On Jan. 8, the state of Alaska will begin seeking to register wood stoves in a federally defined area of the Fairbanks North Star Borough known as the nonattainment area.
The registry is voluntary for some; required for others. It is one element of a larger pollution control plan that was turned over to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency earlier this month.
The boundaries of the nonattainment area include the cities of Fairbanks and North Pole along with the populated outskirts such as around Badger Road and some of west Fairbanks.
The state is asking residents who burn wood or pellets in the nonattainment area for 10 pieces of information: their name, email, physical address, date of stove installation, type of stove — whether wood or pellet burning — manufacturer, model, serial number, age of stove and emission rating, according to a form posted on the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation website.
A link for registering stoves online is expected to go live sometime before Jan. 8. A paper registration form is available on the DEC website. It can be printed and mailed to the DEC, emailed or dropped off at 610 University Ave. in Fairbanks, according to the agency.
The registration program is aimed at helping the state collect information about the types of wood stoves in use, according to Steven Hoke, environmental protection specialist with the DEC Fairbanks office.
“There are six conditions and then it’s voluntary for everybody else,” he said.
The circumstances under which wood stove registration will be required include when purchasing a new stove, when a property with a wood stove is sold, when a resident applies for a waiver from burn bans and when a resident participates in an education program known as the Burn Right Program.
Residents will also be required to register their wood stove to participate in the borough wood stove change-out program. Stove registration will be required to resolve compliance or enforcement action with the DEC, according to the agency’s website.
Letters have gone out to wood stove vendors and to real estate agents discussing a variety of new air quality regulations that are phasing in over the coming years, according to Hoke.
Bans on installing coal-fired heaters and outdoor hydronic heaters along with a prohibition on the sale of wet or unseasoned firewood also begin on Jan. 8.
The state is additionally lowering the threshold for calling burn bans.
In fall 2022, No. 2 heating oil will be prohibited in the nonattainment area.
The deadline is Dec. 31, 2024, to remove old dirty wood stoves, outdoor hydronic heaters and coal-burning devices.
The new regulations are part of a plan known as the serious state implementation plan. The EPA has until Jan. 15 to declare the plan incomplete or begin a review.
“The main purpose here is to improve the air quality,” Hoke said.
Once registered, the state may contact residents with outdated stoves to discuss options for upgrading, he said.
Contact staff writer Amanda Bohman at 459-7545. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMborough.