During the week of 10/11/2010, Clean Air Fairbanks visited the FNSB Air Quality Improvement Program at 3175 Peger Road Fairbanks. In just a few minutes, three residents of the community from the North Pole area came in to inquire about the stove change-out program. (Link to the Air Quality Improvement Program Application on this page.)
Various components of the FNSB Air Quality Ordinance, 2010-28, are all at risk from the voter approval of Prop A: the (token) fines for excessive emissions or prohibited fuels; prohibitions against using solid fuel heating devices to burn tires, treated wood, plywood, plastic, animal carcasses, etc; and the prohibition and fines for new installations of inefficient, uncertified wood stoves or boilers. Even the borough’s popular, uncertified stove change-out program is at risk because residents getting the tax credits and cash payments must promise, in the form of a 10-year deed restriction, not to turn right back around and install another inefficient, uncertified wood or coal stove. A legal review by the borough attorney, Rene Broker, is pending. Borough air quality staff say they’ll keep the program going until the money runs out or they’re told to stop by the mayor.
The FDNM published “Borough tries to reconcile ballot measure, Fairbanks air pollution rules” 10/15/2010.
Excerpts from the article:
A program providing government subsidies to residents who remove, repair and replace old wood stoves is carrying on, but (Glenn) Miller (FNSB Air Quality Director) said there might be changes depending on a pending legal review.
For example, one part of the program provides cash payments to residents who remove their old wood stove and sign a 10-year deed restriction saying no solid fuel burning device will be installed in their home. [Residents could also get cash payments to swap out their non-qualifying solid fuel burning devices for a more efficient, certified device if they agree not to install another non-qualifying device for 10 years.]
“The question rises: Is that prohibiting?” Miller said. “If it is, the effectiveness of this program is really in question. You can’t give people money to remove an appliance and allow them to put the same appliance back in. What does that do? This whole program is based on air quality benefits. In order for the program to be successful, you have to demonstrate air quality benefits.”
Emissions from increasing wood burning include tiny but toxic particulates known as PM 2.5, and the federal government has put Fairbanks on notice to reduce levels of PM 2.5 by 2014.
Miller said he also is trying to determine how the borough’s relationship with the state might change as a result of the vote.