Nova Scotia Seeks Feedback on Biomass Regulations
Nova Scotia is considering new regulations that would make it easier to maintain a sustainable wood harvesting industry and is looking for feedback from the people of Nova Scotia. This fulfills yet another commitment met though the province’s first Natural Resources Strategy.
“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.”
Under the proposed regulations, organizations that burn wood or wood byproducts to generate 250 kilowatts or more of heat or electricity would need to register with the province. Reporting requirements for those using less than 1,000 cubic metres would be less stringent than for larger users.
To further simplify reporting requirements, those who have multiple businesses using biomass can submit one annual wood purchasing plan that covers all of the businesses.
Biomass users that consume more than 5,000 cubic metres would have to provide the province with an annual wood purchase plan and contribute to silviculture programs needed to keep the woodlands sustainable.
Biomass used to heat homes, regardless of whether they are private or publicly owned, owner-occupied or rentals, single- or multi-family homes, would be exempt from the proposed reporting and silviculture requirements.
“Having the best information on where wood fibre is flowing within the province allows industry and government to continue the sustainable supply of fibre we currently have,” said Jeff Bishop, executive director of the Forest Products Association of Nova Scotia. “With biomass playing an increasing role in our renewable energy mix, it’s important those energy producers also understand the role they play in the big picture of wood fibre use across the province.”
On July 18, the province delivered on its commitment to ban whole- and full-tree harvesting to keep Nova Scotia’s forests sustainable. The move had the support of a broad spectrum of stakeholders including the Ecology Action Centre and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.
The proposed biomass regulations would not go into effect until Jan. 1, so that fibre users have time to prepare. Biomass users would need to register with the province this year and report on their 2013 wood use by the end of February.
A discussion paper and instructions on how to respond to it are posted at www.novascotia.ca/natr. Comments can be submitted until Sept. 20.
Source: Government of Nova Scotia
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