Pellet Wire

 The Pellet Fuels Institute's Weekly E-Newsletter

PFI Update: EPA releases NSPS Rule; Final Call for Conference Speakers

February 6, 2015

EPA Releases NSPS Rule, Includes PFI Standards

On Wednesday, EPA released its New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) rule on residential wood heaters.

As we anticipated, the rule as stated includes language requiring the following:

  • “Operators of wood central heaters, including outdoor residential hydronic heaters, indoor residential hydronic heaters, and residential forced-air furnaces, that are certified to burn pellet fuels may only burn pellets that have been graded under a licensing agreement with a third-party organization approved by the EPA.” 

  • “Operators of [residential] wood heaters that are certified to burn pellet fuels must only burn pellets that have been specified in the owner’s manual and graded under a licensing agreement with a third-party organization approved by the EPA.”

The rule goes on to name the Pellet Fuels Institute as an approved third-party organization, which recognizes the PFI Standards Program as a qualified quality assurance program for the rule’s implementation. We are pleased that PFI was included in this rule. The PFI standard is the only standard that has been developed over many years here in the United States – with input from the EPA – to specifically serve North American pellet fuel manufacturers by requiring ongoing, timely testing intended to best protect consumers in the United States and help facilitate the NSPS goal of achieving cleaner air quality for all Americans.

It is important to note that while the rule has been signed by EPA, we do not anticipate that the rule will be published in the Federal Register until early March. The rule is not in effect until 60 days after its publication.

PFI leadership continues to review the rule and will be providing its analysis once that review is complete.

Further Reading:

To view the full rule and accompanying fact sheets, please visit EPA’s NSPS page.

PFI’s statement on the NSPS rule can be found here.

Reminder: Comment on EIA Proposal to Collect Pellet Industry Data

As we reported to you previously, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is seeking public comment on a draft survey of densified biomass manufacturers.  As proposed, the survey would require pellet manufacturers  to report information to EIA monthly on a range of data related to facilities and operations, including production, inventory, and sales locally and nationally.

PFI is preparing comments to submit on behalf of the association. We encourage you to review the proposed survey and submit comments on behalf of your own businesses.

The full proposal can be found here. The public comment period ends March 2nd.

Please contact Jennifer Hedrick with questions or comments. 
REAP Stakeholder Forum Today

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will hold a stakeholder forum today at 1pm EST on the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). The forum, which may be attended in person in Washington, DC, or via Webinar, will focus on the changes to REAP outlined in the 2014 Farm Bill and highlight stakeholder successes. 

A meeting agenda and instructions on how to participate in the Webinar, can be found here.

Join PFI at Events this March 

Breakfast & Biomass

Join the Pellet Fuels Institute in Nashville, TN, on Friday, March 6 for Breakfast & Biomass: A Briefing on the Pellet Market. Held at HPBExpo, the breakfast offers a chance to meet with colleagues throughout the pellet industry and to dive in to a variety of timely topics, including:

The 2015 Policy Landscape

2014 Pellet Stove Shipment Report

Pellet Standards

Pellet Market Overview and Opportunities

For more information on how to register and to view the agenda, visit the PFI website.

Please note that all who wish to participate in the breakfast must be registered attendees of HPBExpo

**One breakfast attendee will take home a Louisiana Grills LG700 pellet grill. Thank you to Louisiana Grills and all of our breakfast sponsors: 


If you would like to learn how your company can become a sponsor of Breakfast and Biomass and other PFI initiatives, please click here to learn more.

PFI Standards Program Education

PFI is sponsoring an educational session on the PFI Standards Program at HPBExpo. Open to all attendees, this session will delve into the standards program and what it means for pellet producers, appliance manufacturers, retailers and consumers. Pre-registration is not required. 

PFI Standards Program Education
Friday, March 6
10:30am- 12:30pm
Music City Center, Nashville, TN

Deadline Today: PFI Seeking Speaker Abstracts

Thanks to each of you who submitted your ideas for topics to be covered at the 2015 PFI Annual Conference. The PFI Conference Committee has compiled your ideas into six categories, for which we are now seeking speakers.

1. The Global Pellet Market (e.g. economic impact, market opportunities in the U.S. and beyond, understanding the global supply chain, global concerns for existing and future pellet manufacturers, etc.)

2. Enhancing Pellet Operations (to include safety practices at the plant, improving specific aspects of production, best practices in operation, developing contracts, etc.)

3. Tools to Support Pellet Producers (technology based or others, e.g. database development and management, preventative maintenance software, safety training tools, etc.)

4. Industry Compliance (e.g. SFI, PERC, or FSC Sustainability; OHSA; PFI Standards; EPA Regulations, etc.)

5. Pellet Marketing and Promotion (e.g. cross industry marketing, grow markets, attracting international interest, improving understanding of biomass, etc.)

6. Open Category (for all proposals outside the scope of the above categories)

Please consider submitting abstract for one or more of the above categories. Deadline to submit an abstract is today. Submit your information through our online form.    

PFI Member Benefits 

Each week, new information is added to the Members Only section of the PFI website. Current members, you simply have to log in with your member name and password to access this information. If you haven’t renewed your membership for 2015, it just takes a few moments to do so right on the PFI website.

If you aren’t a member of PFI and want to take advantage of the numerous benefits PFI membership affords, please visit our website for more information. And, we encourage you to contact PFI staff to find out how PFI membership can benefit your businesses. 

Connect with PFI

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Fuel Availability

Are you a PFI member pellet manufacturer or distributor that has fuel available? Email [email protected] to have your listing updated or added to the PFI website.

Industry News

Wood Burning Ban Will Not Move Forward as Proposed
Utah Public Radio
With less than a week left for Northern Utahns to comment on a proposed winter wood burning ban, the Division of Air Quality (DAQ) is acknowledging that the proposal will not move forward as written.

DAQ Director Bryce Bird told legislators on Monday that the overwhelming feedback received at public hearings in the seven affected northern Utah counties has made it obvious that the proposed rule needs to head in a different direction.

The ban would prohibit the use of solid fuel burning devices for over four months every winter in seven northern Utah counties. The Utah DAQ is accepting comments through Feb. 9 and plans to make a decision or revise the rule before the beginning of the 2015/2016 winter inversion season...

Read the Full Article

Renewable energy policies drive production of southern wood pellets for bioenergy
A recently released study led by U.S. Forest Service scientists and published by the Forest Service's Southern Research Station (SRS) finds that policies in the European Union (EU) and elsewhere requiring the use of renewable and low greenhouse gas-emitting energy are driving demand for wood pellets used to generate bioenergy. This demand could provide new markets for U.S. timber exports, increase wood prices, and lead to increases in forestland area.

Karen Abt, research economist with the SRS Forest Economics and Policy unit is the lead author of the report. "Southern forests and some northern forests as well, are being used to produce pellets for export to the EU," she said. "Current and proposed production levels have the potential to increase prices, but may also lead to an increase in timberland area."

Read the Full Article

Rise in pellet exports to Asia
Canadian BIOMASS
Feb. 2, 2015 - Pellet exports from North America rose in the 3Q/14 after a stable first half of the year that could be characterized as a temporary plateau. While pellet exports to Europe were up just marginally, the increase to Asia was more noticeable. Up until 2014, more than 95% of wood pellets leaving US and Canadian ports were destined for Europe.

However, during 2014 there was a shift in Canadian exports from Europe to Asia, with pellet plants in British Columbia shipping record volumes to South Korea during the 3Q/14, as reported in the North American Wood Fiber Review. (Note. Due to irregularities with Customs data, NAWFR collects trade data from a number of sources including Canadian and US customs export data, European import data and from quarterly conversations with both pellet exporters and port contacts.)

Read the Full Article


Pellet Fuels Institute |  [email protected]   | 703.522.6778