EPA Changes rules on using forest residue

medium_Residue courtesy FPA, 13 July, 2013_0.pngThe North Coast Forests Taskforce has welcomed the announcement by the NSW EPA that the NSW Government intends to change the rules to allow timber waste and residues – often called biomass - to be used for electricity generation. This waste comprises small branches and offcuts left over when trees are harvested and sawmill waste, such as chips and sawdust, that are generated by cutting round logs into square timbers.

EPA release

Ross Hampton, Chief Executive of the Australian Forest Products Association said that the use of biomass from by-products of timber harvesting and from the manufacturing of timber flooring, furniture, house frames etc. is actively encouraged in advanced countries such as Finland.
where it is recognised that using biomass is carbon neutral over the long term.

Mr Hampton said; ‘This common-sense move brings NSW in line with other
States and helps bring Australia up to speed with the rest of the developed world. ‘You can’t grow new coal, but you can grow new trees, recycling the CO2 in the atmosphere’.

The North Coast Forest Taskforce believes that using biomass is good for the environment as it displaces fossil fuels with a renewable carbon neutral resource. Trees absorb carbon-dioxide from the atmosphere and, when harvested, the products retain a large part of that carbon for the life of the product.

Photo courtesy of AFPA