Nova Scotia proposes biomass reporting regulations

By Erin Voegele | August 01, 2013

The Canadian province of Nova Scotia has proposed new regulations that would require organizations that burn wood or wood byproducts to generate 250  kW or more of heat or electricity to register with the province. According to information released by the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources, the regulations would assist in maintaining a sustainable wood harvesting industry.

The proposed regulations are outlined in a discussion paper, titled “Revisions to Forests Act Regulations Affecting Forest and Wood Biomass Users,” that was released on July 24. Information published to the DNR website specifies the proposed regulatory amendments would ensure that all users of forest biomass are subject to the same rules. If the regulations are amended, industrial, commercial and institutional users of biomass would be required to report the amounts and origins of fuels they use. In some instances, they could also be required to provide a silviculture program and a wood acquisition plan. Under the regulations, biomass is defined as wood chips, sawdust, and shavings resulting from manufactured lumber. Those who purchase pellets and firewood would not be covered by the proposed amendments.

"As more bark and forestry byproducts are being used as renewable wood energy sources, we need to account for all of the new ways we use wood and wood byproducts in order to maintain a sustainable wood supply," said Natural Resources Minister Charlie Parker. "These proposed regulations would require some of those new users to plan and report on their consumption."

According to information included in the discussion paper, operators of boilers or firms that consume 5,000 cubic meters or more forest biomass would be required to report information to the DNR. So would those entities that acquire, import, or export secondary wood wastes to help manufacture pulp, paper or forest-biomass fuels, such as pellets or bio-oil.

The proposal would require operators of fuel boilers or furnaces with a capacity of 250 kW or larger to become registered buyers. Those with boilers that consume 1,000 cubic meters or less of primary forest products per year would be required to provide a simplified annual statistical report. Those that use greater than 1,000 cubic meters of primary forest products would be required to provide more detailed annual reports.

The proposed regulations would go into effect Jan. 1. Comment can be submitted through Sept. 20.