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EPA Issues Biomass Carbon Neutrality Policy

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued last week a new policy on the carbon neutrality of forest biomass.  The policy makes clear that EPA’s position “in forthcoming regulatory actions will be to treat biogenic CO2 emissions resulting from the combustion of biomass from managed forests at stationary sources for energy production as carbon neutral.”  The policy document provides an extensive discussion of the rationale for the policy, and notes that it is in line with Congressional intent as found in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 and other Trump Administration executive orders. 

While EPA’s document signals a policy shift, it is not a regulatory action.  Any future regulatory changes that align with this policy will require full notice and comment.  EPA also makes clear that “technical, policy, legal and Congressional contexts may change over time and [EPA] plans to revisit the treatment of biogenic CO2 emissions at stationary sources as necessary.”  See EPA Biomass Policy.  More info: Jackson Morrill

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