‘‘We’re still waiting here for a model, a model that shows us that if we do A, B and C, we can then get into attainment,’’ she said. ‘‘We have not seen anything from the borough, from the state or from the EPA showing us that that is even possible with the technology that is available to us.’’
The borough now can only encourage voluntary measures, such as avoiding the burning of green wood.
Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Luke Hopkins said an acceptable attainment plan might still be possible using incentives such as replacement program for inefficient wood stoves and underwriting fuel oil costs on inversion days. Getting 7,000 homeowners to voluntarily use oil instead of wood on the worst days might do it, he said. The entire borough, he said, has a financial incentive to avoid losing federal road money and living under a federal air quality attainment plan.
‘‘I don’t want that. I don’t think anybody wants that,’’ he said.
Patrice and Alex Lee remained mostly hunkered down last week as temperatures hovered near -40, awaiting a change in the weather or the season. Her son, she said, grew especially close to a Stanford surgeon and anesthesiologist who wanted to see Alaska’s northern lights until they heard about the particulate problem.
‘‘They’re not coming,’’ Lee said. ‘‘They wanted to come in the winter to see the aurora. They said, ‘You’re just crazy to live there.'’’