I just finished spending an hour and a half splitting more firewood and stashing it in the shed. Why? Because cold air's on the way down here again. That usually means power outages, and although we have a gas furnace, they still require a certain amount of electricity to work. Which means no heat.
That's the nice thing about wood; it warms you three ways: when you're cutting it, when you're splitting it, and when you're burning it. The EPA hates that.
But alas, now comes the federal government to tell the inhabitants of Alaska’s interior that, really, they should not be building fires to keep themselves warm during the winter. The New York Times reports the Environmental Protection Agency could soon declare the Alaskan cities of Fairbanks and North Pole, which have a combined population of about 100,000, in “serious” noncompliance of the Clean Air Act early next year.
Like most people in Alaska, the residents of those frozen cities are burning wood to keep themselves warm this winter. Smoke from wood-burning stoves increases small-particle pollution, which settles in low-lying areas and can be breathed in. The EPA thinks this is a big problem. Eight years ago, the agency ruled that wide swaths of the most densely populated parts of the region were in “non-attainment” of federal air quality standards.
That prompted state and local authorities to look for ways to cut down on pollution from wood-burning stoves, including the possibility of fining residents who burn wood.
We don't live in Alaska, but when that arctic air swoops down on us, I'm ready and willing to burn wood. Our fireplace may not meet the EPA standards, but it keeps the place warm.
Fight Global Warming!