U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Mark Kelly (D-AZ) introduced legislation to make it easier to develop sustainable wood products and energy from biomass derived from small-diameter timber left over from forest thinning projects, ultimately helping to spur new economic activity and protect forests. The bill is called the Community Wood Facilities Assistance Act.
“Our bill would make improvements to the Forest Service’s Community Wood Energy and Wood Innovations Grant Program, which helps to promote innovative uses for wood products,” said Collins. “We encourage our colleagues to support this bill that would spur new economic activity and maintain the health of our forests in Maine and across the country.”
The bill would Improve the Forest Service’s Community Wood Energy and Wood Innovations Grant Program, which provides assistance for the construction of small wood products facilities, by:
Increasing the authorization from $25 million to $50 million per year.
Increasing the maximum grant per facility from $1 million to $5 million.
Increasing the federal cost-share from 35 percent to 50 percent.
Increasing the maximum size for community wood energy systems eligible for grant funding from 5 to 15 megawatts.