EPA has announced a plan to defer, for three years, greenhouse gas (GHG) permitting requirements for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from biomass-fired and other biogenic sources. According to the agency, the time will be used to seek further independent scientific analysis and then develop a rulemaking as to how these emissions should be treated in determining whether a Clean Air Act permit is required.

Carbon dioxide emissions from bio-mass fired and other biogenic sources are generated during the combustion or decomposition of biologically based material. Sources include facilities that emit CO2 as a result of burning forest or agricultural products for energy, wastewater treatment and livestock management facilities, landfills, and fermentation processes for ethanol production. During the interim period, the agency will seek input on relevant scientific issues from within and outside of government. The agency will also further consider the more than 7,000 comments it received from its July 2010 Call for Information. See EPA Press Release, January 12, 2011.