FAIRBANKS, Alaska The Serious State Implementation Plan, or SIP, was presented at Tuesday's Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce luncheon.
Representatives from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and the borough's administration were at the chamber meeting to introduce the SIP and answer any questions.
"There's many things that are in the package that are probably going to be a little bit uncomfortable for our community but I think it's important to realize the work that's been put in to the serious SIP by the administration, by the DEC, to look at things to make sure that changes that we're making actually result in positive impacts to the air quality within the community at the lowest cost possible to the community," said Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Bryce Ward.
Program manager with the DEC Air Quality Division Cindy Heil says the best way to see for yourself if your wood stove is running properly is to look outside your house while you're burning. "If you want to know if your wood stove is operated properly, is installed properly, if you're using dry wood is to go outside when you're burning about 6 to 10 minutes after you start up a stove, go outside, if you can see a plume, one of those three things, something's not quite right," said Heil.
Alaska DEC Commissioner Jason Brune says they do not have citation authority and they are trying to work with community members to find a solution compared to using any legal action to enforce compliance. "I would far prefer to have that impact and that community organization of folks doing the right thing rather than having big government coming in, taking folks to court, that obviously didn't solve the problem then, and I don't think it would solve the problem in the future, so working with the folks from the community to help solve this problem is what our ultimate goal is," said Brune.
Some of the proposed regulations in the Serious SIP are:
-FNSB begins testing study of Retrofit Control Devices limited to: pellet fueled hydronic heaters, pellet stoves, catalytic stoves, and professional installation is required
-Wood fired devices may not be primary heat source for new construction (exceptions apply) and rental units
-Lower thresholds and burndown period
-New eligibility and requirements for waivers and NOASH
-New installations and device sale limited to:
-Only #1 heating oil may be sold for space heating by 2020
-Only dry wood can be sold by 2021
They are releasing the draft of the plan to provide 73 days of public comment to see if any of the proposed regulations are economically or technologically infeasible. The comment period will end on July 26th at 5 p.m.
More information can be found at: http://dec.alaska.gov/air/anpms/communities/fbks-pm2-5-proposed-regulations/