WASHINGTON – The composite wood panel industry continues to be concerned about how the Biomass Crop Assistance Program might impact the supply of raw materials used to make particleboard, MDF and other products.

Industry’s concerns are detailed in an article published Sunday, March 21, by The Oregonian. Tom Julia, president of the Composite Panel Assn., and David Leding, plant manager at Flakeboard’s Albany, OR, plant are among those who fear that the same sawmills and other sources that supply “clean” material to panel manufacturing plants might find it more profitable to sell that same material to bioenergy plants.

Under the BACP, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, producers of sawdust, wood chips and other eligible materials would be paid a subsidy - up to $45 a ton - to be transported to an approved biomass conversion plant. The panel industry is lobbying for the rule to be changed so that those materials would not be eligible for the subsidy.

A public comment period on the proposed rule change ends April 9.

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