AF&PA, American Wood Council welcome EPA's Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials proposed rule, which would add processed construction and demolition wood, paper recycling residuals, creosote-treated railroad ties to list of recognized non-waste fuels

WASHINGTON , March 26, 2014 (press release) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued its Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials (NHSM) proposed rule, expanding the list of materials that are recognized as “non-waste fuels” to include processed construction and demolition (C&D) wood, paper recycling residuals, and creosote-treated railroad ties.

With the listing of these materials, paper and wood products manufacturing facilities are one step closer to having the needed assurance that these fuels can be used in industrial boilers rather than having them disposed of through incineration or landfill.

“We welcome EPA’s listing of paper recycling residuals and railroad ties as fuels, which provide substantial energy value to our facilities,” said American Forest & Paper Association President and CEO Donna Harman. “On average, about two-thirds of the energy we use is produced on site from renewable biomass, and these additions help reduce our reliance on non-renewable fuel sources.”

“Structures made from wood store carbon for a very long time; at the end of their useful life, these renewable construction materials also can be used to produce biobased energy,” said American Wood Council President and CEO Robert Glowinski. “EPA’s listing of C&D materials diverts used materials from landfills, allows for capture of the inherent energy value, and lessens the reliance on fossil-based fuels. As an industry, we appreciate the clarity today’s decision provides for our air regulation compliance strategies.”

Manufacturing facilities rely on the NHSM listing to determine whether they are regulated under EPA’s boiler maximum achievable control technology rule or under the agency’s commercial and industrial solid waste incinerators rule. AF&PA and AWC will carefully review the details of the proposal and provide additional information during the comment period to support and potentially expand the proposed listings.

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The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) serves to advance a sustainable U.S. pulp, paper, packaging, and wood products manufacturing industry through fact-based public policy and marketplace advocacy. AF&PA member companies make products essential for everyday life from renewable and recyclable resources and are committed to continuous improvement through the industry’s sustainability initiative - Better Practices, Better Planet 2020. The forest products industry accounts for approximately 4 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures approximately $210 billion in products annually, and employs nearly 900,000 men and women. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $50 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 47 states. Visit AF&PA online at or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper.

The American Wood Council (AWC) is the voice of North American traditional and engineered wood products, representing over 75 percent of the industry. From a renewable resource that absorbs and sequesters carbon, the wood products industry makes products that are essential to everyday life and employs over one-third of a million men and women in well-paying jobs. AWC's engineers, technologists, scientists, and building code experts develop state-of-the-art engineering data, technology, and standards on structural wood products for use by design professionals, building officials, and wood products manufacturers to assure the safe and efficient design and use of wood structural components. AWC also provides technical, legal, and economic information on wood design, green building, and manufacturing environmental regulations advocating for balanced government policies that sustain the wood products industry. Visit AWC online at or follow us on Twitter @woodcouncil.

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