The Pellet Fuels Institute (PFI) and the American Lumber Standard Committee (ALSC) marked the first critical step in the roll out of the new densified biomass fuel standard for North America through the accreditation of ten auditing agencies and two laboratories to the PFI Standards Program.
Under the supervision of ALSC, the program’s accreditation body, accredited auditing agencies provide services for qualifying densified fuel production facilities to label compliant densified fuel as outlined by program requirements.
Agencies will audit the fuel that is produced in accordance with the program’s parameters, which establish three grades of fuel –Premium, Standard, and Utility — that can be easily matched to the appropriate pellet-burning appliance.
The Board of Review of the ALSC has accredited the following agencies to provide service under the program requirements:
- Carolina Inspection Service, Inc.
- Conway & Robison, LLC
- Northeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association
- PFS Corporation
- Pacific Lumber Inspection Bureau
- Package Research Laboratory
- Southern Pine Inspection Bureau
- Timber Products Inspection
- West Coast Lumber Inspection Bureau
- Western Wood Products Association
The Board of Review of the ALSC also has accredited two laboratories: Timber Products Inspection and the University of Maine. Accredited testing laboratories perform analyses on densified fuel to the PFI standard.
With the accreditation of the program’s initial auditing agencies and testing labs, densified biomass producers can now begin the process of enrolling in the program. Information on enrollment is available on the PFI website and through contacting the ALSC accredited agencies.
“We’re incredibly excited that this first enrollment phase of the PFI Standards Program is underway,” said PFI President Scott Jacobs. “We have an impressive list of companies that have achieved accreditation and are eager to begin enrolling densified fuel producers into this program.”
According to PFI Executive Director, Jennifer Hedrick, “With the support the industry has shown thus far, we’re expecting many fuel manufacturers to enroll in this early stage of the program.” The enrollment and qualification of manufacturers will take some time, so it is anticipated that it will be several months before retailers and consumers will begin to see the required labeling on bags of fuel. The mark of the new program, found here, will replace the PFI manufacturer’s guaranteed analysis mark currently found on bags of fuel.
ALSC will continue to accept applications from auditing agencies or laboratories interested in becoming accredited for the program. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis, with the next formal review of applications scheduled for April 18, 2012. Companies interested in becoming accredited as an auditing agency or laboratory should contact ALSC at 301-972-1700 .