By The Associated Press
Matt Buxton, Fairbanks Daily-News Miner
5:06 PM AKST, December 15, 2012
A top state air official says it's too soon to tell if Fairbanks North Star Borough will violate new clean air standards announced by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The new target reduces the maximum annual level of small particulate pollution to 12 micrograms per cubic meter - down from 15.
Alice Edwards, director of the Alaska Division of Air Quality, told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (http://is.gd/nVIeSM) that the borough is "right around the threshold," and it's too early to say if it will be in compliance.
Smoke from inefficient wood stoves is believed to be the No. 1 contributor to the area's long-standing problem with dirty air. Small-particulate matter pollution has been linked to asthma, chronic bronchitis, heart and lung problems, and premature death.