The federal government has officially designated Fairbanks a nonattainment area for PM 2.5, the government name for fine particle pollution.
The designation means the borough now has deadlines to meet for coming up with a plan to clean the air. Otherwise, the municipality faces federal sanctions, including the loss of federal highway funds.
Fairbanks shares the new designation with Los Angeles; Tacoma, Wash.; Milwaukee; Philadelphia; Cleveland; New York and about 40 other cities.
The borough has two years to deliver a cleanup plan to the state, which needs a year to study the plan before submitting it to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for approval.