Patrice Lee

KUAC file photo

Three environmental groups announced Wednesday they intend to sue the federal Environmental Protection Agency for what they say is its failure to require the Fairbanks North Star Borough to reduce air pollution.


IGU, Frank Flavin Photography

The Interior Gas Utility’s board of directors continues to wrestle with a company’s proposal to supply natural gas for Fairbanks, as an alternative to the IGU’s plan to spend $46 million to upgrade an aging LNG plant at Point McKenzie. The board’s been considering the offer by Siemens Government Technologies since company officials first pitched the idea to the IGU in May. But on Tuesday, the board voted to demand answers to their questions about the proposal before they spend any more time on it.


Pentex Natural Gas Co.

Updated: The Interior Gas Utility board of directors this morning unanimously approved an agreement to further explore an offer by a Cook Inlet natural gas-supplier. IGU’s top executive says the company has proposed to provide gas to the utility at a better price with a longer-term contract than the present arrangement with Anchorage-based Hilcorp. But that’s about all the utility’s officials would say about the proposal.


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.


Interior Gas Utility

In its first regular meeting of the new year, the Interior Gas Utility board of directors approved a budget Tuesday to finance operations for the remainder of the fiscal year, swore-in a new member and elected a new chairperson and slate of officers.


Tim Ellis/KUAC

The Interior Gas Utility’s board of directors approved a nearly $60 million deal Tuesday to buy Pentex Alaska and its natural gas processing, storage and transportation assets. The board’s vote is the first step toward the IGU’s $346 million plan to buy and build a gas utility for the Fairbanks area. The deal now awaits final approval by the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority’s board of directors.

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.


Tim Ellis/KUAC

More than a quarter of the borough’s registered voters turned out Tuesday to reject two ballot measures and elect a slate of local-government and school board candidates.

Three candidates seeking election to an open seat on the Interior Gas Utility board all agree it’s taken far too long to bring natural gas into the Fairbanks area. All three say if elected they’d push to accelerate the IGU’s efforts to bring gas here and build a system to deliver gas to its customers.


KUAC file photo

Clean air advocates say they’re disappointing that local and state regulators haven’t made more progress in getting the Fairbanks North Star Borough’s air-quality program up and going. As KUAC’s Tim Ellis reports, Citizens for Clean Air members are worried the slow-moving process could jeopardize the local program, because opponents are already working to get an initiative before voters in the fall.