Murkowski Welcomes $2.5 Million Grant to Alaska
Grant Will Help Improve Fairbanks Air Quality
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) today welcomed the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement that Alaska has been selected to receive $2.5 million to help improve air quality in Fairbanks, including through voluntary wood stove change-outs. The funds are from the EPA’s Targeted Airshed grant program.
“This grant will help reduce the pollution that is the cause of the air quality alerts and burn bans that residents in Fairbanks have grappled with for years,” Murkowski said. “In a community where electricity costs more than twice the national average and where residents face far colder winter temperatures than in urban America, these funds will help meaningfully improve local air quality. I fought hard to ensure that Fairbanks was eligible for this funding and thank the EPA for providing some of the resources it will take for a community with limited options to comply with the agency’s air quality standards.”
Background: Senator Murkowski has long-fought for the EPA to provide grant assistance to the Fairbanks North Star Borough to meet new particulate matter standards (PM 2.5) for air quality. As Chairman of the Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Murkowski increased funding for the program in Fiscal Year 2016. She also secured an amendment to modify the Targeted Airshed grant program so that communities like Fairbanks, where wood stoves have been a major reason for not meeting air quality standards, could qualify for federal aid.