North Star Smoke Busters is a non-profit association of interior neighbors formed to enable homeowners to reduce smoke emissions while operating their solid fuel heating appliances. Our goal is to reduce fine particulate emissions from cord wood and pellet stoves by 85% in order to reach the 35 µg/m3 National Air Quality Standard by 12/31/2025. We accomplish this by encouraging proper wood seasoning, explaining the benefits of modern solid fuel heating appliances, and offering electrostatic particulate filters to homeowners to install on their stove chimneys.
As we reach this goal, homeowners will be able to continue to take advantage of an economical, locally sourced, carbon neutral heating fuel throughout the winter, our local firewood industry will continue to grow, and everyone will enjoy cleaner air.
Our initial objective is to deploy 100 Electrostatic Smoke Precipitators (ESP) on chimneys of solid fuel heating appliances located within a half mile of the regulatory monitor located at the intersection of Hurst and Dawson roads in the North Pole area this winter heating season. This will serve as a pilot project to verify the performance of the precipitators in subarctic conditions.
We expect the effectiveness of the ESPs will be demonstrated by a noticeable reduction in fine particulates measured at the regulatory monitor.
We will also be working with the Fairbanks North Star Borough Air Quality department to measure particulate reduction at individual sources to quantify the effectiveness of the ESPs on various heating appliance models.
The information gained from this pilot project will be used to determine future ESP deployment and other pollution reduction efforts. It will also provide data that could lead to approval from government air quality control agencies to allow solid fuel heating devices equipped with ESPs to continue to be used during 'air quality episodes'.
The ESPs themselves cost @ $1700 to $2000. With installation and other expenses included, we anticipate @ $250,000 will be required to complete the pilot project. We have a financial commitment from GVEA of $125,000 for this year. We anticipate raising @$100,000 through sales and the balance through donations and other fundraising efforts.
Your contribution via the NSCF website will help us achieve that goal.
The North Star Smoke Busters will be governed by a board of directors familiar with the interior biomass fuel market and business fiduciary responsibilities.