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Establishing Sustainability Criteria for Biofuel: ANSI Seeks Comments on Proposal for New ISO Work Item

New York, Sep 08, 2008

As the United States member body to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is now accepting comments from affected U.S. stakeholders on a new ISO work item proposal on “Sustainability criteria for biofuel.” Comments will be accepted until October 10, 2008.

Jointly proposed by the ISO national member bodies from Brazil and Germany – the Associação Brasileira de Normas Técnicas (ABNT) and the Deutsches Institut für Normung (DIN) – the document addresses standardization in the field of sustainability criteria, as well as the assessment of these criteria for the production, supply chain, and application of biofuels.

According to ABNT and DIN, the work efforts of ISO Technical Committee (TC) 28, Subcommittee (SC) 7, Liquid Biofuels, and of ISO TC 238, Solid Biofuels, are focused on quality requirements, and do not address the sustainability aspects of biomass and biofuel production.

Citing the demonstrated worldwide interest in biomass as an alternative energy resource, the proposal seeks to establish a new Project Committee (PC) that would validate and legitimize global biofuel production, ensuring that the industry follows practices that are neither environmentally destructive nor socially aggressive.

Specifically, the PC would establish terminology and general characteristics for both the environmental aspects (such as biodiversity and greenhouse gas balance) and social aspects of biofuel production.

All comments submitted to ANSI will be considered to generate a recommended ANSI position and comments on this proposal for approval by the ANSI ISO Council. Comments should be submitted to Steven Cornish, ANSI director of international policy (212.642.4969; by October 10, 2008.

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