Attend the Air Pollution Control Commission Tuesday, March 15 at 6:30 pm to speak for the Air Quality Zones ordinance during Public Comments. Assemblymembers Diane Hutchison, Nadine Winters, and Joseph Blanchard II introduced the ordinance to protect schools and daycare, medical, and assisted-living facilities from air pollution.
The meeting will be at Pioneer Park Civic Center (Alaskaland), 2300 Airport Road, Fairbanks. Bring a friend.
Public Comments on the Air Quality Zones ordinance will be heard after the APCC discusses the proposed ordinance. The APCC will make a recommendation to the Mayor on the ordinance, including any amendments.
Your Testimony: Keep it to 3 minutes. Use your own words. Only you can tell the story about how air pollution is affecting your life and family. Open and close with your request. Thank the APCC for their continued efforts to protect children, public health, and the economy of our community from air pollution. Please keep it civil.
Ask the APCC to:
1) Remove the exception for coal,
2) Support the Air Quality Zones ordinance (2011-12), and
3) Seek funding for enforcement because . . .
- Children and our pioneers are among the most vulnerable to air pollution and cannot be expected to protect themselves;
- State DEC and education on how to burn properly have failed to protect our most vulnerable residents from air pollution. State inspectors have never found an air quality violation on smoke from local coal or wood burning;
- Borough enforcement of Air Quality Zones is needed to protect children and our pioneers;
- If an individual chooses to burn prohibited fuels: warn them once then give them a fine. Anyone who does not burn prohibited fuels will never be fined under this ordinance;
- Any savings from burning prohibited fuels are far outweighed by the costs of air pollution (medical care, filtration systems, damaged lives, lost business opportunities, etc.);
- Fines should cover the cost of enforcement. Residents and property taxpayers should not subsidize air pollution or allow it to degrade our community;
- If our community is to have a future as a place for families, our children must be safe from air pollution;
- Request one amendment: remove the exception for coal. If any material, including Interior/Healy coal, is not recommended by the manufacturer for use in a heating device, that use constitutes misuse and clearly belongs on the prohibited list.
Links: proposed Air Quality Zones ordinance (2011-12), current ordinance 8.21 PM 2.5 Air Quality Control Program, current 1.04.050 Fine Schedule, and March 15, 2011 APCC agenda. Listen to the radio story by Dan Bross on APRN “Fairbanks Borough Proposes Increased Fines for Burning Prohibited Fuels” 3/9/2011.
Whether or not you plan to attend, please email comments to:
Charles Machetta – Chair – APCC <email@example.com>
Lawrence K Duffy – At Large <firstname.lastname@example.org>
L Michael Thomas – At Large <email@example.com>
Nathan Sapp – Solid Fuel Burning Device Expert <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Catherine Frances Cahill – Environmental Scientist <email@example.com>
Deborah Rinio – At Large <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Gwen Holdmann – At Large <email@example.com>
Please CC your comments to the Mayor and APCC support staff:
Mayor Luke Hopkins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Glenn Miller – FNSB Transportation Director <email@example.com>
Dr Jim Conner – FNSB Air Quality Specialist <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Todd Thompson – FNSB Air Quality Program<email@example.com>
Also, please share your comments with <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
What’s in 2011-12? The Air Quality Zones ordinance amends the prohibited fuels section of current borough code [Chapter 8.21.020 C]:
1) Adds phrase: “No person shall burn in the nonattainment area or in an Air Quality Zone any of the following items in a solid fuel burning appliance or pellet stove.” [Then lists prohibited fuels as currently prohibited under 8.21.020 C.]
2) Adds subsection: “Material not intended for use by the manufacturers of the appliance or stove, except that coal produced in the Interior/Healy area may be used in a coal stove even if it is not recommended for use by the manufacturer of the stove.” [see amendment request above]
3) Adds subsection: “Any person burning a prohibited fuel listed in this section shall be subject to increased fine(s) as listed in the FNSB Fine schedule if the burning occurs in an Air Quality Zone or in an Air Quality Zone located in the nonattainment area during an Air Quality Alert.”
4) Amends fine schedule. Increases fines from $30 to $60 for use of prohibited fuels in an Air Quality Zone. Adds a new fine: $100/day (up to a maximum of $1,000 per alert) for use of prohibited fuels in an Air Quality Zone during an Air Quality Alert. [amends Chapter 1.04.050 Fine Schedule]
“Air Quality Zones” are defined to mean the area encompassed within a half mile buffer of the property lines of schools, state licensed daycare facilities, state licensed assisted living facilities and medical facilities. “School” means any property used exclusively for non-profit educational purposes such that it qualifies for a mandatory exemption from municipal taxation. “Medical Facility” means an institution, building, office, or home providing medical services, and includes a hospital, clinic, physician’s office, birthing center, skilled nursing facility, outpatient surgical clinic, intermediate care facility, rehabilitation facility, home health agency, and a facility providing hospice care.
Where does 2011-12 go from here? The Air Quality Zones ordinance has been referred to the FNSB Assembly’s Committee of the Whole on March 17 (Committee of the Whole meetings are public but no public testimony is taken.) Then, at the March 24 Assembly meeting, there is will likely be a public hearing and vote on the proposed ordinance. As written, the ordinance would take effect the “day following its adoption.”
Support clean air in our community, especially where it is needed by our most vulnerable residents including children and our pioneers. Speak out for clean air!
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