IBI invited its dues-paying members in good standing to cast their votes on the proposed policy revisions to the Standardized Product Definition and Product Testing Guidelines for Biochar That Is Used in Soil (aka the IBI Biochar Standards). The proposed revisions address: 1) testing requirements for weathered biochar; 2) timing of testing for post-processed biochar; 3) provisions for high carbon biomass ash; and 4) biochar sampling procedures. The balloting period was open for 30 days from September 2nd until October 1st.
After the 30-day balloting period, each of the four proposed revisions was individually approved/rejected by a simple majority based on the tally of votes of IBI dues-paying members. Approved policy revisions will be published in Version 2.0 of the IBI Biochar Standards. A summary of comments received during the public comment period and webinars along with IBI responses is available for review.
The process to incorporate policy revisions into the IBI Biochar Standards began in late 2013 and as per IBI’s documented process for developing and revising the Standards, has been open, transparent, and inclusive. The proposed revisions were based on input from biochar stakeholders and experts, and to date, the process has included a 30-day public comment period in December, 2013; two public webinars hosted by IBI in March, 2014 to explain proposed revisions in detail; and two rounds of external review by an expert panel of biochar researchers convened by IBI.
IBI has now amended the proposed policy revisions in accordance with feedback received from experts and the public. Upon completion of the 30-day balloting period, each of the four proposed revisions will be approved or rejected by a simple majority, and approved policy revisions will be published in Version 2.0 of the IBI Biochar Standards.