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Energy Crops Bill Sent to Governor

The General Assembly also passed HB 608, sponsored by Rep. Michelle Brooks (R-Crawford), which encourages and promotes the use of switchgrass and other bioenergy crops to vegetate strip mined lands in the Commonwealth.  The bill is seen as a boost for biomass energy crop production and for small oilseeds for biodiesel production.

Under the bill, DEP is to make available – at no cost to the permittee – guarantees to cover Stage III reclamation liability under a bond if the site is revegetated using switchgrass, camelina, canola, and other bioenergy crops such as fast growing willows or poplars. The bill is now before Governor Corbett for signature with a July 6 deadline.