AWC Statement on EPA's Guidance Document on the Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials Rule

Jul 12, 2011

WASHINGTON – American Wood Council President Robert Glowinski today issued the following statement addressing the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Comparable Contaminant Guidance Concept Paper for the Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials (NHSM) rule that would have EPA issuing "guidance documents" to determine which alternative materials might qualify as fuels.

"It is apparent the NHSM rule has significant issues to be addressed, and while we appreciate that EPA recognizes these serious problems, the substance of the rule must be corrected. We remain concerned that without legislation, the wood products industry will be unable to reasonably implement what has been proposed. Diverting millions of tons of biomass to landfills will force us to significantly increase our fossil fuel consumption at the environment's expense and put thousands of American jobs in jeopardy.

"Using guidance documents to amend the regulation lacks the clarity that businesses need to plan and invest millions of dollars necessary for long-term operational security in their facilities. While we will continue to work with EPA toward improving these rules, it is increasingly apparent that legislation is imperative to address these issues that continue to be discovered within rules that were hurried to meet the court deadline. Legislation remains as the sensible solution to allow for regulation that protects both the environment and jobs as our country's unemployment rate rises again. We urge Congress to pass H.R. 2250, staying implementation of the rule, clarifying that biomass residuals are not waste, and granting EPA the time they need to get it right."