biomass GHG

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a formal proposal to defer the Clean Air Act permitting requirements for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from bioenergy and other biogenic sources for three years. On Jan. 12, 2011, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announced that the exception for biomass sources would be made, and March 14, 2011 marks the beginning of the three-year extension.

The decision to defer biomass from the ruling was made as a result of public comments collected from EPA’s call for information beginning in July 2010.

New EPA guidance
is being provided to help permitting authorities determine that using biomass as a fuel can be considered the best available control technology for CO2 emissions from the large sources needing permits. The guidance can be used until EPA takes final action on the deferral.

Sources covered by this proposal would include facilities that emit CO2 from burning forest or agricultural products for energy, wastewater treatment, waste management (landfills), and fermentation processes for ethanol production. Facilities meeting the requirements under the agency’s greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting program will still need to report their CO2 emissions.

Beginning on January 2, 2011, the Clean Air Act required large plants and factories planning to make major modifications or build new facilities to obtain pre-construction permits addressing their GHG emissions.

EPA will accept comments on the proposed deferral for 45 days following publication in the Federal Register. For more information, visit .

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