Published: March 10th, 2010 09:00 AM
Last Modified: March 10th, 2010 12:58 PM
The Fairbanks borough’s air pollution control commission heard so much public testimony at Tuesday evening’s meeting, it didn’t start debating a proposed chimney smoke ordinance until 11 p.m. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that the debate pits people concerned with public health against those opposed to regulations on how they can heat their homes. Nobody disputes that Fairbanks air can be seriously smoggy. Those who testified in favor of the ordinance complained about air pollution, especially from outdoor wood boilers. "I came here tonight because I am a victim of an outdoor boiler," dog musher Susan Amundson said. "I came here to support the ordinance."Patrice Lee said her son, who has heart problems, cannot attend school when the air quality is poor. She supports the measure as well. Those opposing the measure had many complaints, including the federal government’s air pollution regulations, the plan’s limits on outdoor wood boilers in densely populated neighborhoods and the wood smoke enforcement and fines. If the borough doesn’t take measures to address the city’s wintertime air pollution problem, it’s facing sanctions from the federal government. As of press time Tuesday, says the News-Miner, the commission hadn’t decided whether to endorse the borough plan.