Posts Tagged ‘ADEC’

New photos document the continuing air pollution assault on neighbors including hundreds of students, teachers and staff at Woodriver Elementary School — directly across the street. DEC takes no notice. This situation is painfully ironic because this is the ONLY wood smoke emitter DEC has ever put “on notice” in the Fairbanks-North Pole PM 2.5 nonattainment area.

5055 Palo Verde Ave 12/5/2012 at 11:55 am

5055 Palo Verde Ave 12/5/2012 @ 11:55 am

58 Trinidad Dr 2012-12-05 3.30pm 2012-12-05_15-30-47_638

58 Trinidad Dr 12/5/2012 @ 3:30 pm

The owner of two rental duplexes across from Woodriver Elementary School burns wood in two outdoor boilers to avoid using existing fuel oil heating systems. DEC inspectors need to take just 15 minutes of their time to verify that a violation is occurring.

>> Link 140 Woodriver Elementary area Public Record Air Pollution Complaints 2008-2011

More than 140 reports of burning eyes, asthma attacks, and other medical harm have been filed with the state and borough.

>>Link: Report smoke pollution to Alaska DEC

Send messages to Governor Parnell <governor@alaska.gov>. Please CC cleanairfairbanks@gmail.com 
Tell him how you have been harmed. Insist that he direct DEC to enforce the law to protect public health! How can DEC stand idle as Woodriver is subjected to its 5th winter of harm?

>>Link: DEC Air Quality Advisory “in effect“#2012-41 December 4, 2012, 4:00 PM to December 5, 2012, 4:00 PM

“State of Alaska Air Quality Control Plan provides the following guidance on wood smoke emission standards: A person may not operate a wood-fired heating device in a manner that causes (1) black smoke; or (2) visible emissions that exceed 50 percent opacity for more than 15 minutes in any one hour in an area for which an air quality advisory is in effect.”

Fairbanks has been under DEC air quality advisories for the last 13 straight days. DEC has no excuse for ignoring the heavy smoke emissions at Woodriver.

Polluter Put “On Notice” – DEC Nuisance Abatement Order March 10, 2011 for 58 Trinidad Dr & 5055 Palo Verde Ave, Fairbanks

DEC gave the owner “notice” two winters ago!  “ADEC’s investigations have determined that the boilers located at 58 Trinidad Drive and 5055 A and/or B Palo Verde Ave, are the main sources of the poor air quality at the Woodriver School and the intersection of Trinidad Drive and Palo Verde Avenue…. Avoid operating the boilers…in a manner that causes A) black smoke; or B) visible emissions that exceed 50 percent opacity for more than 15 minutes in any one hour in an area for which an air quality advisory is in effect under 18 AAC 50.245.”  Yet, DEC fails to notice the smoke or the violation of laws to protect public health.

Special thanks to the concerned neighbor who shared these photographs.


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[Update 11/18/2011: DEC has now updated its Air Quality Advisory to UNHEALTHY and extended it through Monday, Nov 21, 2011 at 5 pm. It was posted this afternoon: DEC Air Quality Advisory Valid 18 Nov to 21 Nov 2011.]

Today, Nov 18, 2011, PM 2.5 hourly readings climbed to over 100 micrograms/cubic meter in downtown Fairbanks and also in North Pole. The Borough took note of the rising PM 2.5 and declared air quality UNHEALTHY. The Fairbanks area is the only Alaskan community in PM 2.5 nonattainment. Online real-time monitoring is available from two monitors in downtown Fairbanks and one at North Pole Elementary.

Source: FNSB Air Quality site

Borough Updates AQ Advisory to UNHEALTHY, Nov 18, 2011

The Alaska DEC again missed the boat. Despite the rising PM 2.5, DEC has not updated yesterday’s UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS advisory at the time of this post.

Link: DEC Air Quality Advisories

DEC staff in Anchorage monitor air quality here in Fairbanks. Today, Nov 18, 2011, all six Anchorage monitors were well below the state and federal 24-hour PM 2.5 standard of 35 µg/m3.

Link: DEC Air Monitoring section

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If the problem is an emergency, call 911.

* Share your complaint. Send to <cleanairfairbanks@gmail.com>. To get action, distribute widely; see: Officials’ Email Addresses.

* Report air pollution to Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation https://dec.alaska.gov/Applications/Air/airtoolsweb/Complaints/Index Include the address of the smoke source (or description of location) and how you have been “unreasonably nuisanced.” Attach photos, medical files, complaint logs. Problems reported after working hours or over the weekend may not be read until regular working hours. Check the box to request a copy of your complaint be emailed to you. To report complaints to Fairbanks DEC by phone, call 451-5173.

FNSB and ADEC need citizens to report unreasonable nuisances that inspectors can verify. Certified smoke inspectors are the only witnesses necessary for visible emission violations [Wood smoke: 18 AAC 50.075(a)(2) & 18 AAC 50.245(b). Coal smoke: 18 AAC 50.055(a)]. State and local agencies have never found or ticketed an air pollution violation.

* Report air pollution to Fairbanks North Star Borough http://co.fairbanks.ak.us/airquality/concern.aspx or to aqip@fnsb.us, phone 459-1005, fax 459-1006. Include date, time, address of the smoke source, & description of air pollution problem.

Report a safety problem in public schools and buildings to FNSB Human Resources Dept., Div. of Health & Safety http://co.fairbanks.ak.us/hr/Pages/EmployeeSafety_ReportSafetyConcern.aspx  phone 459-1456, fax 459-1187.

Keep your own log of smoke problems, including descriptions, photos, videos, and daily notes. Smoke Complaint Log PDF or Smoke Complaint Log DOC Collect medical records and receipts relating to how you have been harmed by the air pollution.

Your confidentiality: Complaints may be submitted anonymously. However, complaints submitted with name and phone number allow more resources to be assigned to your complaint.

* Report air pollution in City of Fairbanks to the City Council http://www.fairbanksalaska.us/city-council/contact-the-council

* Report air pollution in City of North PoleMayor Bryce Ward bryce.ward@northpolealaska.org phone 488-8584, fax 488-3002, cell 888-4444.

* Report environmental violations or emergencies to the EPA or send smoke complaints to EPA Region 10 Administrator Dennis McLerran r10administrator-mclerran@epa.gov (800)424-4372. (EPA Region 10)

Is my complaint about a “violation” or an “emergency”? Read EPA’s explanation of the difference between a violation and an emergency. “If you are involved in or witness an environmental emergency that presents a sudden threat to public health, you must call the National Response Center at: 1-800-424-8802.”

  • You are not alone. Residents have submitted over 500 air quality complaints in our community since 2008.
  • Move. Your health is worth it.
  • Protect yourself and those you love. Avoid exposure. Don’t assume your child is safe at school from exposure to harmful levels of air pollution. Don’t assume your employer will make sure that your workplace is safe from smoke.
  • Share your complaint with others. Complain to your union, employer, child’s principal, and school superintendent; file workers’ compensation claims; boycott smoky churches and businesses; contact your elected officials; submit complaints to all relevant pollution control agencies.
  • Pursue legal options. Have you or a family member been injured by air pollution? Take legal action to stop an injurious source of air pollution and to be compensated for your injuries. Don’t wait. A two-year statute of limitations may apply. Injury includes physical harms and economic losses. Contact a personal injury attorney. Be willing to pay to start the process. No attorney has been willing to take air pollution injury on a contingency basis.

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