Just as I had written in some comments below, that I thought that the Trump administration will have bigger fish to fry than those from our own little policy streamlet, I ran across this from Greenwire via SAF. It’s so easy to be wrong.. Here’s the link.
President Trump’s nominee to head U.S. EPA, Scott Pruitt, said he’s “very concerned” about an agency policy — now under review — that has excluded much of the country’s lumber from purchase.
EPA’s preferred green program accepts only lumber certified through the Forest Stewardship Council and not two other programs — the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and American Tree Farm System.
After industry complaints, the agency said in December that it would take a closer look at the policy and removed references to the restriction from its website.
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative said 95 percent of lumber produced in the United States doesn’t qualify under the rules EPA has been following.
In answering questions at his confirmation hearing from Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Pruitt said he shared the senator’s concerns about keeping out such a large segment of the industry.
In addition, Pruitt said, he was concerned about how EPA initially implemented the policy through agency recommendations in 2015 without seeking public comment.
Wicker, Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and a handful of other lawmakers have complained to EPA about the policy (E&E Daily, April 5).
“We’ve had a lot of activity on both sides of the aisle challenging this,” Wicker said. “As far as I’m concerned, it’s discrimination against domestic wood.”
While the decision rests with EPA, it affects purchasing across the federal government, noted Nadine Block, chief operating officer and senior vice president for public affairs at the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.
“The differences are few and far between,” Block said. And while EPA has cited Department of Energy policies in citing the recommendation, those policies were “outdated” and the response didn’t satisfy the industry, she said.
FWIW, the EPA policy never made a lot of sense to me. How can one agency (say EPA, with fewer experts no practitioners, and possibly no public involvement) determine that another agency’s management practices (say the FS, determined by many experts, with many practitioners and with public involvement) aren’t good enough to be purchased by the feds?