Just Freeze! EPA Says Burning Wood Is Bad

So, you’re living in Fairbanks, Alaska, and it’s 45 degrees below zero, Fahrenheit. The high today will be -39 degrees below zero. The weather services all project lots more double-digit minus numbers in the coming days and weeks, with dips into the minus 50s and 60s. Heating oil prices are killing your family budget, so you crank up the wood stove and start burning some of the firewood you collected last summer. Uh-oh! Now you’re in trouble!

Yes, you’re merely trying to survive economically — along with trying to keep the wife, kids, and grandma from freezing to death. Of course, that’s not a mere theoretical possibility in these temps — but federal EPA bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., have determined that fine particulate matter (soot) in your wood smoke is verboten.

Lying low in the Tanana Valley, Fairbanks regularly experiences temperature inversions that trap smoky air over the area. That means people with respiratory problems can have more irritation from increased soot content. The federal Environmental Protection Agency’s revised fine particulate matter regulations (PM2.5) have cut the annual level of allowable fine particulates from 15 micrograms per cubic meter of air to 12 micrograms.

The Fairbanks North Star Borough, a county area roughly the size of New Jersey with under 100,000 population, has been under the EPA gun since the agency ratcheted down its soot standards in 2008. Along with 14 other cities and 53 other counties that were not then on the EPA’s “non-attainment area” list, the Fairbanks North Star Borough is under orders to clean up its air or face fines and a “compliance plan” imposed by EPA. In efforts to meet the federal mandate, borough politicians attempted to regulate wood burning. That got citizens heated up.

“Everybody wants clean air,” state Rep. Tammie Wilson told the Associated Press. “We just have to make sure that we can also heat our homes.” Rep. Wilson sponsored a citizen initiative passed in October that bans the borough regulation of home heating devices. The borough, she said, has no business stepping in with restrictions when no one knows if they will work. “We’re still waiting here for a model, a model that shows us that if we do A, B and C, we can then get into attainment,” she said. “We have not seen anything from the borough, from the state or from the EPA showing us that that is even possible with the technology that is available to us.”

Read More at thenewamerican.com .

Photo credit: TexasGOPVote.com (Creative Commons)


  1. The answer is to burn wood cleanly, so all that comes out of the chimney is gas (no unburnt smoke particles). This can be achieved with a rocket stove or a clean-burning wood stove. Also if possible, grow your own firewood so that you can be carbon-neutral.

    • I can't believe the arrogance! People struggling to keep warm probably don't have the funds for a "rocket" stove. Do you have any idea how much acreage is necessary to "grow your own firewood?"

      No common sense.

      • Huapakechi says:

        Typically liberal idiots with no concept of what it takes to survive outside Washington D.C.

      • Does someone who heats their home with wood have the right to cause a potentially life threatening Asthma attack for others?

        As some with Asthma, I say no. I don't think my life should be put at risk so someone can heat their home with wood. Nor do I think the insurance company should have to pay my additional medical bills, or in the case of those with out insurance, the tax payer and the hospital.

        My last ER visit was $6,000, as a kid with Asthma I made at least 2 trips to the ER a year. Just who should be responsible for those costs if those attacks are being caused by my neighbors?

        Is this any different than second hand smoke?

        • dont live in a rural area do you where it costs tons to heat your home. asthma can be treated freezing to death can not. this is just wrong. People who live in the country should have the right to heat their homes at away that is cost efficient and this all has to do with them making more money for those who buy gas and oil not your asthma. wake up. Our country is going to far telling us what we can and can not do and people like you are allowing our rights to be taken away we are suppose to be the home of the free and the land of the brave not the whiners of the world. wood stoves are not your problem ocd is

      • Use your brain 'paulc' – unburnt smoke is a health hazard as demonstrated by the many thousands of people who died in cities heated by wood and coal before we had electricity and piped gas for heating. The technology to eliminate smoke is well-developed and not expensive (I built an experimental rocket stove in my garden with discarded bricks and it cost me nothing at all). Why object to something that is so cheap and easy to do and has such large benefits? Agreed that many people don't have enough land to grow their own firewood but for those who do, why not use it, and use it in a safe and clean way?

    • More NONSENSE!!!!

      • …but I bet you would be the first screaming about YOUR RIGHTS if someone was poisoning you and your family. I'm sure you would grab you Bushmaster and be ready for a fight.

        I can hear you now, "this is my property and you have no right for your poison air to be on my property and killing my family" [pound chest, stomp feet]

        You types are ridiculous. Why don't you think farther than the tip of your nose.

    • strangerinmyownland says:

      So, it's -40F, and, as posited, you don't have enough money to heat your home without using the wood stove. You think now is the time to go buy a 'rocket stove'. By the way, the forest is growing new firewood everyday.


  3. What you have is a bunch of EPA dimwits that wouldn't baloney about heating anything, except they have to keep coming up with rules just to keep their jobs. Like Obama they wouldn't know how to use toilet paper if someone didn't explain it to them.

  4. bippybellito says:

    The EPA, headed by the Corrupt Lisa Jackson, is not beyond sentencing our citizens to death in return for what she considers, a "Greener Environment". Her Evil traces back to Jon CorZine's reign over New Jersey when she crippled the business environment of this once business friendly state. Look at N.J. now. Businesses have left in droves, not responding to the efforts of Gov. Christie to bring back a more business friendly environment. Smart businesses recognize that political winds could shift back and Lis Jackson, or another of her ilk could be back in control again. N.J. unemployment is close to 17% in real numbers. Condemn the EPA and its Evil Leader, Lisa Jackson.

  5. After living 17 years in Fairbanks, I am convinced the morons at the EPA are simply trying to perpetuate their positions by enacting stupid rules which threaten lives and cost immeasurable dollars to people who are just trying to survive the winter each year. The negative effects which they claim are caused by the small population of the area does not require the draconian regulations they concoct…..at some point, I hope we are able to eradicate this useless agency and peoples' lives will be protected by their own efforts, not the worthless "government" we have now. I wonder how many of these idiots have spent time in Fairbanks at fifty below zero…..any ideas??? how about NONE!!!

    • I agree with you lizaz. I'll go further… it is way past time to eliminate the EPA.

    • Carl Stevenson says:

      It's probably more sinister than that. If you look at Agenda 21's depopulation goals, it makes sense. Make it economically impractical to live there due to the cost of heating with other than wood, people have to move our die. Either way, the elites accomplish part of their goal.

  6. "“We have not seen anything from the borough, from the state or from the EPA showing us that that is even possible with the technology that is available to us.”"

    Who gives a damn, just sit down, shut up and do what the EPA says, peasant. God, I swear, sometimes you people act like you are citizens of a free country with rights or something. Knock it off.

    • Huapakechi says:

      Invite 'em up to the North Slope and leave 'em for a couple of weeks. The survivors (if any) might be amenable to common sense.

  7. The Environmental nuts and EPA officials should be made to lead by example, and dragged to Alaska where they would be forced to survive a winter without the warmth producing fuels that make Soot. We'll see how many of those idiots survive; and they cannot resort to the Agenda 21 BS that the Alaskans should move to warmer Climes. They live where they want as Free People.

  8. It is time to do away with the EPA.

  9. This is not about clean air, it is about population control. Oil prices, electricity prices and regulations against burning wood will force people to move out from a place the powers that be wish to depopulate.

  10. The morons in the EPA would rather see people die of starvation than allow some microscopic particle in the air. Starting with Lisa Jackson, the head moron, and including the rest of the bureaucratic misfits that comprise the EPA they should all be put to pasture before they ruin the entire country. In my local liberal newspaper, the Baltimore Sun, there was an article promoting the use of wood instead of propane because it is a renewable energy source. But the EPA, in their inimitable lack of wisdom would stop that also, in fact, they want to reduce the size of particulate matter to the point that we are only allowed to inhale. We not only exhale CO2, a no no, but water vapor particulates both of which are considered greenhouse gases.

  11. Time to ABOLISH THE EPA! Before they abolish US!


  13. Dear EPA: Take my burning embers, bend over, and stick them outasight!

  14. AFZoomieTim says:

    Dear, sweet Lisa, who we all know, cares more for we Americans, than her bank balance, has just turned in her resignation!! Isn't that special??!!??
    Now, if we could just find some elected conservatives with cojones instead of "little grape nuts", we could start the process of abolishing the EPA and many other needless, worthless, money wasting, anti American government agencies!
    But, alas, I fear there is no such entity in our government these days.
    I sure would like for the free, proud and powerful nation in which I was raised, to return! Sigh!!
    Unfortunately, as we used to say in Vietnam: "Neveah Happen!!"

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