AIR TOPICS: Alaska Air
AIR TOPICS: Mobile Sources
Please visit our Policy Resource Kit page to find out about current actions related to Alaska Air in your region
POLICY RESOURCE KIT
Alaska Tribal Air Work Group Overview
NTAA’s Alaska Tribal Air Work Group (NTAA AK WG) was approved by the NTAA Executive Committee in December, 2021. The NTAA AK WG assists Alaskan Tribes and Villages to learn more about and work on air quality and climate change issues specific to Alaska. The NTAA AKWG partners with EPA R10 Office, the Alaskan Native Tribal Health Consortium, the State of Alaska’s Department of Environmental Conservation and others to advance air quality in Alaska.
If you are a New Airhead and want to learn more about Air Quality click here…
Alaska Air Work Leads Include:
Alaska Region Association of Village Council Presidents
NTAA Program Manager
STAY IN TOUCH
Get engaged with other Alaska Tribes working on air issues! Join the Alaska Tribal Air Workgroup by sending an email to the NTAA Program Manager.
What is Tribal Consultation?
In October 2022, NTAA hosted a webinar for Alaskans to learn more about Tribal Consultation and how EPA consults with Tribes. The webinar was recorded and you can it view here. The EPA prepared a slide show at an information webinar for Alaskan Tribes that you can view here. You can sign up for tribal consultation notifications from EPA here. You can learn more about EPA consultation here.
Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium:
Air Quality and Healthy Homes Programs
- Get direct technical assistance on air quality issues, borrow equipment, get help with workplans and QAPPs and ask about sub-award funding.
Alaska Housing Finance Corporation Weatherization Assistance Program
- Ask about resources for weatherization and indoor air quality in homes. Find resources on a range of IAQ topics.
Regional Tribal Health Corporations: Reach out to the closest tribal health organization and ask for the environmental health program/staff.
- Regional tribal health corporations typically have trained environmental health professionals who can provide assistance on IAQ and healthy homes issues, among other environmental health needs.
Cold Climate Housing Research Center
- Reach out to connect with experts in all things building science, sustainability, indoor air, ventilation, filtration, and home heating. CCHRC is often a partner on research or other community building projects
University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Program
- Connect with professional educators and experts in radon (Art Nash) and healthy homes/indoor air (Leif Albertson).
Alaska Dept of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health, Environmental Public Health Program
- Reach staff who have expertise in Alaska-specific toxicology and environmental health sciences.
Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation
- Connect with air quality staff on outdoor air topics that can impact indoor air – e.g. road dust, solid waste burning, residential wood smoke.
Zender Environmental Health and Research Group
- Find fact sheets on a range of topics, training for quality assurance work, and resources on conducting outreach and education, e.g. social media.
ALASKA AIR ISSUES
MOBILE SOURCES ISSUES
Alaskan Native Elders Tell Their Climate Change Story | After the Ice
Climate Change and Alaska
Alaska is home to 229 federally recognized tribes that are already experiencing the impacts of climate change in their everyday lives. Alaska Native peoples depend economically, nutritionally, and culturally on fishing and hunting animals, including polar bears, walruses, seals, caribou, and fish. As the supply of fish and game declines, they are likely to travel onto thinning ice in search of food and are being forced to seek alternative food sources. In addition, Arctic plants and animals, including those harvested as subsistence food, are at higher risk for diseases in a warming climate, further affecting food availability and human health.
Unique Facts about Indoor Air in Alaska
- Building designs are diverse in Alaska; homes in permafrost regions are typically built off the ground on pilings.
- Construction in rural Alaska is challenging and costly due to extreme weather and remoteness – most villages are only accessible by boat or plane.
- Alaskan infants, in select regions, are hospitalized with lower respiratory tract infections at 10–15 times the rates for US infants. Medical transport is often required for treatment.
- 50% of houses in Alaska are relatively airtight and lack mechanical ventilation.
- Alaska Tribes are adapting to IAQ climate change impacts – navigating erosion, increased flooding, and wildfire smoke. Some villages are physically moving housing to safer locations.
- 56% of houses in Alaska have a moderately higher risk of moisture and indoor air quality issues, with some regions of Alaska reaching as high as 69%.
Clean Air, Healthy Villages: Road Dust
Alaska Native Village Air Quality Fact Sheet Series Road Dust
Alaska Road Dust Importance
Alaska Interagency Coordination Center – The Alaska Interagency Coordination Center (AICC) is the Geographic Area Coordination Center for Alaska. AICC serves as the focal point for initial attack resource coordination, logistics support, and predictive services for all state and federal agencies involved in wildland fire management and suppression in Alaska.
UAFSMOKE– Track wildfires in the State of Alaska in real-time.
Alaska and Wildfires
Wildfires worldwide play an important role in air quality, climate, ecosystems, economy, and many aspects of human life. Despite its high latitudinal location, Alaska experiences an average of approximately 3,760km2 area burned annually. Each summer, these wildfires can endanger life and property if they approach populated areas while at the same time playing an important natural role in the ecosystems of Alaska. The landscape and climate of the Interior make it the prime area where the majority of wildfires occur in the state. Additionally, the climate influences the relative strength of a fire season in terms of the total area burned during the fire season.
Quick Facts About Wildfires in Alaska:
- The number of large wildfires (larger than 1,000 acres) suddenly increased in the 1990s, and the 2000s saw nearly twice as many large wildfires as the 1950s and 60s.
- In the Arctic region, large wildfires increased nearly tenfold in the 2000s compared to the 1950s and 60s. Only three years in the 1950s and 1960s saw large wildfires; there have been 33 large wildfires in the Arctic since 2000.
- The area burned in large wildfires each year is increasing. For example, in just two years, 2004 and 2005, wildfires burned a larger area than in the 15 years from 1950-1964 combined. In particular, there has been a dramatic increase in wildfires larger than 10,000 acres but smaller than 50,000 acres.
- Alaska’s wildfire season is about 40 percent longer than in the 1950s. The first wildfires start earlier in the year, and the last wildfires burn longer into the fall. Overall, the wildfire season has increased by more than 35 days and is now more than three months long, from May through early August.
- Rising temperatures across Alaska have been concurrent with the rise in the number and size of Alaskan wildfires. Years with the hottest May-July temperatures also tend to be years with the most fires and the greatest area burned.
- According to the National Climate Assessment, the area burned in Alaskan wildfires is projected to double by 2050 and triple by 2100 under continued emissions and further warming.
Division of Air Quality MONITORING AND QUALITY ASSURANCE – The Division of Air Quality, Air Monitoring & Quality Assurance Program operates and oversees air quality monitoring networks throughout Alaska.
Air Monitoring in Alaska
The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has transitioned to a new data acquisition system and developed this new AQI page. The PM2.5 AQI is visible in the map view below, and more information is accessible by clicking on individual sites using this link. There are 13 air monitoring sites throughout Alaska and a Community-Based Air Monitoring Pilot Project that uses AQMesh pods to collect air quality data in hub communities throughout Alaska. If you have any questions about the data or how to navigate the AQI page, please contact [email protected].
Alaska Air Resources
The Aleknagik Traditional Council worked with Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and partners to create several educational videos on Indoor Air Quality.
- Let’s Clear the Air: How To Take Care of Your HRV
- Let’s Clear the Air: Simple Steps to a Healthier Home
- Let’s Clear the Air: Protect Yourself from Wildfire Smoke
- EPA: Clean Air, Healthy Villages
Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) Air Resources
Healthy Homes and COVID – 19 Resources
- A Healthier Home in 5 Steps
- Improving Ventilation in Schools, Colleges, and Universities to Prevent COVID – 19
General Air Quality Assessment Tools and Resources From ANTHC
- Phase I Air Assessment Tool
- Phase II Air Assessment Tool
- Environmental Assessment Checklist for Healthy Schools
- Resources for all Community Environment and Health programs
- Green Cleaning Tip Sheet
- Air Quality: Green Cleaning
- Air Quality: Mold and Moisture
- Air Quality: Wood and Steam Burning
- Alaska BurnWise Program
Rural Alaska Healthy Homes Checklist
This checklist is a rapid healthy homes assessment tool developed by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC)-Environmental Health Consultation group. It can be used by an environmental worker, clinic personnel, homeowners, or anybody who may be requested to do a home assessment in rural Alaska. The guiding principles of this checklist were adopted from the National Center for Healthy Housing’s Seven Principles of a Healthy Home and modified for use in rural Alaska.
NTAA Alaska Air Resources
Tribal Air Summit
In September 2019, NTAA hosted a Tribal Air Summit at Alaska Pacific University’s Rasmuson Hall. Links to the various presentations are included here.
- Air Summit Priorities
- Eek, Alaska
- EPA IGAP Grants and Air Quality Projects
- Air Sensor Technology
- OTAQ Tribal Overview
- NTAA’s Response to the Senate
- Office of Atmospheric Programs & Office of Radiation and Indoor Air
- Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards
- Quapaw Air Program
- ETEP Data Summary
- Seldovia, Alaska
- The LEO Network
- Office of Air and Radiation Overview
- AQ Planning for Wildland Smoke
Additional Air Resources
- Asthma Tool Kit
- Building Emissions Calculator by Energy Star
- DIY Filtration Devices During Wildfires
- Characterizing the performance of a do-it-yourself (DIY) box fan air filter
- 2022 Efficient and Healthy Schools Webinar Series
- Tribal Healthy Homes Network Air Quality Trainings
- An Introduction to Radon Gas in Homes