The APCC and the public are being told one thing while Borough staff refer to unwritten authority to do another. This abuse of power should be of particular concern to members of the Assembly.
Link: Transcript (partial) of the 1/31/2012 APCC hearing [261KB] from audio tapes on http://www.aqfairbanks.com (Minutes not yet available.)
From that public hearing:
Transportation Director Glenn Miller said, “Right now coal appliances are prohibited for installation…. There are some new appliances that are out there now, for example the one we just looked at, that appear to be very clean as far as PM 2.5 is concerned. If that appliance is approved, that means those older appliances could be upgraded and replaced with this new appliance, which could mean less PM 2.5 for us.”
Two commissioners (Gwen Holdmann and Deborah Rinio) stated their concerns about the consequences of approving coal appliances and voted no.
Mayor Luke Hopkins said the “opportunity” for “a better burning coal stove” depended on the proposed language: “Coal, this particular issue that we are discussing here had comment and some commissioners are concerned about the door we are opening. But what we are trying to do is get these older stoves replaced, and coal is one of the issues. There is an opportunity to have a, so far what we have found it appears, a better burning coal stove. That is what [lines] 55 and 56 would allow us to be able to, if we had this language in here.”
In the end, all five commissioners agreed to Section 2 of 2012-09 to authorize the Borough to approve more coal-burning appliances.
What the APCC and public in attendance were told on 1/31/2012:
- Current code prevents the Borough from approving coal appliances,
- The Borough has an opportunity to allow a “very clean” coal appliance that will improve health, and
- 2012-09 needed to be approved to allow this device to be installed in the nonattainment area and to participate in the change-out funding.
What the APCC and public in attendance were not told on 1/31/2012:
- Titan 2 had already been approved a week earlier,
- OMNI lab data found high levels of pollutants emitted from Titan 2,
- At Borough order, OMNI lab tested Titan 2 only at low, yielding emission results nearly three times too low, or
- New “discretionary authority” had been discovered in code to allow Titan 2 when no such language exists.
Review the transcript of the 1/31/2012 APCC hearing (link above) and the borough tapes for yourself. For the details and sources on what the APCC was told and not told, read the report: Why did the Borough Approve the Titan 2 Coal Boiler? Questions and Answers. The end result of this abuse of our laws and public process is greater harm to the health of innocent residents including children. It is the Assembly’s job to right this series of wrongs. To fail to do so, undermines the credibility of the plan for meeting attainment and places the health, economy, and future of our town at greater risk.
Tell the Assembly:
- 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 also be withdrawn.
- The Assembly should order a full investigation of Borough procedures used to approve an improperly tested and polluting coal boiler.
Please send your message:
TO: FNSB Assembly Members <firstname.lastname@example.org>
CC: Air Pollution Control Commissioners
Catherine Cahill <email@example.com>
Lawrence K Duffy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Deborah Rinio email@example.com>
Gwen Holdmann firstname.lastname@example.org>
Mark Sherman <email@example.com>
Kathleen Hook <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Todd Thompson – FNSB Air Quality staff <email@example.com>
And if you would, please also share a copy with <firstname.lastname@example.org>.