A letter sent to Clean Air Fairbanks <email@example.com> today:
Dear Governor Parnell and (Alaska DEC) Commissioner Hartig,
I am writing to ask you to do everything in your power to help alleviate the air pollution problem in Fairbanks. Our whole family has been affected by the pollution. Our youngest child has congenital heart defects, requiring tremendously expensive open-heart surgeries to correct. We cannot take him into town when the pollution is worse than “Moderate”. He can’t go to school or church. I must stay at home with him and cannot go to work. Our income has dropped as the price of fuel has gone through the roof. We have never been in such a bad financial situation. Now, our neighbors have bought a coal burner and the smoke and smell are overwhelming. We have lived here for 35 years, and now we must make plans to leave unless something is done to stop people who are polluting other people’s property/air. The rest of the family has developed coughs, chronic bronchitis, and severe headaches when working or trying to shop in town.
Yesterday, I was told of a local family who collects the clothes at the transfer site and burns them to heat their home. I checked into this, and it is apparently, sadly, true. How could this happen in the richest state in the nation, in the richest nation in the world? Another man in North Pole, whom we have witnessed, installs carpet. He takes the carpet he removes and burns it in his hydronic boiler. The chemicals coming off this burn are hideous for people’s health. He doesn’t care and has not stopped that I am aware of. We can’t go on with no enforcement.
More devices burning wood and “anything that will burn” will mean more pollution, even if some of those devices have lower emissions. I am quite sure that many of the devices purchased through the Alaska Resource Agency (Rep. Tammie Wilson obtained funding for this group that she has been working with for years) have added greatly to the pollution of the area. In a sense, the state has paid to pollute us!
What we need is affordable fuel oil until natural gas is IN PLACE. Dedicating more money on more and more wood/coal/whatever-burning devices is a waste of money! Burning causes the pollution.
Please, we need help to have clean air to breathe and before North Pole and Fairbanks’ reputations are so tarnished that no one will want to come here, live here, or start a business here.
The Lee Family