Shelagh Connelly, RMI President, has been actively involved with the NH DES Waste Management Division’s efforts to update regulations governing the state’s wood ash beneficial use program.
Wood ash generated by biomass facilities using only clean wood for fuel has long been a source of potassium for farmers throughout New England. With the changes in the economy and pricing structure for purchasing electricity, several institutions have turned to wood fuel to meet all or part of their internal needs. Predominant among this group are schools and hospitals—organizations with significant infrastructure and the ability to manage a wood fired boiler on-site.
While the benefits to these facilities are large enough to warrant the investment, the current program does not provide a management structure for the relatively small quantities of wood ash that will be generated. A focus on the revisions to Env-Wm 1700 is to enable small quantity generators to have confidence in the quality of the ash produced and to participate in the existing beneficial use program.
Rulemaking is ongoing and is anticipated to be completed early in 2014.