Matanuska-Susitna Borough

Air Quality Legislation Moves to Assembly

Mat-Su | Patty Sullivan | Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Air quality legislation passed at the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Planning Commission last night. The legislation goes before the Assembly for consideration on March 5.

The legislation does not regulate wood stoves.

Some of the changes in the proposed legislation would:

  • transfer local air quality authority from the State to the Borough, which publishes air quality advisories.
  • create a Butte Air Quality District.
  • enforce new regulation that requires residents to delay outside burning of wood and debris piles on days when an air quality advisory has been issued. If adopted by the Assembly, a resident could be cited and pay $150 for a first offense of burning outside on static air, cold winter days (2 to 4 days per year generally) in the community of Butte. 

The legislation’s intent is to prevent Butte’s air quality from exceeding national standards that would trigger federal regulation and expensive mandated programs, which have been underway in the Fairbanks North Star Borough for decades.

Read a press release from the Open House on Butte air quality issues here. Mat-Su Borough Environmental Planner Brianne Blackburn and Planner Ted Eischeid briefed the Commission and answered questions last night. Read the legislation from the Planning Commission packet here.

The Assembly will also consider an updated Memorandum of Understanding between the Borough and the Alaska Dept. of Environmental Conservation for air quality coordination. The Borough’s authority to implement an Air Quality Management Plan is tied to DEC approval through the Memorandum of Understanding. In this MOU, the Borough does not have the authority to regulate wood stoves of residents.

The Planning Commission had continued the air quality legislation from a Dec. 3, 2018 meeting. Last night the Commissioners voted unanimously to recommend adoption of the the air quality resolution and code ordinance to the Assembly.

Photo of smoke plume, from outside burning, flattening on a day with little air flow in the community of Butte. Taken by Mat-Su Borough Public Affairs.

For more information contact Mat-Su Borough Environmental Planner Brianne Blackburn at 861-8439 or Planner Ted Eischeid at 861-8606 or Public Affairs Director Patty Sullivan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.