State, Fairbanks gather opinions about pollution rules

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State, Fairbanks gather opinions about pollution rules

Postby Wilberforce » Fri Nov 28, 2014 4:00 pm

State, Fairbanks borough gather opinions about pollution rules

Posted: Thursday, November 27, 2014 9:52 pm | Updated: 10:19 pm, Thu Nov 27, 2014.

By Amanda Bohman

FAIRBANKS — People will have a chance to speak out about proposed smoke pollution regulations at meetings Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in Fairbanks.

The rules are under review as the state prepares a new clean air plan to submit to the Environmental Protection Agency next month.

The plan deals with standards for wood stoves, what people can burn and lays out emissions limits for wood smoke.

If approved, the new rules would go into effect next winter. A waiver will be available for people who can show the rules pose an “unreasonable burden.” Enforcement would involve verbal warnings and litigation.

The new clean air rules are available online at ... utline.htm.

Cindy Heil, state air quality program manager, said the regulations are “very technical,” “very detailed” and “very long.”

They are written to comply with the federal Clean Air Act.

Among the new rules is a requirement that wood burned for heat must be dry wood or combined with pellet logs. Another proposed rule states people selling a home with an old, dirty wood stove would need to swap out the stove for a cleaner one or remove it.

The plan, known as the State Implementation Plan or SIP, also includes a requirement that wood sellers in the pollution hot zone known as the non-

attainment area list the moisture content of the wood they’re selling.

“These are all proposed regulations,” Heil said. “It could be changed.”

The first section of the 1,000-page document offers a summary of the proposed regulations. Heil suggested people also review Section 5.07, Control Strategies; Section 5.09, Attainment Demonstration; Section 5.10, Contingency Measures; and Section 5.11, Emergency Episode Plan.

The state is hosting two open houses starting Monday with information about air quality and the proposed new rules.

The first open house takes place at 5 p.m. Monday at the Westmark Fairbanks Hotel. Another open house is set for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at North Pole Middle School.

A brief presentation will take place at the beginning of each open house. Stations will be set up with information about various aspects of air pollution and air pollution programs in Fairbanks.

“We are going to have a whole area where people can make comments and ask questions,” Heil said.

Four public hearings are scheduled on Wednesday. This is when people will have a chance to state out loud their opinion to regulators, going on the record about the proposed new air quality rules.

In Fairbanks, the public hearings take place at 11:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the Noel Wien Public Library.

“We are going to ask everybody to please be polite,” Heil said. “Don’t express opinions about somebody else’s comments.”

Public hearings are also scheduled in Anchorage and Juneau at 11:30 a.m. at Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation offices.

Also on Wednesday, the Fairbanks North Star Borough pollution control commission is meeting to discuss the proposed regulations. The commission makes public policy recommendations to the borough mayor.

The panel convenes in the Mona Lisa Drexler Borough Assembly Chambers at 6:30 p.m. Public comment will be accepted.

On Thursday, the Borough Assembly is meeting at 5:30 p.m. for a variety of reasons, including a Committee of the Whole meeting to discuss a new resolution concerning the state regulations.

No public testimony will be taken at the committee meeting. No votes are scheduled.

The assembly will discuss a resolution urging the state to move forward with the new air quality plan in a timely manner. The measure also calls for more efforts to clean the air.

The resolution is available online at ... 014-45.pdf.

The state’s clean air guidelines are geared to reduce a toxic air particulate called PM 2.5, which is known to make people sick.

The state is having additional public hearings on Dec. 17. Written comments are also being accepted. The comment period ends Dec. 19.

Contact staff writer Amanda Bohman at 459-7587.

source ... 94111.html
• The Surgeon General has determined that there is no safe level of exposure to ambient smoke!

• If you smell even a subtle odor of smoke, you are being exposed to poisonous and carcinogenic chemical compounds!

• Even a brief exposure to smoke raises blood pressure, (no matter what your state of health) and can cause blood clotting, stroke, or heart attack in vulnerable people. Even children experience elevated blood pressure when exposed to smoke!

• Since smoke drastically weakens the lungs' immune system, avoiding smoke is one of the best ways to prevent colds, flu, bronchitis, or risk of an even more serious respiratory illness, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis! Does your child have the flu? Chances are they have been exposed to ambient smoke!
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