2011 Sept. 29: AK Fairbanks: RAWSEP View: ClearStak device used, wood smoke complaints continued near Woodriver Elementary. RE: Proposition 2 opponents tout a small device as an answer to air pollution
(State Rep. Tammie Wilson, chairwoman of Interior Alaskans Opposed to Prop. 2, spent the morning near the smoke-plagued Woodriver Elementary School touting a device)
(Connecticut-based ClearStak, which makes the devices)
An early version of the devices was used on two hyrdonic heaters near Woodriver Elementary last year, but the borough still received complaints about the smoke.
Even with the catalyst, during high loads the heater emits enough smoke to be a concern, he said, especially on an inversion day. But since the device was installed last week, it hasn’t appeased neighbors, either; the borough received a complaint on Tuesday.
And it’s those imperfect results that leave supporters of Proposition 2 wary of the catalyst when discussing the ban of hydronic heaters in the non-attainment area.
“They say that there’s technology to make them burn clean,” said Sylvia Schultz, who leads Health Air Now for Prop. 2. “But the technology that can fix this doesn’t appear to be here yet. Proposition 2 has two years to run and technology can maybe catch up to the need then.”
She added that Proposition 2’s ban would only have to be in effect until 2013, when it could be repealed. That’s enough time, she said, to bring the borough into compliance by the EPA’s deadline and enough time for the technology to mature.
TheLighterSide wrote on Thursday, Sep 29 at 03:01 PM »
Congratulations Fairbanks! We’re in the Top 10 List of worst US cities for air pollution (particulates specifically).
Worst #1 Bakersfield CA
#3 3-way tie between Riverside, San Bernadino, & Ontario (Calif)
#4-7 a four-way tie between Visalia-Portersville (CA), Hilo HI (for volcanic emissions), Modesto, & Fairbanks
#8 Hanford-Corcoran (Calif)
#9 tie between Pittsburgh & San Diego
So, all you folks saying we don’t have a problem…well, you’re wrong.
Also, claiming that this type of particulate pollution is not deleterious to health…well, you’re wrong again. Here is just one article
http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1921080,00.html There are many more.
Now, can we get to the REAL issues of what would be effective in improving our air quality?
« Oh_please wrote on Thursday, Sep 29 at 02:47 PM »
“So, Prop 2 won’t bring us into compliance, though it will make the enviro-nazis happy for a few days.Expecting your neighbor to burn responsibly and not smoke you out is hardly ‘enviro-nazism’ but thanks for putting an extremist bent on the situation…
“It simply will outlaw heating your home in an affordable and carbon-neutral way.”No.
” And, then, in a year, someone will decide they don’t like your diesel-burning heater and they’ll go after that and reduce PM 2.5 by maybe 25%.”
What you’re engaging in here, aurora, is what’s known as the Slippery Slope argument. It’s a logical fallacy. One situation does not necessarily lead to the next.
“Still won’t fix the problem, but it will give yet another group of chichakos a bit more control over those of us who came here to be free of that sort of nonsense.”
As a third-generation Alaskan, you’d know! Amirite?? First of all, the word is spelled ‘cheechako’. Second, violating the rights of another property owner is not ‘nonsense’ as you contend. You’ve got every right to do what you wish on your property as long as it doesn’t harm or violate the rights of others, at least that’s what a good libertarian would believe… Inefficient burning leading to excessively large amounts of smoke is certainly a violation of the ‘do no harm’ ideal and nuisance standards.
“Buy a clue, folks! If you don’t like living near Alaskans, maybe you should move out of Alaska. I’m sure you can find neighbors in Oregon who are willing to live the lifestyle you want them to live.”
You know what, aurora? You don’t even have to buy a clue. I’ll be happy to give you one. Society has every right to regulate nuisances. It’s part of what’s known as a Social Contract; if you wish to live in society and reap the benefits that society provides you also must adhere to the rules society agrees to. Regulations don’t come from nowhere simply to oppress you, aurora. Regulations are a response to problems that are created by irresponsible individuals or groups that are seemingly unsolvable at a personal level.
And, frankly, your third-generation-Alaskan status does not give you the right to declare what Alaska is or isn’t. I’ll tell you right now, my family has been here far longer than yours and members of my family remember when Alaskans helped each other to build this place and respected each other’s rights instead of engaging in your ‘screw you, I do what I want and if you don’t like it, leave’ arguments. (That kind of attitude would get you a miners committee judgment and a one-way ticket out of the country in the old days.)
We need more civics education in schools.
« OneDad wrote on Thursday, Sep 29 at 01:21 PM »
M4L, yeah, I read your stuff. You think that Prop 2, with regulations and incentives for clean burning won’t reduce PM2.5, but that *voluntary* actions will?!
If voluntary actions were working, we wouldn’t be seeing our air quality decrease every winter since fuel went sky high – but we have. We have always had the ability to voluntarily reduce our smoke emissions. Lately, we’ve even had stove-change out programs and educational efforts, along with technological improvements. Last year there were 37 poor air days in Fairbanks.
I read your information. Now, for the “proper foundation”, please read these:
You have a child? Be aware that exposure to elevated levels of PM2.5 can permanently impair your child’s lung function.
Kids and lung development Dublin used to burn coal, too. Then they found that not burning coal prevented 359 deaths a year.
And, PM2.5 is a problem in Fairbanks:
PM2.5 in Fairbanks
It is absolutely a health issue. You, a blogger with presumably no MD, no PhD, no engineering degree, are remarkably quick to chuck out the 100s of studies and analyses done by peer-reviewed scientists who say we do have a problem.
« rationalcitizen wrote on Thursday, Sep 29 at 01:12 PM »
“It’s all about control for whom? How about recomending the HOLISTIC approach vs Drugging the child.We are living amongest the HIPPOCRATES!”
There are total sectors of the Holistic market that are completely scam ridden. Particularly the natural supplements business. Remember “Airborne” that was touted as a protector against the common cold…that was until a few studies were finally done that proved it was BS.
I’d much rather be given a drug that had some rigourous testing done on it by doctors and government bodies then a holistic approach that has no more credibility then a snake oil salesman from 100 years ago.
« brilliant_disguise wrote on Thursday, Sep 29 at 01:09 PM »
ChenaRidge wrote on Thursday, Sep 29 at 12:13 PM »
“What vendor is making big money off the borough’s woodstove upgrade program? Three guesses”
That’s one (cynical) way of looking at the situation. Another (reasonable) way of looking at it is “What kids and compromised adults will benefit from the borough’s woodstove upgrade program?” Answer: All of those who live/work/go to school in areas where outdoor burners foul the air.
This debate reminds me of the debate that surrounds a city’s attempt to ban smoking in bars and restaurants. For some reason, smokers seem incensed that they will no longer be able to foul the air in a room where non-smokers were forced to inhale carbon monoxide, jeopardizing their health and exposing them to carcinogetic chemicals that could cause them cancer and/or kill them in the future. Some folks refuse to think of anything beyond their own needs.
« BS.detector wrote on Thursday, Sep 29 at 01:05 PM »
Check out Dermot Cole’s blog yesterday on how Tammie Wilson maneuvered to give her buddies who started a non-profit specifically to get this sweetheart $500,000 state grant.
http://newsminer.com/pages/full_story/push?blog-entry-Newnonprofit gains state grant for wood boiler retrofit work & id=15786941&instance=blogs_editors_desk
“The point is it will *still* not be enough as the report is based on estimated numbers that are 2/3 greater than the actual number of hydronic burners. The point is there will *still* be demands for more reductions even if the proposition passes.”
So you are advocating for a stronger action then Prop 2?
Juneau and Anchorage have both done considerable work on resolving their air quality issues. Fairbanks was on that road until Prop A took the teeth out of any local control ordinances.
Are you suggesting that there is nothing we can do and we should just continue to produce as much smoke as we want, planning to kiss the highway money good by for the whole state while poisoning our pioneers and childeren?
The smoke is bad, it is from wood-burning, and Prop 2 will preserve our ability to heat with wood while significantly improving our air quality. This seems like a good direction to go.
If you have a plan that will meet the EPA requirements better then Prop 2, please share it!