patents and licenses, land and interests in land;

(g) cause onsite inspections to be made of promising projects, domestic or foreign, and, in the case of projects located in the United States, cooperate and participate in their development when the Secretary determines that the purpose of this Act will be served thereby;

(h) foster and participate in regional, national, and international conferences relating to native latex culture;

(i) coordinate, correlate, and publish information with a view to advancing the development of native latex technology; and

(j) cooperate with other Federal departments and agencies, with State and local departments, agencies, and instrumentalities,

and with interested persons, firms, institutions, and organizations. Sec. 10. In carrying out the provisions of this section, the Secretary of Commerce, acting through the Regional Commissions or otherwise, is authorized to

(a) make grants to States, education institutions, scientific organizations, and Indian tribes as defined in the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (Public Law 93–638, 25 U.S.C. 450), and enter into contracts with such institutions and organizations and with industrial or engineering firms;

(b) acquire the services of biologists, agronomists, foresters, geneticists, engineers, economists, and other personnel by contract or otherwise;

(c) utilize the facilities of Federal and State institutions and other scientific laboratories;

(d) establish and operate necessary facilities and pilot plants to carry out the continuous research, testing, development, and programing necessary to effectuate the purposes of this section;

(e) acquire secret processes, technical data, invention, patent applications, patents, licenses, land and interests in land (including water rights), plants and facilities, and other property or rights by purchase, license, lease, or donation; and

(f) foster and participate in regional, national, and international conferences relating to natural rubber manufacture. Sec. 11. In carrying out the provisions of this Act, the Secretaries and the Joint Commission shall insure that their activities are closely coordinated with the activities of other Federal agencies such as the Department of the Interior, National Science Foundation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of Energy, Department of Defense, Treasury Department, Federal Preparedness Agency, and others in order

87 U.S.C. 178h. $7 U.S.C. 1781.

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