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ALSC explains accreditation for pellet standards compliance

By Lisa Gibson | August 04, 2011

Though final handshakes and signatures have yet to be made, the Pellet Fuels Institute has announced it intends to select the American Lumber Standard Committee as the accreditation body for the third-party pellet quality standard verification program it is developing. Stepping up to the plate, the ALSC briefed a crowd of pellet producers on its operations at the PFI Annual Conference in July.

PFI has stated it is confident ALSC is the proper body to carry out third-party verification of the mills in its program, as it has experience and already accredits several auditing agencies. ALSC will be the last step in PFI’s three-level verification system, following on-site visits from inspectors, and assessments by the mills themselves.

John McDaniel, of ALSC, explained that ALSC’s three-tiered program includes: ALSC, which establishes policies and procedures used to develop a quality control program for the labeling of lumber, treated wood and wood packaging material; the Board of Review, which uses the policies and procedures to accredit agencies and labs under the various ALSC programs; and the agency that provides service to mills that produce products under the ALSC programs so those products can be labeled, showing compliance with requirements.

The ALSC’s densified fuel accreditation program can begin once ALSC has approved its involvement in the PFI standards program, McDaniel said. Applications for accreditation as an agency or laboratory can then be filed with the Board of Review. Staff will review applications for compliance and pass it to the board for consideration. The board will then rule on the request and begin monitoring that agency or lab for compliance with the requirements. Once approved, the documents pertaining to the ALSC Densified Fuel program will be available on the ALSC website at www.alsc.org.

As the program is implemented, McDaniel expects a flood of questions and said producers can feel free to contact him at (301) 972-1700.

Twenty-seven companies representing 41 pellet mills have signed the PFI Standards Pledge, indicating they support the program and will begin the certification process as soon as auditors are available in their region, according to PFI.

The standards will include quality parameters for premium, standard and utility fuel grades. A draft of the standards and supporting documents are available on the PFI website at www.pelletheat.org.

 

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