EPA Sends Letter To New Hampshire Governor On Treatment Of Biomass And Forest Products Industry
During a visit to New Hampshire on February 13, 2018, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt provided Governor Chris Sununu (R-NH) a letter announcing EPA's efforts to work towards a carbon-neutral policy for biomass and clarify federal procurement recommendations for responsibly managed forests. According to Pruitt, EPA recognizes the importance of the forest products industry to the State of New Hampshire and is focused on clarifying regulations that were encumbering the industry. Following the passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017, which directs EPA to recognize proactively forest biomass as a renewable agency source and establish policies that reflect its carbon neutrality, a multi-agency effort was initiated between EPA, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to establish a mechanism for federal cooperation and consistency on the use of biomass. To support this effort, EPA aims to ensure its federal procurement recommendations encompass the broad reach of responsibly managed forests and ensure parity with or deferral to the USDA mandatory purchasing requirements established under the Biopreferred Program. Additionally, EPA is incorporating into its ongoing review of, and improvement to, Clean Air Act permitting programs a concerted effort to develop a range of options consistent with a carbon-neutral policy for biomass from forests and other lands and sectors.