Fairbanks area warned of possible pollution sanctions

Borough stands to lose project funding, federal government aid

Posted: Wednesday, September 23, 2009

FAIRBANKS - A law firm hired by the Fairbanks North Star Borough says it could face sanctions if it fails to clean up air pollution.

The law firm - Birch, Horton, Bittner and Cherot - says the borough could lose highway construction funds and other aid from the federal government.

Residents vote Oct. 6 on how air pollution prevention programs should be run.

The Fairbanks News-Miner reported the law firm also warned that military expansion could be endangered and efforts to build a coal-fired power plant could be compromised if Fairbanks refuses to cooperate with state air quality plans.

Mayor Jim Whitaker called the implications of the memo significant.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has said it will draft and enforce pollution-prevention measures if local officials decline to do so.

Residents attending Borough Air Pollution Control Commission meetings have asked for more study before restrictions are imposed on wood- or coal-burning.

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