Renewable Biomass Mandate

One of the most dramatic changes to the RFS under RFS 2 is the requirement that all qualifying renewable fuels be produced with “renewable biomass.”  Renewable biomass is defined as follows.

Renewable biomass means each of the following:

(1) Planted crops and crop residue harvested from existing agricultural land.

(2) Planted trees and slash from a tree plantation located on non-federal land (including land belonging to an Indian tribe or an Indian individual that is held in trust by the U.S. or subject to a restriction against alienation imposed by the U.S.) that was cleared at any time prior to December 19, 2007, and has been continuously actively managed since December 19, 2007.  Active management is evidenced by any of the following:

(i) Records of sales of planted trees or slash, or records of purchases of seeds, seedlings, or other nursery stock.

(ii) A written management plan for silvicultural purposes.

(iii) Documented participation in a silvicultural program administered by a Federal, state, or local government agency.

(iii) Documented management in accordance with a certification program for silvicultural products.

(3) Animal waste material and animal byproducts.

(4) Slash and pre-commercial thinnings from non-federal forestland (including forestland belonging to an Indian tribe or an Indian individual, that are held in trust by the United States or subject to a restriction against alienation imposed by the United States) that is not ecologically sensitive forestland.

(5) Biomass (organic matter that is available on a renewable or recurring basis) obtained from within 200 feet of buildings, campgrounds, and other areas regularly occupied by people, or of public infrastructure, such as utility corridors, bridges, and roadways, in areas at risk of wildfire.

(6) Algae.

(7) Separated yard waste or food waste, including recycled cooking and trap grease.

42 U.S.C. § 80.1401.

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