Solar and wind energy basically cornered the market on clean energy here in the United States until recently. The Environmental Protection Agency decided to recognize another form of clean and renewable energy that some say will benefit the state of Georgia — forest biomass energy. During a time when many are concerned about the direction of environmental law, the Georgia Forestry Association applauded the EPA’s decision by saying that it would be good for the state.
Georgia has millions of acres of privately-owned working forests. The communities around those forests may benefit from greater economic viability, sustainability and health due to biomass energy markets that receive a boost from the EPA’s latest announcement. Forest biomass is said to be a carbon neutral and renewable source of energy.
The state’s Forestry Association believes the announcement will encourage the owners of forested land to keep their land covered in trees. It may also cause more growth in the market for trees with a small diameter. Research shows that forests have a long-term carbon cycle and documents that forest biomass energy provides significant carbon benefits. In addition, managing the sustainability of forests helps reduce the impact of greenhouse gases on the planet.
The EPA’s decision could cause more owners of forest land here in Georgia to get into the biomass energy market. Even though it is now recognized as a clean energy source, any operations would still need to comply with both federal and state environmental laws, rules and regulations. Before moving forward with any plans, it may be advantageous to work with an environmental law attorney who can help ensure that any future or existing operations will not cause any foreseeable legal entanglements in the future.
Source: benzinga.com, “Georgia Forestry Association Applauds EPA Administrator for Recognizing Carbon Benefits of Woody Biomass“, April 23, 2018