DEC Curtailment and Alerts in the Fairbanks North Star Borough Nonattainment Area
On October 2, 2018, Fairbanks North Star Borough (FNSB) voters passed a citizen initiative (Prop 4) that removed the FNSB’s authority to regulate wood stoves and other wood and coal fired heating devices. Therefore, the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Air Quality Division will be issuing air quality alerts, curtailment announcements, and conducting compliance and enforcement. DEC’s regulations governing its ability to issue curtailments are found in 18 AAC 50 and a description of DEC’s air quality episode plan may be found at State Air Quality Control Plan Vol. II: III.D.7.12 Fairbanks Emergency Episode Plan (PDF).
This web page will be updated regularly with the latest information regarding how curtailments and alerts will be called and how information may be obtained.
Questions & Answers
Air Quality Status
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DEC-issued curtailments must identify the area or zone of the curtailment, that fuel loading must cease within three hours of the effective time of the alert, and any exemptions. DEC may either call the Alert or Curtailment for the entire nonattainment area, or for specific zones: North Pole Zone, Fairbanks Zone, or both. Exemptions from a curtailment included in an announcement might include areas experiencing power outages and residents who have temporary waivers. Exceptions to individual episodes may also include exceptions based on the class or type of device or based on a device’s particulate emission rates.
Note: before declaring a curtailment on the operation of solid fuel-fired heating devices DEC will review the relevant and available meteorological data, weather forecasts, affected area, strength of the inversion, and potential duration of the inversion. It is possible DEC will issue an Alert that does not include a curtailment if weather conditions indicate a clearing prior to any effect of a curtailment could be realized. DEC will endeavor to ensure a curtailment is a reasonable approach given the conditions and available data, with the objective of realizing air pollution reduction benefits from the action.
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