US, Alaska officials say pollution should be handled locally

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - State and federal officials say Alaska residents are better off addressing smoke pollution at the local level.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that representatives from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency hosted a town hall on Wednesday to talk about Fairbanks and North Pole's air-quality programs.

Dan Brown, project manager for the EPA, says running the programs at the federal level would be "like solving the problem with a hammer." While Denise Koch, director of air quality for the DEC, said the state agency would be spread too thin if it was tasked with monitoring the communities' smoke pollution.

Residents who attended the town hall spoke out both in favor and against the air-quality programs.

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