Groups sue to declare Fairbanks air out of compliance

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Two Alaska groups want the Environmental Protection Agency to formally declare that Fairbanks is seriously out of compliance with federal air pollution standards.

Citizens for Clean Air and the Sierra Club on Tuesday sued the EPA, claiming the agency missed a June deadline for declaring the Fairbanks North Star Borough a "serious non-attainment area."

That designation would kick in stricter pollution control requirements.

The EPA in November 2009 designated Fairbanks a moderate a non-attainment area for fine particulate.

Fine particulate is linked to heart attacks and decreased lung function.

In cold winter months, levels of particulate outside Fairbanks have reached the highest levels in the nation, far above levels allowed under federal law.

EPA spokeswoman Suzanne Skadowski says the agency in general does not comment on active or pending litigation.

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