Environmental Protection Agency

Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation

Fairbanks City Councilman David Pruhs has directed staff to draft a plan over the next 90 days on how the city will respond to the growing problem of groundwater contamination caused by chemical compounds in firefighting foam. Pruhs told City Attorney Paul Ewers Monday that the plan must include a way for the city to compensate homeowners who could be paying for the local response to the contamination through their property taxes.


Erin Corneliussen/Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

City and borough officials announced Thursday that another groundwater contamination hotspot has been found in the Fairbanks area, this time around South Davis Park. In response, borough Mayor Karl Kassel says the Parks and Rec Department will no longer use water from contaminated wells to irrigate the park’s heavily used sports fields.


Tim Ellis/KUAC

State air-quality regulators told local officials and about 50 members of the public Tuesday that the Fairbanks North Star Borough soon will have to impose a new set of tough measures to dramatically reduce fine particulates and other air pollutants in the Fairbanks area. The new measures will affect just about everyone in the area – not just those who burn wood for heat.

Tim Ellis/KUAC

More than 60 homes around Fairbanks International Airport will be hooked-up to the College Utilities water system this summer, because area residents can’t get their drinking water from wells anymore due to groundwater contamination. But about 50 homeowners and others who showed up at a meeting Tuesday say they still have a lot of questions about the project – and the contamination.


www.oekosolve.ch

The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly on Thursday rejected an ordinance that would have added a type of air-pollution control device called electrostatic precipitators to the borough Air Quality program. But the sponsor and main supporter of the measure was OK with that.

Jeanne Olson

The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly approved a resolution Thursday that supports and authorizes testing of a type of air-pollution control technology that local advocates say will clean smoke from woodstoves and help improve the area’s air quality. The advocates say they hope the data they’ll develop through their testing will convince federal environmental regulators to include electrostatic precipitators on its list of EPA-approved technologies that could enable homeowners and businesses to continue operating their wood- or pellet stoves during burn bans.


FNSB

The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly approved an ordinance Thursday that’s intended to enable more area residents to qualify for a borough program that helps them pay to replace their older woodstove or other type of solid-fuel-burning heating appliance for a new cleaner-burning unit.


Tim Ellis/KUAC

A Fairbanks North Star Borough-hosted meeting on air quality drew more than a hundred people in North Pole last night. The sometimes-tense meeting was intended to promote cooperation in reducing pollution from wood and coal burning, but many used the opportunity to criticize the borough’s air-quality program and express their frustration with trying to comply with it.


EPA

The Tanana Chiefs Conference last week was awarded a $150,000 federal grant last week for a program that helps residents clean up and reuse contaminated sites around their communities.


Penn State College of Earth and Mineral Sciences

The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly last week delayed consideration of technology that could reduce emissions from wood heating. An ordinance sponsored by Assembly member Lance Roberts would include installation of electrostatic precipitators as part of the borough’s wood-stove changeout program. The stack-mounted devices use static electricity to remove health-damaging fine particulates from smoke.


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