At the 2017 Pellet Fuels Institute annual conference on July 24 in Stowe, Vermont, on behalf of the PFI Standards Program, I provided an update to convey general logistical program information, as well as to notify everyone of some upcoming changes. For those not able to attend, I will provide a summary in this column.
For the past several months, PFI has been in discussion with the Northeastern States for Coordinated Air Use Management and other northeastern state regulatory representatives, as it pertains to the use of wood pellets within the region. It was brought to our attention that various Northeast states are planning to develop state-level requirements for the use of wood pellets. We were informed that while they felt most aligned with the PFI Standards Program for use in assuring quality requirements, there were some components that needed to be addressed before the program could be referenced for this purpose.
While there were several components identified for discussion, the majority were determined acceptable as is, once we explained how the item was being addressed within the program. This included questions concerning inclusion of bark, use of additives, concerns about pellet size (length in particular), and handling of nonconforming product. There were two areas of concern in which it was agreed changes were necessary—the use of the term De Minimis, and provisions for the testing of metals.