Burning wood is a popular way to heat in the Interior, even when oil prices are relatively cheap it seems. For some, economics may drive the amount of wood burned yet heating with wood is almost a part of the Interior Alaskan culture. The Fairbanks North Star Borough has tried over the years to use the carrot (incentives) and stick (penalties)- as well as education- for more efficient combustion overall by wood burners. Tomorrow night the Borough Mayor’s proposal Ordinance 2017-44 to proactively set a bar for future home wood stove installations will be introduced. The focus would be in the more populated parts of the Borough where inversion layers from cold weather compound the problem of outdoor air quality due to the amount of combustion occurring.
The proposal would increase burn ban, increase the cost of permits to install wood combustion devices in homes, increase those who would need to be responsive to burn ban alerts as well as put new requirements of more documentation for those stating that they have no other adequate source of heat. Guidance would be coming from the EPA in part, as they seek to limit the amount of (PM 2.5) emissions for public health reasons. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation would also have a role per guidance.
Keep an eye this week on the news to see how any votes and subsequent changes this week will possibly effect your burning wood in the future!