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Read PFI’s Submitted Comments Regarding Minimum Pellet Fuel Requirements in the NSPS

In the PFI’s ongoing efforts to eliminate the inclusion of minimum pellet fuel requirements from federal regulation the organization submitted extensive written comments outlining the legal justification for its position. These comments are the culmination of nearly four years of ongoing work on this issue and clearly and articulately outline the PFI’s position.

Read our comments now. 

Past PFI Chair Stephen Faehner Testifies at EPA NSPS Hearing

December 17, 2018 (Washington, DC)--On Monday, December 17 past Pellet Fuels Institute (PFI) and American Wood Fiber President and CEO Stephen Faehner testified at a public hearing regarding the recently proposed amendments and call for comments on the Standards of Performance for New Residential Wood Heaters, New Residential Hydronic Heaters, and Forced-Air Furnaces

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Stephen Faehner's Public Hearing Statement

My name is Stephen Faehner and I am President and CEO of American Wood Fibers in Columbia, Maryland.  I am also past-Chairman of the Pellet Fuels Institute (PFI).
My family started selling sawdust in 1919.  My father founded American Wood Fibers in 1966 and we produce a number of consumer, industrial and agricultural products, including PFI certified pellets.  I am here today because of the importance of EPA regulations to the future of the pellet fuel industry.  
PFI was incorporated in 1985, representing approximately 40 fuel producers which have thousands of employees.  PFI serves as a leading forum for sharing expertise regarding residential and commercial densified biomass.  Prior to EPA’s 2015 new source performance standard (NSPS) regulations, PFI established industry-leading standards for pellet fuel that remain in effect today and are publicly available.  
Pellet fuels represent the cleanest burning alternative in the wood heating sector; they have been used in a number of communities to reduce particulate matter and are often part of wood stove “changeout” programs, designed to spur replacement of older equipment.  Yet despite this success -- and despite 30 years of PFI’s efforts in this area -- EPA’s NSPS regulations unfairly treat pellet fuel as though it was “dirtiest” wood fuel available, imposing exponentially more regulation on this fuel than any other.
Let me give you a few examples of this regulatory overkill:
  • Under the NSPS, pellet sizes are regulated down to a thousandth of an inch.  If pellets vary from size standards, they cannot be used in certified stoves. 
  • EPA’s current regulations define 34 different requirements for pellet fuel, compared with just 7 requirements for chip wood and no specifications at all for cord wood, by far the largest fuel source in the NSPS category.  EPA illogically applies the most onerous regulations to the cleanest fuel.
  • Homeowners and even casual operators of pellet fuels are potentially subject to fines of $37,500 per day if they use non-compliant pellet fuel.  Under EPA’s regulations, consumer “misfueling” of a pellet stove is a violation of Clean Air Act.
  • EPA’s 2015 analysis shows particulate matter and volatile organic baseline emissions from pellet stoves to be far below the 2020, Step 2 controlled emissions for almost all other categories.  This seriously undermines EPA’s entire rationale for the standards.
Perhaps equally troubling from an industry standpoint is that EPA’s detailed requirements lock current technology in stone.  Manufacturers cannot vary from federal specifications or their fuel will be strictly prohibited from being used in certified pellet stoves.  Presumably, if new investments were made and new pellet fuels were developed, the certified pellet stove market would be forever closed off unless EPA decided to act through a lengthy and uncertain regulatory process.  This frankly destroys any industry incentive to innovate.
PFI will submit written comments that address our concerns in more detail, but EPA’s proposed rule squarely seeks comment on whether the Agency has legal authority to establish pellet fuel requirements pursuant to Clean Air Act section 111.  Here, the answer is “no.”
For example, EPA states that under Clean Air Act section 111(b)(5), the Agency cannot not “prescribe a specific technology that must be used to comply with a standard or performance.”  Yet this is exactly what EPA’s pellet fuel requirements do.  They are part of a prohibited system of continuous emission control.
Even if EPA’s standards could pass legal muster, the standards cannot be justified on the basis of cost.  EPA’s analysis shows that VOC reductions anticipated from pellet requirements would cost $112,894 per ton – as compared with a cost of $334 per ton from other wood stoves.  Such an extreme imbalance is, on its face, arbitrary and capricious.
As a matter of law and a matter of regulatory policy, EPA should reject any supposed “need” for highly prescriptive regulatory standards for pellet fuel.  This is even more so given that vibrant industry standards exist and, in fact, were in place before EPA decided to impose regulations.
In brief, the errors that EPA committed in the 2015 rule must be corrected both as a matter of law and common sense.
I thank you for your time and ask you to resolve this matter in an expeditious fashion by eliminating 40 C.F.R. 60.532(e) and 60.5474(e) in their entirety.

Pellet Fuels Institute Launches Pellet Heat Social Media Beta Test In Multiple Markets

Initiative part of a broader effort to increase consumer awareness of wood pellet heat and increase the number of wood pellet appliances sold each year.

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Hearth & Home Features BBQ Bob and Dansons New Partnership

Dansons, Inc. announces a new partnership with the Godfather of Pellet Grills, or as we know him from the 2018 PFI Annual Conference, BBQ Bill! 

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PFI Conference Featured in the Biomass Magazine

Members of the Pellet Fuels Institute gathered in Myrtle Beach, SC, to discuss growing the market for residential pellet stoves, policies to help achieve growth and the mainstream approach of grilling to expose pellets to a wider audience.

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Biomass Magazine Explains Key Changes to Proposition 65

California’s notorious Prop 65 has cost wood product manufacturers around the country millions of dollars, and an upcoming requirement could exacerbate the issue. 

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Only three weeks until the PFI Conference - Register by June 20

The 2018 PFI  Annual Conference is only a short time away! Are you intrigued by "Operation 100k"? Are you ready for an updated conference with brand new content? Do you want to be an active part of PFI's strategic vision? Have you registered yet? 

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Date Extended! Register by April 30 for a Chance to Win a Pellet Grill

The PFI Annual Conference highlights the various applications of densified biomass, as well as trends and best practices within the densified biomass industry. It attracts a broad range of individuals from the public and private sectors, academia, and local, state and national governments from North America and beyond. The conference features two days of educational sessions as well as industry exhibits, extensive networking opportunities, and a golf tournament. 

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Pellet Fuels Institute Welcomes Tim Portz as Executive Director

Pellet Fuels Institute Welcomes Tim Portz as Executive Director

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U.S. Forest Service, Bioenergy Industry and Supporters Mark Fifth Annual Bioenergy Day with Record Participation

U.S. Forest Service, Bioenergy Industry and Supporters Mark Fifth Annual Bioenergy Day with Record Participation
60 Organizations Participating in 50 Events in United States and Canada to Recognize the Benefits of Heat, Power and Fuels from Organic Materials

 


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PFI Announces Qualification of PA Pellets into PFI Standards Program

CONTACT: 
Carrie Annand
[email protected]
(202) 494-2493




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What is Happening with the PFI’s Lawsuit Against the EPA?

If you remember back to February 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued controversial New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) under authority of the Clean Air Act that further regulated New Residential Wood Heaters and, for the first time, regulated Wood Pellet Fuels.  The goal behind these new standards was to reduce the emissions from new wood burning appliances; standards for wood burning appliances were last updated by EPA in 1988.

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PFI Responds to Boston Globe Biomass Article

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Executive Director Search for PFI

Job Overview: The Pellet Fuels Institute Executive Director Reports to the PFI Board of Directors to fulfill the association’s mission. The ED is the key staff member and responsible for communicating effectively with the Board and providing, in a timely and accurate manner, all information necessary for the Board to function properly and to make informed decisions. The ED oversees PFI’s fiscal management and oversees the PFI staff, anticipates operating within the approved budget, ensures maximum resource utilization, and maintenance of the organization in a positive financial position. The ED will also work with the PFI Board of Directors, Committees and staff to ensure that the mission is fulfilled through membership, programs, strategic planning and community outreach. The ED is expected to have good written and oral communication skills as well as strong public speaking ability. Other specific job duties follow.

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Sponsor News

Platinum Sponsors

Uzelac

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Registration Now Open for the 2017 PFI Annual Conference

Registration is now open for the 2017 conference, July 23-25 in Stowe, Vermont! The PFI Annual Conference highlights the various applications of densified biomass, as well as trends and best practices within the densified biomass industry. It attracts a broad range of individuals from the public and private sectors, academia, and local, state and national governments from North America and beyond. The conference features two days of educational sessions as well as industry exhibits, extensive networking opportunities and a golf tournament. The golf tournament is a great way to experience some friendly competition with your friends and colleagues in the industry while playing on a top-notch course. 

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Pellet Fuels Institute Announces Qualification of 20th Pellet Fuels Producer into PFI Standards Program

CONTACT: 
Carrie Annand
[email protected]
(202) 494-2493




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Appalachian Wood Pellets Qualifies for PFI Standards Program

CONTACT: 
Carrie Annand
[email protected]
(202) 494-2493




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2017 Sponsorships Now Available

Are you interested in receiving valuable exposure for your company's brand? Consider taking advantage of PFI's multiple advertising and sponsorship opportunities for 2017. PFI is pleased to offer exhibitor/sponsor packages that will allow you to maximize your experience at PFI events and beyond. PFI members receive significant discounts to the various packages outlined. We have streamlined our sponsorship process to make it easier than ever. Take a look at the sponsorship opportunities and sign up today!