Kept under wraps until now.
Alaska DEC has thrown in the towel on meeting the 2014 nonattainment deadline required under the Clean Air Act. The state’s new plan is to use the State Implementation Plan (SIP) to get extensions, possibly out to 2019.
Why has there been no hint of this rather major change of plans to go for extensions rather than attainment?
How can anyone justify extensions that endanger public health?
The state agency recently put out a Request for Proposals seeking a contractor to assemble the SIP for submission to EPA, which states:
At the time of this issuance of this RFP, the State is redefining the SIP development schedule…. The plan is still intended to identify the causes of the problem and the control strategies to bring the community into attainment, but will need to be developed as a Reasonable Further Progress SIP instead of an attainment SIP demonstrating compliance with the NAAQS by 2014. [SIP Devo & Tech Support, attachment 1, p 21]
This comes after Alaska DEC blew the deadline for submitting the SIP to EPA. The SIP was due Dec 14, 2012.
We are not amused that DEC waited until AFTER the State Implementation Plan was overdue to start asking around for a contractor to put the plan together.
This is not the response of an agency that will ever lead Fairbanks and North Pole out of the wood and coal smoke.
Did DEC tell Mayor Luke Hopkins about this rather sudden shift in the goal?
As recently as March and April, two ordinances proposed by Mayor Hopkins used the goal of meeting the 2014 deadline. DEC published the RFP March 28, so they knew. Can we really believe DEC kept the Mayor in the dark? Does the Mayor know now? Shouldn’t the Assembly be informed?
Line 32 2013-35 — Authorizes paying up to $11,000 each to replace solid fuel heating devices, exclusive to residents in prioritized areas (may include Dale Road, Hamilton Acres, and North Pole’s Rectangle of Death) [passed] CAF post
“WHEREAS, the Fairbanks North Star Borough is working in conjunction with the State of Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation to prepare a Fairbanks PM2.5 Nonattainment Area Statewide Implementation Plan (SIP) for air quality control, including inventory development, data collection, analysis, modeling, and identifying control measures and components that demonstrate attainment by December 2014;” and [2013-35, lines 27-32]