The intent of this report is to make transparent the facts, data, and judgments behind the flawed decision to approve the Titan 2 coal boiler. Clean Air Fairbanks reveals what the Air Pollution Control Commission was told; the process and procedure used to approve Titan 2; the results of emission tests performed by OMNI lab under Borough contract; Titan 2’s threat to attainment; issues of abuse of power, conflict of interest, and special interest; the effect of changes proposed to current code; and what may be approved next.
- The approval of Titan 2 must be immediately withdrawn.
- The language in 2012-09 to allow the Borough to approve more coal-burning appliances must be removed.
- The Assembly should order a full investigation of Borough procedures used to approve an improperly tested and polluting coal boiler.
This Thursday, the Assembly will consider 2012-09 to allow more coal-burning appliances to be installed in the nonattainment area. On Jan. 24, Borough staff already approved the Titan 2 coal boiler, in violation of current code. A week later, when the Air Pollution Control Commission was asked to consider 2012-09, news of the approval of Titan 2 was withheld from the commission. Mayor Hopkins and Borough staff told commissioners: “current code prohibits the installation of coal appliances.” Commissioners were also kept in the dark about the testing procedures and emissions data used to approve this coal boiler. These data and testing procedure show Titan 2 was not qualified to pass any emission limit standard for fine particle pollution (PM 2.5). Emissions data also show the smoke from Titan 2 contained high levels of toxic metals as well as sulfur and nitrogen oxide gases that convert to secondary PM 2.5. The approval of Titan 2 was made in error and violates current code.
Time Magazine places Fairbanks in a tie for fourth worst fine particulate levels in the nation, see Time Magazine’s Ten Most Air-Polluted Cities in the US 9/29/2011. Efforts are needed to support bringing the nonattainment area of the Borough into attainment with PM 2.5 standards by the Dec. 2014 EPA deadline. No action should be taken which increases unhealthy concentrations of smoke in neighborhoods and near schools and delays opportunities to meet attainment as soon as possible.