EPA approves air plan for Fairbanks; more measures needed

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved a plan to address “moderate” violations of federal air pollution law around Fairbanks, Alaska.

However, the EPA in June reclassified the area from moderate to serious nonattainment and a plan to address serious violations will be the next step.

The Fairbanks North Star Borough in winter regularly exceeds limits for fine particulate, a mix of solid particles and liquid droplets that can be inhaled deep in the lungs. Fine particulate can cause premature death in people suffering heart and lung diseases.
A major source of particulate is wood-burning stoves.

Local, state and federal authorities have acknowledged that the plan for moderate violations will not solve Fairbanks pollution problems.

Officials have until the end of the year to create a more stringent cleanup plan.