EPA issued guidance March 14, 2011, for determining best available control technology (BACT) for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at a bioenergy facility. The guidance establishes that wood, grass and other biomass as fuel can be considered BACT for CO2 for large new and modified air pollution sources. The guidance will apply until EPA completes an examination of the science associated with accounting for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from biomass.

With the guidance, EPA announced that it was proposing a rule to defer for three years GHG permitting requirements for new and modified industrial facilities that use wood, crop residue, grass, and other biomass energy. GHG permitting requirements for large new and modified sources took effect January 2, 2011, under prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) provisions of the Clean Air Act. PSD requires new and modified sources to control and obtain permits for regulated air-pollutant emissions, which must be determined using BACT at each facility. EPA will accept comments on the proposed rule for 45 days following its publication in the Federal Register. See BNA Daily Environment Report, March 15, 2011.