– by Nick Bowman, September 22, 2016, Ketchikan Daily News
Petersburg, Alaska (Graphic: Lynden.com)
Southeast Alaska biomass experts believe that the low price of oil shouldn’t put wood heat projects on the chopping block.
When the price of diesel remained higher than $4 a gallon, wood-fired boilers were sold as a relatively cheap heating option for public buildings in Southeast.
The campaign to promote wood heat has been successful in Southeast — especially in the Ketchikan and Prince of Wales Island areas — as all levels of government, tribal governments and private enterprise invest millions of dollars into biomass projects.
– by Dan Joling, August 4, 2016, Juneau Empire
Photo: John Wagner
Three environmental groups announced Wednesday they intend to sue the Environmental Protection Agency for not enforcing federal air pollution law in Fairbanks.
Six years after the Fairbanks North Star Borough was designated as non-compliant because of unhealthy fine particulate, federal law requires the EPA to declare the borough a “serious non-attainment area,” according to the groups.
State environmental officials who created cleanup plans for Fairbanks air pollution, now designated as “moderate,” likely would have to consider stronger controls, said Kenta Tsuda, an attorney for Earthjustice, an environmental law firm.
– by Amanda Bohman, May 25, 2016, Newsminer
Photo: Eric Engman / News Miner
The highest counts of episodic PM 2.5 particulate pollution reported in the country are coming from a pollution monitor on Hurst Road in North Pole.
The counts are not just high. They are outrageously high — almost twice as high as the next highest community in the nation, according to data collected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
“This level of pollution is rarely experienced in the United States,” said Claudia Vaupel, EPA air planning team leader.
On winter days, when chimneys are churning out smoke and the air is stagnant, a thick haze settles on the area off Badger Road, burning people’s eyes, throats and noses. It’s a health hazard, which is why the EPA requires the pollution monitoring and is urging the state to take action.
– by Jillian Rogers, May 20, 2016, KHNS
Haines is one of just two Alaska communities to be awarded large wood-innovation grants from the U.S. Forest Service. The other is the Hydaburg School District.
The Haines Borough will get $250,000 to use toward expanding a wood energy, or biomass, heating system.
According to a Forest Service release, 77 applications were received nationwide with 42 grants awarded after a competitive process.