The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation filed Thursday in Superior Court against the owners of two outdoor wood boilers located across the street from Woodriver Elementary School.
Citizens filed hundreds, perhaps thousands, of complaints against the smoke from these two outdoor wood boilers with the first complaint being lodged August 20, 2008. Neighbors, teachers and other school staff, and hundreds of elementary children endured years of smoke before DEC mustered up the will to file this case.
Without an injunction to stop the smoke pollution, dancing in the streets would be premature, even hazardous.
This historic case is the first and only enforcement action DEC has taken to reduce PM 2.5 smoke pollution in the Fairbanks North Star Borough.
Plaintiff: State of Alaska Department of Conservation, represented by Attorney Office of the Attorney General, (907)451-2811
Defendants: Andrew and Gloria Straughn
Judge: Michael A. MacDonald
Court: Civil Superior Court
Date Filed: 1/3/2013
Case Number: 4FA-13-01205CI
Serious violations of the Clean Air Act for 24-hour fine particulate pollution put Fairbanks and North Pole in nonattainment on Dec. 14, 2009. A state plan to bring the area into attainment was due Dec. 14, 2012 but has not been written or filed with EPA. A recent assessment by Dermot Cole, columnist with the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, found levels of PM 2.5 to be higher in this Alaska community of 100,000 residents than anywhere in the world except for one city in China of nearly 12 million.
>> Link: Wood stoves, extreme cold blight air at Alaska’s “North Pole” Reuters 12-1-2012