Oregon Senate passes biomass inventory bill

By Anna Austin | April 28, 2011

The Oregon Senate has passed a bill that would require the state forestry department to perform inventories of potential woody biomass resources for energy production.

Currently there is a lack of such data, specifically in northeast Oregon, on private forestlands, in the agricultural sector and in municipal waste resources, according to the Senate Majority Office.

State Sen. Joanna Verger is the chief sponsor of SB 862, which would serve the purpose of allowing investors and other stakeholders to improve planning for future biomass energy projects by accessing comprehensive and detailed information about the location and amount of wood fuel available across the state.

The bill would also allow the state forestry department to enter into contracts and leases to allow the sale, exploration, collection, processing, storage and stockpiling of biomass from state forestlands for conversion into energy or biofuel. In order to ensure that forestlands are not overused and that an ongoing inventory of biomass is available, the department would also be required to determine the supply of woody biomass available on a sustainable basis.

SB 862 will now go to the Oregon House.