Catch up with PFI in this issue of the Pellet Wire!

August 9, 2019 

In This Week's Pellet Wire:


Executive Director's Notes: Wood Heaters Emissions Reduction Act Reintroduced

Late last month U.S. Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) reintroduced a bill that would fund the replacement of older wood heaters across the country, with newer cleaner-burning versions including wood pellet appliances. That said, the language of the legislation does not specifically endorse or identify any specific technology, instead leaving the matter of how to distribute the monies to states and tribal authorities. For me, this is where the Pellet Fuels Institute must get involved. The legislation calls for $75 million to be distributed to states to fund stove swap-out programs as they see fit. There are a few provisions written into the legislation most notably that replacement appliances must meet or fall below the Step 2 thresholds outlined in the NSPS. Considering most pellet appliances already fall below this threshold this bodes well for pellet appliances qualifying for state-administered swap out programs, but it isn’t a guarantee. 

For those of us in the industry, the clean-burning qualities of wood pellets are well understood, but are they to state and tribal air regulators? In some instances, most certainly, but there has been smaller stove swap out programs that treated wood pellet appliances differently than appliances that burn other fuels including gas. In some instances, the monies available for wood pellet appliances were less than others and in some programs wood pellet appliances weren’t eligible at all. If this legislation becomes law, it is vital that the air agencies responsible for designing and administering these swap-out programs fully understand how clean a modern wood pellet appliance burning a high-quality wood pellet can be.

Again, this is where the PFI must get involved. I was pleased to see Paul Miller, Executive Director of the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management, quoted in the official press release. He said, “Smoke from wood stoves is a pressing public health concern in the Northeast. There are advanced combustion and pollution control technologies now available that will reduce the public’s exposure to the air toxins and other pollutants in wood smoke and providing incentives to help people buy these modern wood appliances will be a boon to the device manufacturers and the public.” The PFI has established relationships inside of NESCAUM and those relationships will be important as we work to ensure wood pellet appliances get fair treatment should this bill find momentum and become law.

Who has jurisdiction over air quality in your state? I think we would all be well-advised to spend some time familiarizing ourselves with the air quality regulators in our respective states and begin a dialogue with them. We’ll be drafting letter templates for use by our members to reach out to those agencies and educate them about the clean-burning attributes of modern wood pellet appliances burning high-quality wood pellets. While the Wood Heaters Emissions Reductions Act has a ways to go before it becomes law, it is hard to argue with an effort to inform air regulators about the clean-air benefits of wood pellet heating now.

Tim Portz 
Executive Director

Save the Date!

Social Media Campaign Webinar on August 21 at 10 AM (CT)

PFI will be holding a webinar on this year’s pellet heating social media campaign on Wednesday, August 21st at 10 am Central Time. Stay tuned for more information. We hope you can make it, and encourage retailers to join as well! 

Send us Photos! 

 Photo of the Week


We’re building a collection of photos of our members, their pellets mills and product. Send them to Carrie Annand at [email protected]. This week's featured photo is from Georgia Biomass.

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We'd like to connect and interact with PFI members and anyone else involved in pellet fuels production! 

Here's how you can help us build our online community:

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Have News to Share on Pellet Wire?

We'd love to feature your company's news in a future Pellet Wire! We want to be the first to know your company's recent developments to share them with the wider pellet fuels industry.

Please get in touch with Carrie Annand via email at [email protected] with information on your company's growth, job openings, promotions, or other news. 

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Industry News

Wood pellets draw fire as alternative to coal (WSJ):

The wood-pellet business is thriving based on the argument that trees are a clean-energy alternative to coal, but the science behind it is facing challenges from researchers who say cutting and burning trees takes a heavy environmental toll ...

Read Full Article

Sen. Yaw’s August Program Showcases Barefoot Flooring and Barefoot Pellet Companies in Troy (  

This month, “A Conversation with Senator Gene Yaw (R-23)” tours Barefoot Brand Hardwood Flooring and Barefoot Pellet companies, headquartered in Troy, Bradford County, Pennsylvania.

Located in the scenic Endless Mountains, both companies manufacture some of the highest quality hardwood flooring and wood pellets in the industry ...

Read Full Article

Curran shipping 10,000 tons of wood pellets to Denmark from Ogdensburg port (North Country Now, New York): 

Read Full Article


Pellet Fuels Institute

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