Fairbanks wood stove ballot question approved

From The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Saturday, July 10, 2010:

A ballot group succeeded in gaining the signatures to put a question to the Fairbanks area voters that, if approved, would reverse new air pollution regulations.

A Fairbanks North Star Borough canvassing board approved the signatures last week.

The question about whether the borough should be allowed to regulate home heating devices will appear on the Oct. 5 ballot, according to borough officials and a member of the ballot measure group. The group needed 2,379 signatures.

Rick VanderKolk, treasurer of the North Star Landowners, said the ballot measure group is raising money to publicize the measure, dubbed The Home Heating Protection Act.

If approved by the voters, the act states that “the borough shall not ban, prohibit or fine residents for the use of home heating devices.” It effectively reverses air pollution regulations passed last month and aimed at dense chimney smoke that puts out a harmful pollutant known as PM 2.5. The federal government has put the borough on notice to reduce levels of PM 2.5.

The ballot measure group is backed by Rep. Tammy Wilson, R-North Pole; businessman Craig Compeau; radio personality Michael Dukes and others.