H.R.3748 - Water Efficiency via Carbon Harvesting and Restoration (WECHAR) Act of 2009111th Congress (2009-2010)
Summary: H.R.3748 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)
Introduced in House (10/07/2009)
Water Efficiency via Carbon Harvesting and Restoration (WECHAR) Act of 2009 - Requires the Director of the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to conduct resources assessments that collect and synthesize interagency and state data to quantify: (1) invasive plant species and excess biomass (plant matter targeted for removal from public land to promote ecosystem health) in the form of dangerous fuel loads on public land that can be used for feedstock (plant matter or materials that serve as the raw material for the production of biochar and bioenergy); (2) estimated carbon content in that feedstock; (3) estimated potential biochar (charcoal or black carbon derived from organic matter through pyrolysis) and bioenergy (hydrocarbons derived from organic matter through pyrolysis) producible from that feedstock; and (4) potential water savings resulting from removal of invasive plant species and excess biomass on public land, by watershed.
Directs the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture to each: (1) establish a program to provide guarantees of loans by private institutions to develop and optimize commercially and technologically viable biochar production units, to produce, respectively, four and two units for deployment to remote landscapes, and for the construction or acquisition of biochar production facilities, provided the loan applicants will be dedicated primarily to contract restoration work with the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, or Forest Service using pinyon pine and juniper feedstock in the Great Basin, tamarisk feedstock in the Mojave Desert, or excess biomass feedstock, such as trees killed by bark beetle infestations in the Intermountain West; and (2) initiate three-year programs to employ such biochar production units in pilot applications in various U.S. climates and ecosystems.
Directs the Secretary of Agriculture to provide competitive grants to conduct research and analysis: (1) to identify attributes and composition profiles of biochar and bioenergy for various uses; (2) to identify potential uses and markets for biochar and bioenergy; (3) relating to environmental benefits and impacts of biochar and bioenergy use; and (4) regarding potential uses of biochar in landscape restoration.