Biomass is a term that covers different types of organic material that can be processed and burned to produce energy, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, and can include materials like wood chips, agricultural crops, and sewage. Mass Audubon has participated in the public review process mainly for woody biomass.

Mass Audubon’s Position

While we recognize that biomass can be an alternative source within the Commonwealth’s energy mix, there are significant concerns about greenhouse gas emissions and impacts to forests associated with large-scale biomass use.

Read our full position statement on biomass for more information. We also helped achieve key changes in regulations to ensure forests are managed sustainably in their role in providing renewable energy and sequestering carbon.

Most recently, we submitted comments to the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources draft regulations to include renewable thermal energy in the Massachusetts Alternative Portfolio Standard (APS). Our comments noted our concerns about climate change and the need for any renewable energy regulations, including the APS regulations for woody biomass, to contribute to progress toward meeting Massachusetts’ greenhouse gas reduction targets.