Reconciling indoor air quality and wood heating | Community insights

A recently published community perspective has twisted and attacked the approach proposed by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to address air quality issues in Fairbanks and the North Pole. I am writing this answer to set the record straight.

First and foremost, our number one goal from the beginning, besides improving air quality, was to maintain our residents’ ability to burn wood. Under EPA oversight, other states that had similar air quality issues were eventually forced to ban wood burning altogether. Although wood smoke is the root of our air quality problems, eliminating the ability to heat homes with wood was, and remains, an absolute failure for us.

Jason Brune is commissioner of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.

Betty K. Park