The Fairbanks North Star Borough’s Air Pollution Control Commission (FNSB APCC) will discuss the Kinross Manh Choh mine ore haul at their next meeting on August 3, 2022. Of particular interest are the potential air quality impacts within the FNSB PM2.5 Non-attainment Area by the trucking project. A Q&A period with technical experts will be included. The meeting is available by Zoom and begins at 6 PM. ASAH strongly supports the letter proposed by APCC Chairman Michael Pollen.
Kinross claims that “The transportation will be intermittent and transient in nature. This activity would not affect the EPA-approved State Implementation Plan and ADEC’s plans to address emissions and bring the PM 2.5 non-attainment area into compliance.”
On their website Kinross states that they hired an independent study of the effects the trucking plan may have on the PM 2.5 non-attainment area along the route. However they have not shared that study publicly and ASAH does not believe the route studied is the current one through Fairbanks, which is longer than the original route utilizing only the Steese Highway. Hundreds of ore truck transits will cause congestion at intersections, reduce traffic flow, increase idling time of all vehicles (not just the trucks!), and result in higher exhaust emissions. The air quality improvements gained by the FNSB’s multi-million dollar plans to replace our diesel-powered city buses with natural gas-powered buses may well be lost. As Chairman Pollen clearly states in his letter to Mayor Ward: “As you are aware, failure to attain compliance with the PM2.5 air quality standards could result in severe Federal sanctions including restrictions on commercial and industrial activities in the non-compliant airshed, as well as possible reductions in federal highway funding for the FNSB and the State of Alaska.”