In late February, the Alaska State Legislature’s Interior Delegation consisting of legislators serving Interior Alaska sent a letter to the EPA outlining their united opposition to proposed air quality regulations for PM2.5 emissions within the Fairbanks North Star Borough. Members of the Interior Delegation said the following about the proposed regulations:
“The Fairbanks North Star Borough has worked hard to reduce its PM2.5 emissions and while there is still progress to be made, we have taken great strides toward improving our air quality and protecting public health,” said Representative Ashley Carrick (House District 35 and Interior Delegation Chair). “This is a community-level problem best served with community-level solutions. I hope the EPA will reconsider their partial disapproval of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation’s State Implementation Plan.”
“I strongly encourage Fairbanks residents to speak up for Fairbanks at the EPA public hearing on March 7th. Our Borough Assembly and Interior Delegation are united in opposition to the expensive new pollution control measures put forward by the EPA that are unaffordable and offer limited benefits. The EPA needs to hear from all of us about the negative impacts this would have on our community. If you can’t attend, consider sending in written comments by the close of the public comment period on March 22nd,” said Senator Click Bishop (Senate District R).
“The EPA’s harsh air quality regulations place a huge, costly burden on our Fairbanks neighbors. I am committed to working closely with my fellow Interior Delegation members to defend our community and advocate for solutions that will help the people of Fairbanks, rather than cause harm,” said Representative Frank Tomaszewski (House District 34).
“We all can recognize the importance of clean air. But pricing people out of their homes in our harsh Arctic climate isn’t the solution. I would hope the EPA would consider our unique climate and economic situation in crafting a productive solution to our air problem,” said Senator Robert Myers (Senate District Q).
“Fairbanks has gone to extreme lengths to address emissions issues as outlined by the EPA. The actions taken by the community show a commitment to improvement and the EPA must recognize that as a step in the right direction. We do not want folks to feel like they have been led astray and I highly encourage the people to speak up at the upcoming hearing and inform the EPA about how united the community is on this issue,” said Representative Will Stapp (House District 32).
The Interior Delegation is united in its opposition to these new PM2.5 regulations and encourages interior residents get involved. The EPA will be hosting a public hearing on March 7th from 2:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the UAF Wood Center. The public comment period has been extended and the public can submit comments by March 22nd. Public comment can be submitted online.