Last night, Jan. 27, 2011, over 30 residents of the Fairbanks North Star Borough testified for the local clean air code 2010-28, opposing a weakening proposal submitted to the Assembly by Mayor Luke Hopkins, 2011-03, draft version 1/13/2011.
The FDNM staff writer Molly Rettig email@example.com wrote about the public testimony and its outcome, “Fairbanks borough follows ballot measure, weakens air quality regulations” 1/28/2011.
After considering public need for clean air as expressed by the smoke-impacted and concerned citizen testifiers, Assembly members voted to reject one item in the Mayor’s proposal, then approved his other weakening changes. The single change offered by Assembly member Tim Beck was approved by the Assembly: to reinstate wood over 20% moisture content on the prohibited fuels list. The prohibited fuels list includes treated lumber, plywood, plastic, rubber, and animal carcasses (aka dead goats). [Burning anything on this list is a nuisance “by proxy”, according to borough attorney Rene Broker.] A single Assembly member voted against restoring wet wood to the prohibited fuels list: Michael Dukes firstname.lastname@example.org.
The justification given for approving the weakened clean air code which removed safeguards prohibiting woodsmoke over 50% opacity and against heavy plumes of smoke crossing property lines was these changes were “required” by Proposition A: the Home Heating Protection Act. A single Assembly member voted against the Mayor’s proposal because it removed safeguards needed to reduce smoke problems in our community and weakens local control, Diane Hutchison email@example.com. Thank you, Diane!
The decision of the Assembly to retain wet wood on the prohibited fuels list deserves community-wide commendation as it will help us all breathe a little easier. Please send a note of appreciation to our FNSB Assembly members to build on the momemtum of public testimony and encourage positive next steps for clean air in our community firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Joyce Potter, “Protect the air” 1/26/2011
- Michael Lilly, “Air is an asset” 1/26/2011
- Marla Star, “No to coal” 1/27/2011
The growing unmet need for clean air in our neighborhoods and schools will continue to push leaders in our community to recognize the need for action against wood and coal smoke at every level, from personal, city, borough, state, and federal.
Clean Air Fairbanks was proud of our community for standing up for the need for clean air for children, families, employees, and the future strength of our economy. It is not easy to testify; the individuals who testified spoke for many residents impacted by smoke and hurting for solutions in our community. We’ll be there at your side for you: email@example.com.