PFI delivers testimony to OMB on pellet requirements of EPA rule

By Pellet Fuels Institute | February 26, 2020

On Feb. 24, Pellet Fuels Institute Executive Director Tim Portz, Board Chairman John Utter (Lignetics) and Past-Chair Stephen Faehner (American Wood Fibers) testified at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) about the impact to pellet manufacturers of the inclusion of minimum pellet fuel requirements in the New Source Performance Standards, a contentious piece of air quality regulation originally introduced in 2015.

The regulation impacts solid fuel heating appliances and the fuels they burn through reduced emissions thresholds, deadlines for selling non-compliant appliances and minimum pellet fuel requirements. “The PFI’s position on this regulation remains unchanged from where it was when the rule was first promulgated. The federal register is not the right, nor legal vehicle to carry minimum pellet fuel requirements into the marketplace,” Portz said. “These regulations are arbitrary, place a regulatory burden on pellet manufacturers uniquely and do nothing to advance the aims of the Clean Air Act.”

This meeting follows a sit down meeting the PFI and its members had in November of 2019 with Anne Idsal, acting assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation regarding the same issue. “We’re doing everything we can to make it clear how misguided the inclusion of these standards in the federal code is,” said Portz. “Our hope is that after five years of effort our arguments will bear fruit and the requirements will be excised from the rule.”

The final rule is complete and has been submitted to OMB for their final review. Impacted parties are permitted to appeal to the staff at OMB and several affiliated trade associations including the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association and the National Wood Pallet & Container Association have offered or are scheduled to offer their own testimony.

“This is a case study in misguided regulatory overreach and how long the journey to resolving these situations can be,” said Portz. “We’re in our sixth year and second administration with this and we’re hopeful for a positive outcome.”

Read a copy of the testimony offered by Portz.