FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - As we reported earlier, Fairbanks North Star Borough air quality has been changed from "moderate" to "serious" by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The change means more restrictions will be required for the borough to meet federal standards. What those restrictions might be has yet to be determined.
A plan will be submitted to the borough assembly for its consideration.
The State will be required to submit a 'serious air quality' plan for Fairbanks by December 31.
Senator Lisa Murkowski indicated that as long as the EPA receives federal dollars, some of the funding for borough programs to deal with the air quality issues will come from that agency.
"EPA has been working with the community of Fairbanks, but quite honestly the options for Fairbanks are somewhat limited," said Murkowski. "Fairbanks doesn't currently have the ability to bring in large amounts of natural gas; the alternatives are difficult and costs are high. Residents look to burning wood to heat their homes to save energy costs. This leads to increased emissions."