Alaska groups sue over inaction on Fairbanks air pollution

Lawsuit claims EPA is four months past deadline to approve or reject state plan to address pollution in the city.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Three Alaska community groups on Thursday sued the Environmental Protection Agency over its lack of action addressing Fairbanks air pollution.

The groups say the EPA is four months overdue on a deadline to approve or reject a state plan to address Fairbanks particulate pollution.

Fine particulate in Alaska's second largest city in winter months regularly exceeds federal standards.

The groups say the Fairbanks North Star Borough has the worst fine particulate spikes in the nation.

Particulate is a mix of solid particles and liquid droplets ranging from soot to microscopic pieces.

Fine particulate measures 2.5 micrometers or less. It's linked to heart attacks, decreased lung function and premature death in people with heart or lung diseases.

A major source is wood smoke produced by homeowners trying to cut fuel bills.

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