The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation issued its first ever Nuisance Abatement Order this past week.
The resident of the building formerly the Dog’s Bar (before it was the Steese Lounge) was issued the order Jan. 26. 2011. Read the FDNM article, State issues first nuisance smoke citation to Fairbanks resident 2/2/2011.
The NAO is not a citation and does not require any action. If a violation of the order is verified by DEC inspector observation, then the operator could be taken to court. According to the article, “Now the DEC will monitor the situation and track complaints. If the owner fails to comply with the order, follow-up action may be taken.”
Complaints about the former Steese Lounge are timely now as DEC may be able to confirm violation of the current order while the compliance file is still open.
If you have complaints about smoke from any location, submit them to DEC https://myalaska.state.ak.us/dec/air/airtoolsweb/ComplaintAdd.aspx and also to the Borough http://co.fairbanks.ak.us/airquality/concern.aspx. Share your complaints with email@example.com. For assistance on how to submit a smoke complaint, review Report an Air Pollution Concern, Violation, or Emergency.
DEC’s order is different from letters, or requests, issued in our community in the past. An order includes serious consequences if it is violated, not mere educational recommendations on how to burn properly.
DEC has no fining authority for air pollution. If DEC finds the Nuisance Abatement Order has been violated, DEC’s only remedy is to take the emitter to court which has never been done in our community.
Employees, businesses, and customers of Sourdough Market and Mocha Dan’s Espresso stand, students at the nearby Fairhill Christian School, nearby residents, and travelers in vehicles on adjacent public roads may have experienced impacts from the noxious smoke.
Children and their driver passing by on the Steese Highway near the Farmer’s Loop intersection inhaled dense smoke from coal and rubber burned in the outdoor boiler on January 27, the day after DEC gave the operator the order.
DEC’s historic Nuisance Abatement Order 150 Farmer’s Loop Extension, Fairbanks, Alaska [42KB] is public record. It describes that a person who violates the order “is guilty of a misdemeanor” and that a person convicted of a class A misdemeanor may be held to “a fine not to exceeding $10,000 and/or sentenced to a definite term of imprisonment of not more than one year.” Burning rubber and creating noxious smoke is improper and injurious misuse of the boiler and not a protected civil right. Review state law referenced in the order: AS 46.03.810 and AS 46.03.790.
Repeated public smoke complaints led DEC inspectors to initiate repeated contacts with the operator to provide educational materials about proper fuels and burning techniques and state rules, evidently to little effect.
Contributors to the FDNM’s “lively exchange of ideas” may have pointed DEC to the Steese Highway smoke source.
From “Fairbanks Borough Assembly prepares for air quality vote” 1/26/2011.
I don’t think you can say the same for the manner in which you are burning coal if your neighbors are affected by it enough to warrant a $10,000 fine. Find a better way, CoalUser.
The problem is the few people out there who are inconsiderate. I burn seasoned wood and can rarely smell it when outside. A lot of my neighbors do the same thing and the smell isn’t noticeable, generally. Then you have that idiot at the Old Steese lounge, just down from Farmer’s Loop Market. You can smell that stench from Home Depot to Birch Hill. It is a disgusting stench that hangs heavy. It frequently smells of coal and trash. Shut people like him down and leave the rest of the responsible WOOD burners alone.
Has anyone noticed the half-burnt coal smoke spewing from the former Dog’s Bar off the Steese near the Farmer’s Loop exit?
Akfarmer – as we have told you before, you are building a false premise. We are not telling you to choose between fuel and heating your home. You clearly have internet access and a computer (and I’m guessing a vehicle, television, cell phone, etc.) So, get rid of those things to pay for the fuel for the home YOU purchased, OR get a smaller, more efficient home. Or burn seasoned wood. People like you are making it difficult for the people in the middle (like me) to make a case. You are an all or nothing quack, whereas a lot of us feel that responsible wood burning is harmless. You are going to ruin the whole party for everyone because you insist on being such an inconsiderate jerk to those who live around you.
the guy burning trash and coal at the dogs bar can be reached @378-XXXX his name is larry please let him know your concerns
TheFederalistPapers: The belching smoke near Farmer’s Loop and Steese is from a commercial building, so the October initiative wouldn’t exempt it from regulation.
Tammy Wilson lied to the votes when she sent out a mailer that the initiative would save local control of wood stoves.