Canadian Biomass Magazine

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Wood pellet standards to be made mandatory

Oct. 15, 2010 – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is aiming to regulate the quality of pellet fuel purchased in the United States.


October 15, 2010
By Heather Hager


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Oct. 15, 2010 – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is aiming to regulate
the quality of pellet fuel purchased in the United States. This move is part of
the process in revising its New Source Performance Standards for new
residential wood heaters under the Clean Air Act. These standards
haven’t been updated since they were first introduced in 1988.

The
revised regulations will require all new residential wood heating appliances to
meet strict emissions limits, which are affected by stove design and, to an
extent, by fuel quality. Specific industry standards for pellet fuel could be
in effect by early 2012, according to a presentation given to PFI by EPA’s Gil
Wood in March 2010.

The
U.S.-based Pellet Fuels Institute (PFI) has been working to modernize its
voluntary pellet fuel standards for some time (see Canadian Biomass March/April 2010:
Improving Pellet Standards). So rather than
developing new standards from scratch, the EPA asked PFI to modify its proposed
pellet fuel standards to meet regulatory requirements. This new format is based
on an accredited auditing structure involving a certification body and
accredited third-party auditors and testing laboratories.

According
to a recent newsletter, PFI is hoping to have all related documents complete by
fall 2010 so that the program can be implemented as soon as possible. Program
details and related documents are posted on the Standards section of the PFI
website: pelletheat.org/pfi-standards/what-are-the-pfi-standards/.


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