AUGUSTA — U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe says the Environmental Protection Agency will propose a new rule that will help Maine’s biomass industry.

The Maine Republican says the new rule is expected to clarify that biomass, which powers many Maine mills, will continue to be able to be used as a substitute for traditional fossil fuels.

Snowe says she’s encouraged the EPA has listened to requests from Mainers and others and made the rule more flexible.

The current rule has created uncertainty over whether biomass fuel, which comes from wood and other plant material, would be defined as non-hazardous solid-waste rather than fuel. That would cause some facilities to be regulated as incinerators and subject to additional costs.