First Air Quality Stakeholders Meeting was Held at UAF

Published: Jun. 5, 2018 at 7:27 PM AKDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Residents from around the community gathered together for the first 'Air Quality Stakeholder group' meeting earlier today.

The Fairbanks North Star Borough is number one in the country for particulate matter pollution, a problem that this stakeholder group is working to tackle.

"It's important to get all of the viewpoints so that the solution and the path forward is agreed upon by the majority of the community," said Nick Czarnecki, air quality manager for the Fairbanks North Star Borough.

In this group there are 36 community representatives from all over the borough, including military, industry, environmental and community health organizations.

The biggest pollution issue in Fairbanks is with fine particulates, which mainly come from burning wood. A large portion of residents in interior Alaska rely on to heat their homes.

"That was my family and our home, wood was our only source of heat, so I know what that's like and to not be able to afford other sources of heat," said Jimmy Fox, co-coordinator of Citizens for Clean Air.

Golden Valley Electric Association explains how this could affect their company.

"As a part of the community and a member owned cooperative, but any of the measures that we're looking at, affect the rates that our members pay," said Naomi Morton Knight, environmental officer, at Golden Valley Electric Association.

Air quality is a problem that affects many people in the community and this group hopes this approach will allow them to find solutions that will work for Fairbanks.

These meetings will occur once a month going into October, with some possible working groups gathering in between the monthly meetings.