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May 31, 2019

Senator Wyden Introduces Bill To Amend CAA Definition Of Renewable Biomass

Lynn L Bergeson

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On May 22, 2019, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced a bill (S. 1614) to amend the Clean Air Act (CAA) to modify the definition of “renewable biomass” under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).  The CAA currently prohibits the use of biomass from federal lands in the making of renewable fuels as defined by the RFS.  The bill would allow the use of biomass from certain federal lands needing ecological restoration in the making of renewable fuels.  The bill also is intended to make it financially feasible for private landowners to remove low-value brush that impacts wildlife habitats and poses fire risks.  Under the bill, all mill residuals — like sawdust and shavings — can be used for biofuels and it requires biomass harvested from federal lands to be done in accordance with all federal laws, regulations, and land-use plans and designations.