New regulations to reduce fine particle pollution in Interior Alaska

The State of Alaska is implementing two new regulations aimed at reducing wintertime fine particulate pollution in the Fairbanks-North Pole area. Department of Environmental Conservation program manager Cindy Heil said one of the measures effects the real estate transactions of properties with wood stoves or wood boilers.

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”If property is being sold or leased, a non-complying wood fire keeping device need to be removed or replaced,” Heil said.

Heil said the DEC has a list of heating units that are EPA certified, but that it’s easy to determine if a unit is compliant.

”EPA-certified stoves were required in 1988 to have a permanent plate to put on the back of them,” Heil said.

Heil said wood fired boilers in a property up for sale or lease must be EPA Phase 2 compliant before the transaction can take place. The real estate regulation takes effect June 9th. The other new measure, which is anticipated to go into effect in August, will require anyone who sells fire wood within the Fairbanks North Star Borough air quality non-attainment area, to register with the state.

”And when you register with the Department, you are then required to measure the moisture content of the wood and provide that moisture content information to the consumer,” Heil said.

Heil said both regulations were contingency measures developed through public process when the DEC formulated a plan for cleaning up Fairbanks area air.

The regulations were triggered by the area’s failure to do so, and its recent reclassification by the EPA from a moderate to serious non-attainment area for fine particulate pollution, under the federal Clean Air Act.

Dan Bross is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.

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