American Forest & Paper Association Applauds House Passage of 2013 Farm Bill

July 12, 2013 (Press Release) - The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the 2013 Farm Bill, which includes several provisions of importance to the U.S. paper and wood products manufacturing industry.

"It is important that paper, packaging, and wood products should be eligible to compete on a level playing field with other biobased products as was originally intended by the law." – Donna Harman, President and CEO, AF&PA.

"We applaud Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) and Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN) for their leadership in providing an exhaustive review of the 2013 Farm Bill and Reps. Glenn 'GT' Thompson (R-PA) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR) their work to ensure inclusion of H.R. 979 in the bill," said American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Donna Harman. "It is important that paper, packaging, and wood products should be eligible to compete on a level playing field with other biobased products as was originally intended by the law."

H.R. 979 clarifies that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's BioPreferred program should recognize forest products as biobased and will ensure a competitive marketplace for all products with biobased content, including "pulp, paper, paperboard, pellets, and wood products" and "any recycled products derived from forest materials."

"We also thank Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR) for including H.R. 2026, the Silviculture Regulatory Consistency Act, which prohibits the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from requiring permits for stormwater runoff from forest roads, ensuring the agency's 37-year-old policy treating forest roads as nonpoint sources under the Clean Water Act is preserved," said Harman.

Other important provisions include conservation programs for forestry and wood fiber supply and the directive to update Forest Inventory and Analysis Program.

"As the bill moves forward, it's my hope that the House and Senate will work out their differences in conference," said Harman.

SOURCE: AF&PA