Archive for the ‘Your Smoke Photos & Videos’ Category

Judge Jane F. Kauvar was asked by an attorney for the defense in the Alaska v. Straughn case to suppress pictures and expert witnesses submitted as evidence by the state. Judge Kauvar has not ruled on the motions.

Case Motion #23: Motion in Limine: Pictures filed by Attorney Michael Walleri 6/18/2013

Case Motion #24 Motion in Limine: Expert Witnesses filed by Attorney Michael Walleri 6/18/2013

Which photos is the defense seeking to keep out as evidence? Perhaps these?

Woodriver Wood-fired Hydronic Heater 2009-2013, 58 Trinidad Dr, Fairbanks, Alaska

Woodriver Wood-fired Hydronic Heater 2009-2013, 58 Trinidad Dr, Fairbanks, Alaska

Or could it be a recent photo of the so-called “dismantled” boilers lurking like snakes in the grass? See previous post: When is “Dismantled” Just “Unplugged”? Newspaper Promotes Defense Fabrication

5055 Palo Verde Ave, Fairbanks, Alaska 6/27/2013

5055 Palo Verde Ave, Fairbanks, Alaska 6/27/2013

58 Trinidad Dr, Fairbanks, Alaska 6/27/2013

58 Trinidad Dr, Fairbanks, Alaska 6/27/2013

Does the defense want to suppress the photos because the images would inflame the jury against the Straughns? Is the defense seeking to suppress all photographic evidence submitted? Did the state submit a photo of the 4 children having asthma attacks on just one day at Woodriver Elementary? Can a photo capture the suffering of not knowing you can take the next breath?

The state filed Case Motion #16 Motion in Limine to Preclude Defendants From Introducing Expert Testimony at Trial 5/28/2013. The state is seeking to exclude expert witnesses paid for by Central Boiler, the manufacturer of the two hydronic heaters above, out of the trial. Central Boiler built the two units and has much to lose by the evidence of harm already in court records.

Link: CourtView to follow Alaska v. Straughn, also called the Woodriver case, case number 4FA-13-01205CI


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Labrenz Landscaping, Inc. 2759 College Road, Fairbanks, Alaska [link: Google street view]

Labrenz Landscaping wood-burning hydronic heater, 11 am on 5/9/2013

Labrenz Landscaping, wood-burning hydronic heater, 11 am on 5/9/2013

Received by Clean Air Fairbanks:

To: cleanairfairbanks@gmail.com
CC: news@kuac.org, cole@newsminer.com
Date: Fri, May 10, 2013 at 12:01 AM
Subject: May 9 Fumigation

This was Labrenz Landscaping on College Road today (May 9) around 11 AM.  There was a person waiting at the bus stop in the midst of this pollution from this outdoor wood hydronic heater. I didn’t stay around long to take more pictures, because the smoke from the was making my throat burn. Evidently there is an active case file at DEC on their hydronic heater, but things are clearly not getting better. Ironically, the smoke was wafting right across College Rd. to the parking lot of the Woodway. Could you imagine if the Farmer’s Market was open today? Public Health would need to set up a nebulizer station right next to the potted perennials and kettle corn.

I know that winter has lasted particularly long this year, but must the air quality hazards continue too?  How is it OK for local businesses and homeowners to continue to smoke out their neighbors?

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Central Boiler E-Classic 2400, EPA Phase 2 Qualified, 8/30/2012, Midwest, US

Central Boiler E-Classic 2400, EPA Phase 2 Qualified, 8/30/2012, Midwest, US

Hydronic heaters, also known as outdoor and indoor wood boilers, remain unregulated by EPA. It’s time EPA held these appliances to the same emission standards as woodstoves. Please email or call EPA and tell them 20+ years with no updates is long enough.

Contact: Gil Wood – EPA <Wood.Gil@epamail.epa.gov> (919)541-5272

Please CC: Clean Air Fairbanks <cleanairfairbanks@gmail.com>, Nancy Alderman – president EHHI <nancy.alderman@ehhi.org> [link to Environment and Human Health Inc.]

“EPA is in the process of developing revisions to the residential wood heater new source performance standards under Section 111 of the Clean Air Act. In addition to tightening the emission limits on currently regulated wood heaters to reflect improvements in best demonstrated technology, EPA anticipates new regulations for other residential devices that use solid biomass as fuel. For example, EPA anticipates new regulations for outdoor and indoor hydronic heaters and forced air furnaces. EPA anticipates proposing the revisions and the new regulations by Summer 2012.” http://www.epa.gov/burnwise/ordinances.html

SPEAK UP NOW to strengthen the DRAFT NSPS

EPA will consider your comments RIGHT NOW on the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for residential wood heaters. Mr. Wood is overseeing development of the hydronic heater section, the most controversial section. The earlier 3/9/2011 draft, available on the Burn Wise link below, received heavy criticism and has been pulled back to be “strengthened”. Currently the draft is in internal review, but a revised draft is expected to be published online and in the Federal Register this summer (2013) with a 90-day public comment period.

Send your comments and data including photos RIGHT NOW to encourage strengthening the NSPS. All available efforts should be directed at the hydronic heater section to block certification of Phase 2 devices. Please also join us in advocating for the 2.5 g/hr limit or less for all devices certified under EPA’s NSPS program. Be sure to keep a copy of your comments to revise and resend when the draft is officially open for public comment.

Hydronic heaters, often called Outdoor Wood Boilers, can be installed outside or inside a building. The two smoky units across the street from Woodriver Elementary are both Phase 2. A court order shut down both in February. The trial is scheduled Sept 16, 2013, CourtView case number 4FA-13-01205CI. Images document the five-year history of one of the Woodriver hydronics.

Woodriver Wood-fired Hydronic Heater 2009-2013, 58 Trinidad Dr, Fairbanks, Alaska

Woodriver Wood-fired Hydronic Heater 2009-2013, 58 Trinidad Dr, Fairbanks, Alaska

Background Data on Latest Public Draft NSPS:

THEN: Original 1988 NSPS emission limit for new woodstoves: 7.5 g/hr for non-catalytic, 4.1 g/hr for catalytic
NOW: EPA’s latest public NSPS draft:

  • woodstove limits: 4.5 g/hr for non-catalytic, 2.5 g/hr for catalytic (match Washington State limits)
  • pellet stove limits: match proposed woodstove limits

THEN: 1988 NSPS exempted hydronic heaters (indoor and outdoor wood boilers)
NOW: EPA’s latest public NSPS draft:

  • 0.32 lb / mmBTU heat output for outdoor HH in 2013 and indoor in 2014 (current Phase 2 qualified)
  • 0.15 lb / mmBTU heat output for both outdoor and indoor HH in 2016
THEN: 1988 NSPS exempted single-burn-rate stoves
NOW: considering 3.0 g/hr

THEN: 1988 NSPS exempted forced-air / warm-air furnace
NOW: considering 0.93 lb / mmBTU heat output in 2014 (match Canadian standard)

THEN: 1988 NSPS exempted coal heating devices
NOW: no change considered

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3614 Laurance Rd, Fairbanks, Alaska on Feb 14, 2013 05.53 pm

3614 Laurance Rd, Fairbanks, Alaska on Feb 14, 2013 05.53 pm

3614 Laurance Rd, North Pole, Alaska on Feb 14 2013

3614 Laurance Rd, North Pole, Alaska on Feb 14 2013

From: Krystal Francesco (Laurance Road, North Pole) [requested name be published]
Date: Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 10:17 PM
Subject: Boiler/Hydronic heater in North Pole
To: (60 DEC and borough agency staff, elected and appointed leaders and others – see below)


I have attached pictures of a potential coal burning boiler/hydronic heater.  Maybe some of you can shed light on what this really is.  I can tell you what it smells like — pure toxic waste.  This is located at 3614 Laurance Road, also known as the Kids of the Kingdom Learning Center, an in-home daycare.  Not only is it horrible they could potentially be burning coal, but they’re doing it around young kids.  Driving toward it, the smell got so strong I had to hit the “re-circulate” button in my car so I wasn’t struggling to breathe.  Whatever I was smelling, it was NOT any kind of wood smell.  I can’t say I know what burning coal smells like…but I know I couldn’t stand to breathe the air around this contraption.

The other dilemma is the height of the smoke stack — it’s not even on top of the roof, so the smoke is easily able to drift into other houses surrounding the area when there is a breeze.  I strongly believe this is one of the main reasons my family (myself, my mother and my daughter) are on inhalers day and night.  Tonight, oddly enough, my daughter is beginning to show signs of labored breathing…I can’t tell you how many times this has been so far.  Her heartbeat is fast while resting, and her stomach is moving in and out at a speed faster than normal.  This is after using her inhalers and allergy medicine, which she uses EVERY day and night.

Something needs to be done about those who use machines like this, who burn coal especially.  Do the research, it’s clear the fumes from burning coal is horrible to peoples’ health.  Some might think they can “burn clean,” but that’s an oxymoron.  There’s no way you can burn coal responsibly, or without dire consequences over time.  I’ve heard of people saying “well, I don’t see smoke coming out of my smoke stack so that means I’m burning clean.”  But have they actually tested the air quality around their house??  Probably not.

For my family’s sake, my 2.5 year old daughter’s health, please…we need to take action to shut down machines like this that are spewing toxic waste into the air we breathe.

Krystal Francesco

Sent to:


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scoff·law noun : a contemptuous law violator

5055 Palo Verde Ave, Fairbanks, Alaska Feb 8, 2013 @ 8.35 am

5055 Palo Verde Ave, Fairbanks, Alaska Feb 8, 2013 @ 8.35 am

58 Trinidad Dr, Fairbanks, Alaska on Feb 6, 2013 @ 10:15 am

58 Trinidad Dr, Fairbanks, Alaska on Feb 6, 2013 @ 10:15 am

58 Trinidad Dr, Fairbanks, Alaska on Feb 6, 2013 @ 10:14 am

58 Trinidad Dr, Fairbanks, Alaska on Feb 6, 2013 @ 10:14 am

5055 Palo Verde Feb 5, 2013 @ 11:29 am

5055 Palo Verde Ave, Fairbanks, Alaska on Feb 5, 2013 @ 11:29 am

“This order takes effect immediately.” (Feb 4, 2013)
Signed — “Superior Court Judge Robert B. Downes”

>> Link: State of Alasks v. Straughn Preliminary Injunction Order, ordered 2/4/2013

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Some will say the Woodriver smokers, Andrew and Gloria Straughn, will see this post and stop burning.

We say, go right ahead and stop. That’s exactly what they should have done over 4 years ago.

The Straughn’s got the order. It’s public record. Why shouldn’t you see it too?

Preliminary Injunction order on Straughn 2013-2-4

>> Link: State of Alaska v. Straughn Preliminary Injunction Order, ordered 2/4/2013

Here’s what we LOVE [Hey, it’s Valentine’s day!] about the court order.

“…(T)he Court finding good cause for such motion, and further finding that the operation of the defendants’ two outdoor wood boilers has proven to be a public nuisance;” Thank you, Judge! That’s a first for Fairbanks!

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the defendants may not operate either of the two outdoor wood boilers…unless they obtain an order from this Court allowing such operation.”

“This order takes effect immediately.” (Feb 4, 2013)

Signed by “Superior Court Judge Robert B. Downes”

Did the Straughns violate the order? Yes they did. Tomorrow we’ll publish a new set of photos. The evidence is in. Does the State have the juice to go after the Straughns for contempt of court? They better.

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de·fi·ant adjective : full of or showing defiance : bold, impudent <defiant rebels> <a defiant refusal>

5055 Palo Verde Ave 2013-02-05

5055 Palo Verde Ave, Fairbanks, Alaska on Feb 5, 2013 @ 11:33 am

On Feb 4, 2013, Judge Robert Downes granted the state’s motion for a preliminary injunction, see CourtView case 4FA-13-01205CI.

Indeed, the Straughns’ attorney has said the state’s injunction prevents the Straughns from operating the outdoor wood boilers, and they have shut them down, most likely for the season. This is according to Kim Murphy, LA Times correspondent comment on Scorched Weekend: Woodriver Polluter Smokes it Up.

Then, why is their boiler still smoking Feb 5, 2013 at 11:33 am?

Further, do instrumented “sniffer” vehicle maps from the Borough pinpoint the boilers’ smoke? Click on the images to enlarge.

School sniffer 2013-02-05

FNSB "sniffer" map 2013-02-06

FNSB “sniffer” Map 2013-02-06

Another witness in the neighborhood reported to Clean Air Fairbanks “putrid” smoke from the Straughns’ boilers on Feb 6 and again today, Feb 12. The resident sent a complaint about the Straughns’ Feb 6 smoke that same day to Governor Sean Parnell, Commissioner Larry Hartig, Senator Click Bishop, and Representative Pete Higgins.

Did the court’s Feb 4 preliminary injunction prohibit operation of the boilers? Did the injunction take effect by Feb 5 or Feb 6, or as late as today, Feb 12? If so, Andrew and Gloria Straughn may be in contempt of court.

What could make these landlords defiantly disregard the health of their neighbors and a court order?

Is padding the bank account with a few more bucks really worth it?

Or is this an example of getting in the last licks?

Only the court documents will tell.

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