EPA classifies Fairbanks smoke pollution as 'serious'

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reclassified Fairbanks as a "serious" non-attainment area for its failure to meet clean air standards.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the new designation announced Monday means the Fairbanks North Star Borough will have to dramatically reduce its levels of fine particulate pollution by the end of 2019. The borough and the state are expected to come up with a plan for how to best curb pollution this year.

Fine particulate is a mix of solid particles and liquid droplets that can be inhaled deep in the lungs.

The borough's pollution problems are in large part due to woodstoves used by many residents to heat homes.

Salt Lake City and Provo, Utah, have also received the serious designation for noncompliance with air standards.

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