Science

Dirty Winter Air: Pollution Plaques Alaskans

By Allan Alforte , Dec 28, 2016 06:05 AM EST
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GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 06: Smoke rises from chimneys as the sun rises over the Somerset Levels on November 6, 2012 in Glastonbury, England. Parts of the UK have experienced one of the coldest starts to November for many years and the Met Office is predicting that the coming winter could be a colder one than average. (Photo : Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

In a place where it is frigidly cold, Alaskans use wood-burning stove to keep warm. This method of heat source is costly for the environment and is bringing Alaskans dirty winter air this season.

A dirty haze hovers a town in North Pole, Alaska, the soot in the air is attributed to wood stoves still in use by some people in this part of the state.

As the temperature drop, these wood stoves are fired up by people trying to stay warm. However, staying warm may prove costly for the environment as well as for health.

Heated air rise up from the chimneys rapidly cools down and comes back to the ground, along with it comes the soot that is a byproduct of wood burning.

It is reported that this is a fairly regular occurrence around this time of the year in one of the coldest parts of the region. The dirty winter air looms over this area and the government is starting to take measures to curtail this.

According to Tim Hamlin, the director of the office of air and waste at the E.P.A.'s region 10 which also includes Alaska, people are apt to create a serious air pollution problem when they most need the heat.

The E.P.A. could declare the entire area with its population of 100,000 to be in serious noncompliance to the Clean Air Act. Civil fines by the Fairbanks North Star Borough could be assessed and levied against the residents of cities Fairbanks and North Pole according to a report from The New York Times.

This particular ground-level pollution is especially problematic because it can go directly into the lungs thus posing a significant health risks to residents.

According to a report by Newser, locals of the area are hesitant to switch to other form of heat source mainly because of the costs. However, by failing to comply with regulations, they are risking heavy fines and also the borough itself risk losing federal transportation funds.

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