Fairbanks residents eye 2018 ballot for home heat initiative
Posted August 10
FAIRBANKS, Alaska — Alaska residents pushing for a law that would prohibit Fairbanks North Star Borough from regulating heating appliances and combustible fuels have missed the deadline to get their proposal on the October ballot, but they are on track for a 2018 vote.
The group of residents looking to roll back rules on air pollution has until September 21 to gather at least 1,872 valid signatures for the 2018 ballot, The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported (http://bit.ly/2vSdYwf ).
Kristina Hoffert, a main sponsor of the proposal called the "Home Heating Reclamation Act," said they have about 1,100 signatures.
Borough leaders have been fine-tuning the local air quality program and adopted tough rules earlier this year. The borough reduced the air pollution threshold that triggers a burn ban and now requires people seeking a waiver from the rules to prove an economic hardship.
The tougher rules on wood burning were approved under pressure from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which reclassified the borough from a "moderate" to a "serious" nonattainment area.
Sponsors of the initiative have said the new rules are troublesome in a subarctic city that needs heat.